History of Eldon - News Tribune

ELDON, MILLER COUNTY'S LARGEST TOWN,
IS ONE OF THE YOUNGEST

By Peggy Smith Hake

 1904 Atlas Map of Eldon
Miller County became a reality in 1837 and for many years had very few towns within its borders. In 1850, there were only 4 towns ... Tuscumbia, Iberia, Mt. Pleasant, and Rocky Mount. A map of the county, dated 1875, still only shows Tuscumbia, Iberia, Mt. Pleasant and Rocky Mount. There were small post office settlements throughout the county, but no other established towns. By 1905, a county map shows the towns of Olean, Spring Garden, Etterville, Mt. Pleasant, Rocky Mount, Eldon, Aurora Springs, Bagnell, Tuscumbia, Mary's Home, Charles/St. Elizabeth, Ulmans Ridge, Brumley and Iberia.

The town of Eldon was platted 15 March 1882 when it became apparent the railroad would be built there and not at Aurora Springs, which was the county's 'boom town' during those days. George Riley Weeks, a Civil War veteran, came to Miller Co. circa 1867 from the state of Vermont. George brought his wife, Almira (Joslyn) Weeks and two children to Missouri following the war. Typical of other pioneer families, George and Almira decided they would like to see the "wild and wooly west". When they settled in northern Miller Co., in Saline Township, they bought land northeast of present day Eldon and built a log cabin as their first Missouri home. Later he bought more land north of Eldon and built a larger frame home for his family. George and Almira had two other children after coming to Missouri, twin daughters, but both died young. George Weeks continued to buy many acres in what is today the city of Eldon. When it was determined that a railroad would be built through the area north of Aurora Springs, George decided to layout and plat a new town to surround the proposed railroad tracks. When the old Missouri Pacific Line (called the Jefferson City, Lebanon, and Southwest railroad) was constructed through northern Miller County, George donated land to the railway company to build a depot.

George Weeks platted the original town of Eldon to contain 109 blocks. The streets, named by George, included: Mill, Maple, Oak, Aurora, Pine, Spruce, Broadway, Locust, Grand, Chestnut, and Walnut (all running north and south). The streets which ran east and west were First Street to Fifteenth Street. By 1905, Eldon had two railroads, the Missouri Pacific, with a depot at Second & Maple Streets, and the Chicago, Rock Island, and Pacific with its depot located at the corner of Sixth & Maple Streets.

George Weeks and Isaac Newton built the Eldon Roller Mills on the site of Gerbes Supermarket. The mill 'fired' and built the bricks for their own use at the mill. Behind the mill building was an old mill pond but today there is no evidence of the pond.

George Riley Weeks (1838-1910) and his wife, Almira (1840-1928) looked beyond their life span in the late 19th century and laid out the future on a parchment sheet when they platted the new town of Eldon in 1882. No one seems to know for a certainty why the name Eldon was chosen. Legend says it was in honor of an English nobleman named Lord Eldon ... if so, he would be proud to see the little city which carries his name today in the late 20th century.

NOTE: Sincere thanks to Freda Walker Weeks of Eldon for the above information concerning the beginning of the city of Eldon.




Sanborn Insurance Maps

Click Map for larger view.

Eldon - February 1913 - Page #1

Eldon, Missouri February 1913, Mill, Maple, Oak, Aurora, Pine, North, First, Second, Third
 Click here for a larger view.
Eldon, Missouri February 1913, Mill, Maple, Oak, Aurora, Pine, North, First, Second, Third


Eldon - February 1913 - Page #2

Eldon, Missouri February 1913, Mill, Maple, Oak, Aurora, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth
 Click here for a larger view.
Eldon, Missouri February 1913, Mill, Maple, Oak, Aurora, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth

Eldon - August 1920 - Page #1

Eldon, Missouri August 1920, Mill, Maple, Oak, Aurora, Pine, North, 1st St., 2nd St.
 Click here for a larger view.
Eldon, Missouri August 1920, Mill, Maple, Oak, Aurora, Pine, North, 1st St., 2nd St.


Eldon - August 1920 - Page #2

Eldon, Missouri August 1920, Mill, Maple, Oak, Aurora, Elkton, 3rd St., 4th St., 5th St., 6th St., 1st St., 2nd St., Pine, North
 Click here for a larger view.
Eldon, Missouri August 1920, Mill, Maple, Oak, Aurora, Elkton, 3rd St., 4th St., 5th St., 6th St., 1st St., 2nd St., Pine, North





Miller County Museum and Historical Society
P.O. Box 57
Tuscumbia, MO 65082
http://www.MillerCountyMuseum.org
2007 - Miller County Historical Society



 Increase Font Size  Decrease Font Size