Elba was settled in the mid 1800's, mostly by German immigrants. It became a town in 1871 & was named by Frederick Kueck after the island that Napoleon Bonaparte was exiled to, because they were both considered to be a "vast wilderness" at the time. Frederick donated some of his land for a train station on the Cleveland & Marietta Railway. He also operated a general store at the Elba Station depot & was the first postmaster. The town had three general stores at it's peak & most of the residents either worked in local coal mines or were farmers. The post office ran from 1871 - 1984.
Elba was originally located on U.S. Highway 21 but that changed when Interstate 77 was built nearby. Some stretches of U.S. 21 were abandoned & Elba ended up on Ohio Rt. 821. The initial population decrease occurred during that time as Elba lost it's train station & travelers passed it by on I-77 because it didn't run through the town. The second demise that Elba faced was a series of several floods. The first & worst of those was in 1998 when it rained over 13 inches in a single day & the banks of Duck Creek severely flooded. Two more floods ravaged Elba in 2004 in one week & the last one happened just four months later in 2005.
The Elba Community Church, the Castle Hall of the Knights Of Pythias, & several other homes & buildings sit abandoned on Rt. 821. The town population is currently the smallest it has ever been. A lot of the land & buildings were purchased by the government to be demolished, but not much of that has happened yet. Frederick Kueck was buried in the Mound Cemetery in Marietta, OH with some of his family members.
Thanks to group member Chelssie Hanson for providing the lead & a lot of the info about Elba, OH!