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Although the town was not incorporated until 1905, it was settled by the late 1880s, the first recorded settler being William Edwards, who founded the town that was first called Castle. However, the freighters and stage drivers called the place Eagle River Crossing, and when the railroad built its station, they named it "Rio Aquilla", which is Spanish for Eagle River. For a short time before settling on Eagle as its name it was also known as McDonald.



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