Building on the Past
Jacob M. Eldridge (the community of Eldridge's namesake) arrived in the area in 1846, having purchased land for $1.25 per acre. Immigrants from Germany soon followed, and the Scott County area slowly began to develop.
The railroads brought more settlers between 1860 and 1869. Eldridge Junction (built on land donated by Jacob M. Eldridge) became an official Scott County town on July 2, 1871. A post office and the United Presbyterian Church, with a congregation of 200, were built.
Eldridge had several prosperous years, but fell on hardship in the 1880s. The railroad faltered financially, and its new owner relocated it to Oxford Junction overnight. In 1888, A.J. Emeis, the town's first doctor, was kept busy treating a small pox epidemic that totally isolated Eldridge.
The town recovered, and after the turn of the century, the population doubled. New businesses opened, community organizations developed and Eldridge maintained its status as an important grain and livestock shipping center.
During the 1920s, the community built a three-room school for grades K-8. The North Scott School District was formed in 1956 by uniting 14 smaller districts.
Today, Eldridge and the North Scott area retain that friendly small-town atmosphere while still supporting the growth and development of the community.