Droit City History

Droit City is located where the half section line road crosses the Edgewood Cutoff of the Illinois Central Railroad, in section 13 and 14 of Corinth Township. The railroad is built on or near the section line between sections 13 and 14.

Reno Droit ran a store in West End. Late in 1926 his store burned to the ground. Since West End was declining and the new railroad seemed to offer new prosperity along its path, Mr. Droit decided to locate somewhere along the Edgewood Cutoff. He found a two hundred acre farm for sale on the half section line adjoining the right of way. He bought the farm and built a store at the corner beside the road and the railroad right of way early in 1927.

The store was almost an immediate success. The community needed a store and the construction workers of the railroad had a convenient place to trade. Small tracts of land were bought and 7 houses were built near the store. The store, Mr. Droit’s house and the seven houses made the hamlet of Droit City. It had a population of about 50.

The men of Droit City worked in the mine at Paulton or Harco in the winter and farmed in the summer. At that time coal was fuel for heating homes and cooking. Miners worked steady in winter and only part-time at best in summer.

Mr. Droit died and the store was run by Ward Evans. Evans died and the store fell to Harold Fletcher, who sold it to William Walker. Walker was the last one to keep the store. The store trade dropped until it was not worth one’s time to keep the store for the profit it returned. Walker closed the store in 1968 and sold the building to Jack fletcher, who owns it today.

Droit City had a population of 50 in 1970 according to the census. The mines at Paulton and Harco closed and were abandoned. The once thriving Droit City is now a quiet rural residential hamlet.

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(Ghost Towns of Southern Illinois, by Glenn J. Sneed, first published 1977)