Dallas Historian

Mure & McDonald Co.

The Muir & McDonald Tannery was the longest continual business in Dallas when it close in 2007. Below is an outline of some of the events of the families involved with the tannery. The tannery is torn down and only the Weight Shed remains today.

1863: Charles Edward Dane built a tannery along the LaCréole creek.

1866: Dane sells to Charles McDonald and George Stiles. Charles McDonald bought out George Stiles soon after the purchase from Charles Dane.

1881: Walter Muir is born.

1882: For the next six years, Dave McDonald and Andrew Muir operate a tannery in North Salem on Mill Creek.

1888: Charles McDonald sells the tannery to his brother Dave and Andrew Muir.

1903: The Dallas tannery burns to the ground and the residents donate labor, materials and money to rebuild the tannery. This is the building that was along the LaCréole until it was torn down. Walter Muir joins his father in the business.

1916-1923: Walter Muir serves on the City Council.

1923-1924: Walter serves as Mayor.

1925: Eldon Bevens is born.

1934: Andrew Muir dies.

1939: Eldon Bevens, 14 years old, hires on at the Muir & McDonald Tannery.

1940: Dave McDonald dies.

1947: Eldon Bevens returns from WWII and hires back on at Muir & McDonald Tannery.

1948: Eldon and Lois Miller of Sioux Falls, South Dakoda are married.

1954: Eldon becomes the company bookkeeper.

1955: Bevens begins to purchase stock in the company.

1964: Bevens is elected to City Council.

1967: Eldon Bevens purchases Muir & McDonald Tannery. Walter Muir continues to keep an office there.

1967: Walter Muir dies.

1974: Eva Muir, Walter's wife, passes away. The balance of the Muir estate, estimated at a half-million dollars, is donated to five charities. The Bevens purchase the two nearby homes from the Muir estate. The Bevens once rented one of the homes.

1977: Lisa Bevens, one of the daughters, hires on at Muir & McDonald, becoming her family's fourth generation tanner.

2000: Greg and Lisa (Bevens) Koloen purchase the tannery from Eldon and Lois. Eldon Bevens finishes 36 years of service on the Dallas City Council.

2007: After 144 years in business, the Koloens announce the closure of Muir & McDonald Tannery, Dallas' longest continually operating business.

                Justin Much of the Statesman Journal, Polk County Historical Society


 March 26, 2019, the only thing left at the old tannery site next to the Levens St. bridge is a house that was built/added on to the tannery office.


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