NOTE: The following information is from the Introduction to the Centennial Celebration book published in 2012. Most of the book was written by Kay McFarland and Betty Perkins. It can be purchased at the Locust Grove Library.
The Wonder City’s Founding
The town of Locust Grove has a unique and storied history. Locust Grove did not evolve over time, like most towns and cities. The first written referral to Locust Grove is in Colonel William Weer’s after-battle report of the Battle of Locust Grove on July 3, 1862. A topography map of 1896 reveals a Locust Grove in the present-day Lake Hudson pumpback area.
No record of a store or post office exists at this location; however, there was a ferry and a blacksmith shop. Joel Bryant purchased land south of this location, and in 1908, he moved a store from Boatman to this property. The Locust Grove Post Office was in this establishment.
The store was sold to Louie W. Ross in 1910; he moved it farther south to a location one mile north of the current town. O.W. Killam purchased Elzina Ross’s Indian allotment in March of 1912. He plotted the present-day town, and at 10:00 a.m. on May 12, 1912, Killam began auctioning the lots; by 4:00 p.m. that day, all the lots had been sold. The new town of Locust Grove was soon nicknamed “Wonder City of the Grand River Valley.”
Battle of Locust Grove
This Civil War battle took place near the town’s present-day Pipe Springs Park. A marker in the park reads:
“Federal troops suddenly attacked a confederate camp along the ridge near here at dawn, July 2, 1862. The surprised confederates hardly returned fire before their officers and heavy supplies were captured. Yet, hot fighting in the woods lasted nearly all day.”
The town’s population as of the 2010 census was 1,423, a 4.2 percent increase from 1,366 at the 2000 census. The racial makeup of the town is 57.32% white, 32.50% Native American, 2.42% Latino, 0.22% Asian, 0.81% from other races, and 9.15% from two or more races.