Visitors Guide to O'Fallon, Missouri



St. Charles County, Missouri

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O’Fallon’s history began with Arnold Krekel, a German immigrant, who lived in St. Charles. Krekel founded a German-language newspaper, the St. Charles Democrat, served as a U.S. District Court Judge and Missouri state legislator. In 1854, Judge Krekel granted the North Missouri Railroad permission to build a depot on his property along with a right-of-way on his "Krekel Addition". When the railroad came through, he named the depot O’Fallon Station after John O’Fallon, the railroad’s first director and a popular St. Louis businessman and philanthropist.

Arnold Krekel never lived in O’Fallon. Nicholas Krekel, Arnold’s younger brother by ten years and considered O’Fallon’s first citizen, surveyed and platted the town, built the first house and store in 1856 (which is still standing,) and in 1857 became the first postmaster and stationmaster of the O’Fallon depot. In 1850, the town was renamed O'Fallon.

After the Civil War started much of the fighting occurred in Missouri. In 1861 nearly half of the recorded engagements occurred in the state. Seeking to protect their property a Union regiment was formed consisting of German immigrants led by Lt. Col Arnold Krekel. These men successfully defended the North Missouri Railroad, which was a popular target of Confederate guerrillas.

The town flourished as a shipping point on the railroad for farmers in the area as they could produce a surplus and be assured that it would reach market. The railroad also encouraged the establishment of retail business as the railroad could now bring in manufactured products. According to a pamphlet published by the North Missouri Railroad in 1870 O’Fallon “has a population of about 100. It has two dry goods and a grocery store, a hotel, boarding house, steam flourmill, brickyard, broom factory, depot and stockyard, post office and express office.”

In 1912 with a population of about 600 The City of O’Fallon was incorporated. In 1956, O’Fallon’s 100th anniversary, the census showed the population to be 1,327 people. Like the rest of St. Charles County O’Fallon has grown rapidly in recent years. The 2000 U.S. census put O’Fallon’s population at 46,169 people and current figures put the population at over 70,000. The North Missouri Railroad that caused O’Fallon’s creation is gone, but the Norfolk Southern Corporation operates on the original line laid out 150 years ago.

Lewis & Clark
Foundry Art Centre
St. Charles, MO
Riverlands Environmental
Demonstration Area