Of all the towns in Jefferson County, this community is one of the most interesting with two histories and two sites.
The original town of Plymouth began with 10 ministers from Iowa, Illinois, Massachusetts, and Wisconsin, one of which was a land agent for the Burlington and Missouri River Railroad. On Sept. 18, 1872, leaders planned to create a “Plymouth of the Prairies a colony of conscience” and asked that “no one may join us who is not of unblemished morals”. The sale of alcohol was also banned. The streets were named after Pilgrim leaders and most of the original settlers were of English decent. The early town flourished with several businesses and a post office. Unfortunately, the railroad lines were not built and the town’s population quickly left and moved their businesses to more prosperous places.
A new city began on a new site in April 1884 when the Chicago, Rock Island, and Pacific expanded its line from Lincoln to Jansen. Because the train would not stop on the uphill grade, a depot was built three miles north and one mile east of the old town. The post office moved to the depot and the name went with it. In less than a year the population reached over 200 with German settlers and many citizens from Ontario, Canada. The town’s old rules did not apply. At its peak in 1910 , approximately 400 citizens lived in Plymouth with 62 businesses. All that remains of Old Plymouth today is a cemetery and sings that mark the site.