Fremont County, Iowa

History of McPaul

McPaul was a township, that was absorbed by Scott Township.

It was in the NW corner of Fremont County along the Missouri River, right across from Nebraska, and adjacent to Mills County.

Thurman is the main town in the area and there were 2 other townships - 'Bartlett to the north of Thurman several miles, and McPaul is three miles west of Thurman' (page 16).

'Thumbprints in Time', published by the Fremont County Historical Society, 1996.

Page 33 has a few paragraphs:


This settlement was named by James McFarland Paul of Thurman who envisioned Thurman growing three miles to meet the train. This was the main shipping area for the farmers of the Thurman area (NE/SE 832, Scott Township). It is located about three miles due west of Thurman on the Burlington Railroad. Its' post office was established December 12, 1870 with William A. Tiffany as post master, closed April 30, 1919 and reopened August 4, 1920. It was discontinued September 1957.

In 1895-96, the stage arrived twice daily and the population was 75. Ettleman & Co. were grocers and W. M. Hiles was a blacksmith. It is on the KC St J & C RR.

There were livestock yards and a depot where local farmers brought cattle and hogs for shipping to Chicago or St. Joe. The general store was known as the Baldwin store, Tom Hood's store, Ernest Elliott leased it for a year, Mr. Hood sold it to Raymond Study and last the Schooleys; Theodore and Ezra. It was torn down in the early 1960's.

The last depot agent was Mrs. Frances Arnold who was the telegrapher for the nine trains who came through daily in 1961. Today the rail line is known as a "fast track" for the numerous trains of about 100 cars headed north with empty coal cars destined for the coal fields in Wyoming. Southbound, shorter trains generally carry fuels, oils, and grains.

The story is told about the town's founder who being a man of vision purchased one of the first automobiles and had it delivered by rail to McPaul. When the car arrived there seemed to be no instruction book and he could only find reverse. So he backed his new car all the way to Thurman!

Today the Gene and Lou Bebout families, Miss Adah Hood, Max Hill, and Mike Schoenbohm live here. The McPaul school buildings still stands as well as grain and fuel storage buildings beside the Burlington Railroad line. There is an Interstate 29 interchange at McPaul.

Taken from 'Thumbprints in Time', published by the Fremont County Historical Society in 1996.
Transcribed by Tom Hodge in March 2011.

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