While it is the town at the end of the Soo Line railroad, it did not begin as a railroad town. The Soo Line planned to build farther west but ended up stopping at Whitetail. When the railroad arrived, the town began to boom. It sits in a beautiful valley along Whitetail Creek next to a reservoir at its outskirts.
In the 1920s a rumor spread that several gallons of oil were pumped out of a well in town. This created a frenzy. Oilmen came in from Wisconsin and the Whitetail Oil Syndicate was formed. In 1928 drilling began and continued for several years. Unfortunately, no oil was ever recovered, although enough natural gas was found to power the steam power unit for a while.
Whitetail at one point was an industrial center. In the late 30s, the Schlecter Bros. invented the power-take-off grain blower. This revolutionized grain handling. A factory was built and by the 40s every farm truck had a “Whitetail Grain Blower”. As often happens, new technology was the downfall of the business.