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My friend Karen Simpson gave me a stack of old newspapers a few weeks ago and in it I found a supplement to the Afton Star-Enterprise about the history of Shannon City.
It was dated May 21, 1981 and was written and compiled by David Pugh. Mr. Pugh was a publisher of both the Diagonal Progress and the Afton Star-Enterprise until his passing in 2006.
Let’s take a look at Shannon City’s first steps. I’ll be using information from Mr. Pugh’s history, but, also, items I was able to secure from the Ringgold Record newspaper.
The Chicago, St. Paul, & Kansas City Railroad laid its tracks through Union and Ringgold Counties in the late fall of 1887. This railroad line produced the towns of Arispe, Shannon City, and Knowlton among others. Shannon City, on the Union/Ringgold County line, is said to have gotten a post office in November 1887 with Dr. Loomis as the postmaster. The first businesses in the winter of 1888 were those of Rapp & McCreight, Levi Knapp & Co., and Dr. F. W. Loomis.
Dr. Loomis wasn’t just a practicing physician, he built and operated a drug store.
The newspaper reported back in October that Knapp & Co. would be leaving Tingley for Shannon City. This is interesting in that the town of Tingley was established in 1882 with many businesses that left Eugene to be in the new railroad town of Tingley.
Eugene was a ghost town that was situated halfway between Shannon City and Tingley.
I know from the newspapers, Eugene’s United Presbyterian Church fared very well after Shannon City and Tingley absorbed a portion of the old ghost town. Rapp & McCreight must have been in the dry goods and grocery business.
There was another community that Shannon City drew from, that being Mortimer. Mortimer consisted of a post office, church, and school, all located one mile south and four miles west of Shannon City. Dr. Loomis and his wife had previously lived in Mortimer.
The depot, railyard, and post office were all built on the Ringgold side of the county line. As time went on, most of the town would end up on the Union County side. Of course, the depot and railyard were never moved.
The first hotel was built in 1888 by G. W. Grant on the lots where the Ruckman building stands today. By 1889, Shannon City had three stores, two hotels, a blacksmith shop, a livery, a baseball team, and a church. Oh, yes, the church.
I took this week’s photo in November of 2006 when the House of Worship was still in the possession of the United Methodist Church. It was built in 1889 and dedicated on October 20th of that year. by the Methodist Episcopal congregation. Today it is a non-denominational church under the name of Shannon City Community Church, with Pastor Al Rusk in charge.
And it is my home church!
Two blocks up the street from the Community Church is an abandoned building that I believe to be the original Christian Church. It can’t be seen in the spring, summer, and fall because of the foliage, but I’ve got photos for my archives.
We can’t save every building but we can take pictures of them. And I do.