This small village on the river was named for C. Henry Meyer, the one-time business manager for the Quincy Journal who owned a lot of land in the area. Meyer was a late bloomer. It got a post office in 1895 with Ida Lloyd as the Postmistress. The village was laid out the next year, but it never attracted many residents. In the 1970s, fewer than 100 people called it home. That didn’t mean Meyer had no industry. It did. At one time the village counted two button factories and a grain elevator and had a daily stop for the steamer Keokuk during the navigation season. A school opened in 1896 with one teacher for 61 students; it closed after a big flood in 1960. In the 1930s, lock and dam #20 was built nearby. The village had ferry service to Canton, Missouri until very recently.

Floodplain farms near Meyer, IL

Floodplain farms near Meyer, IL

Meyer Community Church was founded around 1900 by students from Christian University (now Culver-Stockton College in Canton, Missouri). They met in the village schoolhouse in the early years, then affiliated with Methodists for a while; in 1940 it became the Community Church. The congregation built a new church that opened in March 1960 but the formal dedication was delayed by a levee break that flooded the area. A tornado in June kept the bad luck going, damaging the roof, but everything was eventually fixed and the church was formally dedicated on December 11, 1960.

Flooding has taken a heavy toll on Meyer, especially the big floods of 1993 and 2008. Meyer today has fewer than a dozen permanent residents.

Heading upriver? Check out Warsaw.

Heading downriver? Check out Ursa.

© Dean Klinkenberg, 2015

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