Arispe was established in 1887 when the Chicago, St. Paul, and Minneapolis Railroad Company built its track through Union County. The town remained little more than a store or two and several homes for much of the next decade. In 1897, an additional 65 acres were purchased and added to the town. During the next 3 years, a hardware store, a general store, a drug store, a Methodist church, and a bank were all constructed along with a number of new homes.
By 1902, telephone lines had reached Arispe, and later in the year, work began on a new grain elevator. The first mayor, DW Stevenson, was elected in 1904. The following year, a modern four-room schoolhouse was constructed. Arispe’s population would reach it’s peak of 156 during the 1920 census.