Eben was named for
Ebenezer Austin Young, brother of Roscow Young, the superintendent of the
Munising Railway Company.
Through the years, Eben
has seen many changes in business places. The first general store was
built by Chan Brown in the early 1900's. The building, still standing,
also housed the post office for about fifty years. Andrew Salmi built his
store in 1915 and the building was later renovated into a laundromat
operated for a short time by Eugene Salmi. Victor Hayry ran an early
garage. Others who operated garages include Art Laakso, Oscar Kuula, Elmer
Kumpu, Willie Lintula, Elmer Salo, and Bill Perander.
The first postmaster in
Eben was Emil Hoppe in 1908. He was succeeded by Adolph Nyman (1913), Earl
Brown (1915 to about 1953), Mrs. Earl (Margaret) Brown until August 1955
when Aune (Vartti) Juntunen was appointed. In 1966 the post office was
moved across the highway to Elmer and Aune Juntunen's new home where it is
still located. Mrs. Juntunen retired in 1982, and Norman Laakso has
recently been the new postmaster.
Emil Hoppe was also the
first depot agent and was succeeded by Archie Belonga. Mike Groleau was a
long-time Soo Line section foreman.
Eli Lampi, in the early
30's, operated a pool room and small lunch shop on the site of the present
New Moon tavern. He expanded his operations by building a large garage
where he sold new and used cars. With the repeal of prohibition, Eli and
his wife, Sophie, started the almost legendary Blue Moon tavern and dance
hall. Fire, the odd nemesis of area businesses, completely destroyed the
building in 1938. It was replaced in 1940 but that too burned down in
1952. The present tavern, the New Moon, built in 1954, has had a
succession of owners.
As more settlers moved
into the area, schools were built in nine different locations. The first
school in Eben (today the Eben Apostolic Church) was built between 1902
and 1904. Many Snyder was the first teacher.
Many of the
earliest arrivals began farming in the Eben area, among them Frank
Rosendahl (Ross), Jacob Ruuspakka, Jacob Lehtimaki, Thomas Hallstrom,
Oscar Nyman, John Jacobson, Sr., John Akkila, and Edward Luoma.