Town History

As early as 1856, when Carroll County was first organized, Congress granted the State a tract of land to be held in trust, for the purpose of building a transcontinental railroad line. After the Civil War, the building of such a line began, and by 1867 the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad entered Council Bluffs . When it went through what is now Arcadia , it established a switch station east of Arcadia , calling it East Side , a station at Arcadia , calling it Tip Top, and a station at Westside. Arcadia is located on the Mississippi -Missouri Divide. Its lands are among the highest in the state - 1429 feet above sea level.

A wealthy New Englander by the name of Issac Newton Voris , rode the Northwestern train from California to New York , and as he was passing through western Iowa he was greatly impressed by the beauty and apparent fertility of the rolling prairie. He returned and bought four thousand acres in and around Tip Top. He platted out the town, and called it Arcadia , a name that comes from the Greek. It means any place of quiet and contentment. In 1871, Mr. Voris persuaded the railroad to change the name of Tip Top to Arcadia , and a post office was set up there. The side track of East Side was soon abandoned, and Arcadia became one of the attractive towns in the county. Arcadia was incorporated in 1881, with J.D. McDougall as Mayor.

The above information was found in St. John's Catholic Church centennial book, which was compiled in 1975. From the hardcover book entitled “History of Carroll County, Iowa,” which was published in 1912, comes this bit of information:

May 27, 1874 -- “ Arcadia , the youngest town in Carroll County , stands where four years ago was unbroken prairie from Carroll as far west as Denison . The first settlers were Messrs. Voris , Lamson and Carpenter.” Also included in the article was the following: “Mr. Voris had laid out his town, but the railroad company was not pleased with this, and platted another one adjoining it and named it Tip Top. For a tim e, there was something of a rivalry between the owners of the two sites, but all the difficulties were adjusted and the railroad purchased Mr. Voris ' share of the land, paying him $175 per acre for land that he had some tim e before purchased for $10.”

Apparently the name Arcadia prevailed, as a Dec. 1880 article states: “ Arcadia , with one-fourth of the population of Carroll has seven saloons, while Carroll has six. The saloons at Arcadia ran without license, the town not being incorporated.” Less than a year later, on Nov. 3, 1881 , our town was incorporated, and on June 24, 2006 , we are noting the 125th anniversary of that event. Mark your ca len dar, and plan to come and help us celebrate.

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