North Missouri Railroad was
incorporated in March of 1851 to build a railroad from St. Charles to
the Iowa state line. In 1853, John O'Fallon was the
president of the board of directors of the
railroad. The railroad was laid directly through the
property of Arnold Krekel on its way westward in
1855. Judge Arnold had given the railroad the
necessary right-of-way and permission to build a depot on his
property. In 1856, Krekel named the depot O'Fallon
after this friend and man he admired. John O'Fallon
was a noted soldier, businessman and public-minded philanthropist.
The North Missouri subsequently passed into the hands of the Wabash Railroad Company. The railroad was the key to the future growth and success of this small spot on the map as it provided a major route for trade and passengers. The Krekel Store flourished and the number of businesses and townspeople grew. A brochure published by the North Missouri Railroad in 1870 said the following:
"O'Fallon, thirty three miles from St. Louis, is a small town, first settled in 1856. It has a population of about 100. It has two dry goods and a grocery store, a hotel, boarding house, steam flour mill, brick yard, broom factory, depot and stock yard, post office and express office. Farmers do well here, and there is a good chance for all kinds of manufacturers."
This type of growth and building had occurred in the short time from 1856 until 1870. Farming was the most important economic endeavor at this time and the area farmers were able to produce high yields of wheat and corn. Milk, hog and cattle operations also existed on a smaller scale. Many farmers produced income with timber and woodcutting or quarry operations.