In the rolling hills of southeast Missouri, a handful of miles from the mighty Mississippi River, sits a small town called Farrar. Toward the end of the 19th century, a man named R.P. Farrar ran the Farrar General Store. In 1896, another man, Bueckman, built a second one.
In 1903 the Bueckman store was sold to Henry Klaus and his son, Herman. Around that time, a change in political climate meant that R. P. Farrar, who ran the town's post office from his store, turned over his postal duties to Henry Eggers, a Republican. The post office moved to the Klaus store.
Seventeen years later, Martin and Walter, the two youngest of Henry Eggers’ sons bought the Klaus store. They named it Eggers & Company General Store. Martin and his wife Ella, along with two young daughters, Mildred, age 5, and Vera, a 1 year old, and Walt, moved from their nearby farm into the attached house. Martin, or “Tom” as he preferred, and Ella welcomed daughter, Ruby, in 1921 and a son, Homer, in 1925.
Martin and Ella ran the store and post office for 46 years, and became fixtures in the community. They were members of Salem Lutheran Church, which sits just up the hill to this day.
Mildred, Vera, Ruby and Homer moved to St Louis and beyond, and their families eventually spread out across the country. But visits to Eggers and Co. were treasured, especially by their children, who remember helping their grandfather sort the eggs brought in by farmers to sell, and eating their grandmother's kuchen and gritzewurst.
Martin retired in 1959, but remained the owner until they sold it to four of their employees in April 1966. These four men created Farrar General Market.
The Eggers & Co. name was set aside until 2004 when Martin Eggers’ granddaughter, Ellen Frye, and her husband, Steve, purchased the property from the surviving members of Farrar General Market.
Since then, Ellen and Steve have worked to honor the Eggers family, the town of Farrar, and the role in history that stores and towns such as this portray in rural America in the mid twentieth century. After a major restoration project, the property has been listed in the National Registry of Historic Places.
Today, they welcome guests from all over, either to stay at the Bed and Breakfast, or at special events throughout the year. They look forward to welcoming you to step into the history of Eggers & Co. yourself!
History of Farrar
The settlement in Farrar is closely tied to Salem Lutheran Church, built in 1859. Mail was brought to the town from the nearby town of Schalls and handed out on the church steps after Sunday worship services. The people craved a post office of their own and wished the town to be named Salem as was the name of the church, so in 1892, store owner, R. P. Farrar rode by horseback to Jefferson City to make the request. Upon his arrival, he learned that the name Salem was already taken, so Farrar put his own name on the registry. He became the first postmaster and opened the post office in his store.
History of Saxon Settlement
A well-documented immigration of Saxon people to East Perry County began in 1839. This Lutheran group came up the Mississippi River through New Orleans toward St. Louis. As they navigated past southeast Missouri, the landscape of rolling hills reminded them of their native Germany. After arriving in St. Louis, they decided to return to the hilly countryside of Perry County. The Eggers family is one of the families in this chain migration and helped to settle the town of Farrar and found Salem Lutheran Church.
The Saxon Immigration is more fully told by a visit to the Saxon Memorial in the nearby town of Frohna and Lutheran Heritage Museum in Altenburg. The original log cabin seminary seen there is the birthplace of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod.