Paw Paw Junction to Lilbourn
The town was named for Lilbourn A. Lewis, a large landowner that wanted to put a town at the junction of two small rail lines near Little River in 1903. There was a community known as Paw Paw Junction about a mile west on Little River prior to Lilbourn's birth. Businesses sprang up because of the railroad traffic the Frisco's Cotton Belt line that ran from St. Louis to Memphis would bring. A grocery store was built, then a hotel, and in 1905, Lilbourn got its first bank. Lloyd Shankle became the town's first marshal, Dr. McClain, the first physician. The floods of 1912, 1913, and 1927 caused the north side of town to flood often.