In 1881 a train depot was built amid two country crossroads. One cross, a railroad track, operated between Goldsboro and Charlotte. The other, a dirt road, continued south encompassing Gibsonville and Burlington townships. Early on, the North Carolina Rail Road system referred to the station as “Mill Point,” which was to be a shipping point for many cotton mills based around the countryside. Local folks simply knew the intersection as “Boon’s Crossing.” Expanding borders and a growing population made it necessary to build a post office in 1888, which would establish a more permanent municipality and solidified community.
The local Christian assembly committed themselves to erect an institution for higher learning. In 1889 the establishment relocated an old school known as “Graham Normal College” to a heavily wooded area full of large oak trees. They understood that “Elon” was the Hebrew name for oak; hence, Elon College. The college opened in 1890 with one completed brick building and 76 students. Since then, one building has progressed into an impressive university, which is renowned for academics as well as athletics.
Elon, Mill Point’s old crossroads, has evolved from livery stables and blacksmith shops into a robust and industrious town. Currently, Elon covers 5 square miles and has a population of 9,419 residents. This includes town residents and students living on and off campus within the town. Residents, Board of Aldermen, town employees, and community partners work together to keep the Town of Elon a major contender for growth and prosperity in the 21st century.