O’Fallon has a rich history. Please click on any of the names or topics in blue for more information and photographs.
The region was originally inhabited by Native Americans. European explorers first visited the region in the 1600’s. The earliest settlers came to the are in the late 1700’s, including the Zumwalt, Audrain, and Heald families. The town was founded in the 1850’s by brothers Nicolas and Arnold Krekel. They named the town for railroad president John O’Fallon, whose railroad contributed to the establishment and growth of the city. The Civil War brought great change to the area, including the establishment of a community of freed blacks.
Many of O’Fallon’s early residents were either Catholic or Methodist, and both churches have a rich past in the community. Early educational options for O’Fallon’s children were tied to these churches, with the Catholic Sisters of the Most Precious Blood operating a school and college in O’Fallon. The first public school followed in 1869 and in 1947 the Fort Zumwalt School district that we know today was formed.
It was not until 1912 that the City of O’Fallon incorporated. The young city was a place where local farmers could sell their wares and buy needed supplies with multiple general mercantile stores, meat markets, a bank, a drug store, and even a funeral home. Of course, there were taverns too! As the city grew, so did the need for expanded water service, electrical service, fire protection, law enforcement, and mail delivery. The city also boasted several civic organizations, social clubs, parks, and a library.