Our History

The Early Days

The Anthon area was settled by many pioneer families, long before there was a town. The country was new and practically unsettled, but with the railroad came settlers and with the settlers came demands for shipping points. Anthon was one of the new towns and at once began to manifest itself in the development that followed. It grew because there was a large contiguous territory and because it had a cosmopolitan, progressive class of people. From a hamlet with a cottage here and there, it grew into the town it is today, with beautiful homes, a long main street full of substantial businesses, and a strong school district.

A City was Born

Most of the land Anthon is now located on was owned by Absom Miller. When the railroad came through the Little Sioux Valley, Absom felt this would be a good spot for a town. He made an offer that he would donate the land if the local people would be interested in trying to promote business and the railroad put a depot on the site.


The town was called Anthon, after J.C. Anthon, one of the officials with the Illinois Central Railroad. Area newspapers often referred to Anthon as "Miller's Town". Anthon was platted on February 17th, 1888. Thus, a city was born.

Home to Many

As Anthon began to grow it became a meeting spot for all the rural residents for miles around. Social life in the form of barn dances, church dinners and athletic contests of every type came into being. By 1904 the town was bustling. Anthon was blessed with several businesses that offered goods and services to meet the needs and wants of its growing population. In addition to its urban amenities, Anthon's location along the Little Sioux River and it's proximity to the Loess Hills offered excellent locations for fishing, hunting, picnics, and beautiful scenery and landscapes to enjoy. As schools and churches were built, and farms grew, Anthon offered a distinct quality of life that attracted people looking for a place to raise a family and call home. Since then, the same has been true as it is today. Anthon has been and will always be, home to many.