Saturday, February 16, 2008

Railroads Made Enon, MO go Backwards

Back in the 1800's, the railroads had a lot of power. When the tracks were being built, the railroad officials would post signs with the name of the community nearby. If a small community or village had not chosen a name, the railroad officials would post a sign "NONE" - meaning the community had no name. Well, when it became time for this tiny town in Missouri to choose its name, the citizens could not agree on a particular name. After much debate, the citizens decided to take the sign the railroad officials used (NONE) and reverse the spelling. Yes, in the end this community chose ENON! Enon, Missouri is located Southeast of Columbia, Missouri.


La said...

How do you know that this is the way it happened? No one is likely still to be alive from that time period. Just curious.


Michael said...

I am, once again, ashamed to be a Chiefs fan, and thus I wear a bag on my head. How about you? ms

Funnynames said...

The information provided in this particular post was from a citizen who grew up in this town. I also gather information from historical societies, chamber of commerces & libraries to verify information. The truth is probably found somewhere between the facts and the heresay.
Thanks for your input.

Funnynames said...

MS - Have you seen the new bumper stickers around KC?
"GO CHIEFS - And take the Royals with you!"

milkmanchris said...

I am a former resident of Enon as well as many of my predecessors. Enon was actually named in part by my Great(X4) grandmother long before the railroad was built. Enon or Aenon is a village found in the bible that was near water (where John the Baptist was baptized). The proximity of Enon being near the South Moreau creek was the predominant reason this name was chosen for this small town. I have heard the railroad explanation as the town's origin. Fortunately it is false.

Allen said...

Actually, there was another Enon, MO in Lincoln County between Troy & Gilmore (present day Wentzville). It grew up around the St. Louis & Hannibal RR and was officially called Hoeberville by the US post office. The post ofiice was open there from 1879-1914. The railroad served the area from about the same time until 1932 when the STLH&RR line was abandoned below Bowling Green, MO. RR right of way is still visible here.

Beth said...

Does anyone know why the town was called Hoeberville? I have ancestors named Hoeber living in the area during the 1800's, and it has me curious if they are somehow linked to it. Anyone know where I could find out more information about the town of Hoeberville?

Allen said...

This is from my new book (pending) on the St. Louis & Hannibal RR.
Myself and another friend spent some time back in April talking to folks in Enon and Gilmore. One gentlemen (about age 45) remembers the general store (now gone) and recalls when he was about 10 yrs old talking to an elderly gentlemen named Hoeber (probably Theodore, Ted). This man told him a few stories about the old RR (then gone also) as well as where the platform or stop was located. Our subject reported that Mr. Hoeber was about 92-94 at that time. While Enon is no longer officially a town another man who was a trucker told us that when he pulls into his driveway his GPS announces that he has arrived in Enon, MO.
Sorry, I am not able to help you on the geneaology part. I suggest the Lincoln Co Historical Society or Lincoln Co Genealogical group that meets in Moscow Mills.

Enon (Hoeberville) , St. Charles County,
- M.P. 81.6 / Station 81 -
Enon was located at M.P 81.6. There was a spur track and a platform. It was located in St. Charles County. The community had its start in 1797 when Adam Zumwalt settled on a 510 acre Spanish land grant, about 3 miles east of Flint Hill. Zumwalt brought his family to this settlement. The Zumwalts hosted Black Hawk and other Indians who purchased whiskey from the Zumwalts. Adam's son Solomon inherited the property. In 1850 Solomon sold the land to Frank G. Hoeber.
The community was nameless when the Short Line arrived in 1882. The railroad established a stop that was given the name Enon ('N-O-N-E' spelled backwards) because no name was available. A post office was established in Frank Hoeber's general store in 1879 (1883 according to some sources). The Post Office would not accept the name Enon so the local post office was called Hoeberville. Frank's son Theodore later ran the general store and post office. In 1883 there was a saloon, blacksmith, wagon maker, a cobbler, and several stock dealers. The post office was closed in 1914. The railroad was removed in 1933 and the town dried up.
In the 1891-92 Missouri Gazette Enon/Hoeberville had a population of 80. There was a sawmill, a blacksmith, general store, and a shoemaker. The 1893-94 Gazetter gave a population of 90; a general store, no agent listed; 2 teachers, sawmill, livestock. Enon was 415 ft. above sea level.
The spur was a 285 foot long spur. There was a small shed to give passengers some shelter in bad weather. This shelter was frame structure with a composition roof. It was 12.5' x l2.5' x l2'. The platform was cinders - 196 sq.ft.
Today the grade can be seen where it crosses Hwy. P as well us on both sides of P.
A private road runs on the old railroad grade and there are two bridges on this same road which were once used by the short line.

Gail said...

just a word of correction to Allen if the gentlemen you were talking with was 10 at the time, The older gentlemen that he was talking to was Elmer T. Hoeber, Theodores oldest son my grandfather, he was in his 70's at the time frame. Theodore died in he 1930's and Elmer T. died in Dec.1975,and was the last Hoeber to live on the remaining property of the town. The story from the last posting from the lincoln Co. Hist. is the correct story that the family knows.Thank You

Allen said...

Thanx, I stand corrected. The thing about interviewing people is that memories get fuzzy after a while and full (or correct) names are often in short supply. I've often seen old newspaper accounts be totally wrong when researching the past. (Imagine that!)

Myself and a couple other railfans are always looking for info on the St. Louis & Hannibal RR, of which Enon owes it's existence. ESPECIALLY PHOTOS! This struggling little railroad help grow our area and made lives a little bit better in so many small intangible ways. In Ralls County the RR "got Ralls Countians out of the mud." Your family's memories are just the kind of assistance we need to help keep the RR and the towns along the line alive for future generations. Yet, another piece is placed back in the puzzle that was once a thriving community of people - and a railroad ran thru it.

By the way, what is the correct pronunciation of Hoeber? Some say Hoober others say Hober. I assume the latter.

Please know we are trying to keep as many folks' names remembered for their part of participating with the old Short Line, no matter what capacity it was, even if only a memory. I am working on a 2nd Book about the StL&HRR right now. Hope to be done this winter but I have ways to go.

"for it is the doom of men that they forget" Merlin the Sorcerer, movie Excalibur 1982

OLGA said...

I grew up on a 4 generation farm in Enon and my parents still live there. I have heard the story about the lady naming the town after the town in the Bible near water. I have also heard the story about the town receiving it's name from the railroad depot but the way I have always heard the story is that when the depot was built and paperwork had to be submitted the person that filled it out listed NONE as the town name. Somewhere along the line the town name was switched from NONE to ENON by whomever was doing the paperwork on the other end. Regardless, most people have never heard of Enon. Thanks for posting this story/

Lois (Gulley) Hodge said...

My dad was born in Tatesville Missouri. It is gone now but read it was by Enon. Trying to find Tatesville cemetery. Does anyone know where it is. I thought Tatesville was in Ray County but when I looked it up it had it listed in another county. I went to the Tatesville picnic a couple times when I was in my Teens. My dad is Amos Gulley. His parents are Marion Gulley and Bertha (Briggs) Gulley.

Lois (Gulley) Hodge said...

My dad was born in Tatesville Missouri. It is gone now but read it was by Enon. Trying to find Tatesville cemetery. Does anyone know where it is. I thought Tatesville was in Ray County but when I looked it up it had it listed in another county. I went to the Tatesville picnic a couple times when I was in my Teens. My dad is Amos Gulley. His parents are Marion Gulley and Bertha (Briggs) Gulley.