Dallas Historian

Muir & 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.