When the County was first organzined in 1856, Congress granted the State a tract of land to be held in trust for the purpose of building a transcontinental railroad line. After the Civi War, the building of the line began and in teh fall of 1867 trains entered Council Bluffs via the Chicago and North Western Railroad.
When the North Western railroad went through Arcadia in 1867, it established a switch station east of Arcadia called it East Side, a station at Arcadia called Tip Top, and a station at Westside.
The railway company had named the station Tip Top, but no station house had been built. The grade of the road was steep on both sides, especially on the west. For this reason a side track was necessary so that freight trains could be cut in two. The engine would take up part of the load to the side track and back down for the other part. This was a common practice for many years until more powerful locamotives made it rare.
Arcadia's exact location in Carroll County is section 16, township 84, range 36. Its lands are among the highest in the state at 1,429 feet above sea level, which is the reason for the town's original name of Tip-Top
The town is located on the Mississippi-Missouri Divide. The name Tip-Top was significant because the watershed divided the waters that flow toward the Mississippi River valley from those that flow to the Missouri River valley. The dividing line runs though Arcadia, and one may stand there and see the parting of the ways. Developing streams start their course east to the Mississippi River or to the west to the Missouri River.