It had to be Sam. Three of the illustrious men responsible for the town of Eagle shared the same first name: Sam Prouty, Sam McClintic, and Sam English.
Sam Prouty was responsible for giving Eagle its name. A settler farming near today’s cemetery two miles east of town, he supposedly shot a large bird that could have been an Eagle, and when the post office was established in his home on November 5, 1869, he used the name of the bird to identify it.
Sam McClintic sold the southeast quarter of Section 20, Township 10 (Tipton Precinct) on May 5, 1886 to T.P. Kennard, S.H. Clark and Peter J. Nichols, for a consideration of $7500 for development into a town along the Missouri Pacific Railroad branch that was being built that year between Weeping Water and Lincoln.
The town was platted and dedicated on July 1, 1886. A.F. Rust, the surveyor, issued the following statement to the public: “I hereby certifiy that I have accurately surveyed and staked out the lots, streets, and alleys as shown on the accompanying plat of ‘Eagle’ Cass County……”
P.J. Nichols, owner and proprietor, issued this statement: “…I do hereby approve of the division of the ground into lots and ratify the said Plat; and do hereby dedicate to the public use of the streets and alleys as shown thereon, and in accordance with the survey thereof.”
Sam McClintic was one ot the towns oldest and wealthiest citizens. He and his brother bought the land where Eagle is located from the original homesteader, Orrin W.B. Zerba, in September 1876. He is said to have lived in a sod house, close to where the depot used to be, for several years and by 1892 had 740 acres in the vicinity.
Sam English came to Eagle in July of 1886, soon after the town had been platted looking for a place to build a store. He describes the Eagle he saw then in the July 2, 1892 issue of the Eaglet. “…At that time the embryo village presented a slim appearance. All the portion of the town lying east of 4th street was an oat field while that west was a corn field. The Missouri Pacific track was not yet graded, although the graders had encamped on the town site. The national Lumber Company had a wagon load or two dumped two or three blocks east of the present location. Uncle John Sumner had the foundation in the timbers up for his residence, while Dallenty’s shop was in a fair way of completion. Joe Blanchard was the post master located on a corner ¼ mile east of the main street of Eagle. He was also the only merchant, carrying a small stock of groceries. Dr. Potter was also located in Blanchard’s building. George Wright was head over heals in the smith business adjoining Blanchard, living in a tent.”
Sam English decided to stay and became one of the first merchants. In partnership with Mr. Files, he built a general merchandise store that was almost complete by July 31, 1886.
According to the August 7, 1891 Eagle Eaglet:
“Just five years ago last Monday, July 31, 1886, the first social ever given in Eagle took place. It was given in the uncompleted store building of the English and Files, under the auspices of the newly organized Congregational Church. It proved to be a good undertaking for all concerned. At that time the Kennard building was not yet enclosed, the two lumber yards had just opened up for business, the material for Taylor’s building on the ground, and Dallenty’s blacksmith shop approaching completion and Uncle Johnnie Sumner’s residence being shingled…” (Lot 6, Block 28)
Sam English’s talents didn’t stop with selling general merchandise. He became the editor of the town’s second newspaper, the Eagle Eaglet, that began in September 1890 and lasted until 1899.