Eli Haradon traveled by stage to Sac City, looking for a suitable place to start a blacksmith shop. Judge D. Carr Early, recommended starting it on the 40 acres he owned, two and one-half miles south of the present site of Early. He even donated ten acres of land for that purpose. The plat was filed for record and recorded January 11, 1878. The new town was given the name of Early, in honor of Judge Early.
It was a small beginning, having only six places of business and three or four small houses. All faced east. This is a photograph of "Big Tree Corner," which was a widely known landmark. It was at the junction of U.S. Highway 20 and 71, about two and one-half miles south of the present Early. The original town of Early stood just outside of this picture on the right. This snapshot was made in the early 1920s and the tree remained standing for at least 50 more years.
Some time prior to 1882, surveyors came to survey for the North Western Railway. But the farmers protested so badly against having their farms cut up by the railroad, the project was given up in this area and the rails were laid from east to west, two and one-half miles north of Old Early, in the year 1882.
Knowing there would never be a thrifty town off the railroad, the few citizens of Old Early decided to move the town the two and one-half miles north and have the benefit of the railroad. Some of the buildings were moved to the new town site, and others to various locations. Old Early was vacated September 19, 1882. Orlin Haradon bought the 40 acres where Old Early once stood.
Eli Haradon Blacksmith and Wagon Shop was started in old Early and later moved to New Early in 1882, where about a year later it was destroyed by fire.