Tolu is a Crittenden county community about 12 miles northwest of Marion on Hurricane Creek near its mouth on the Ohio River. The name is said to come from a tonic that was popular, primarily because of its alcohol content, in the nineteenth century. Communities named Hurricane, on the Ohio River and subject to flooding, and Kirksville were also established in the area, but consolidated at Tolu. The population probably peaked around 500 in the 1920s. Much of the town burned in 1924.
A Cookesville or Cookseyville post office operated at the mouth of Hurricane Creek from 1849 to 1852. The Hurricane post office opened in 1857 and moved to Tolu and was renamed in 1890. It closed in 2012.
The population of the Tolu census designated place in 2010 was 88.
Near Tolu are the remains of a Mississippian culture community that was occupied from about 1200 to 1400. The site includes at least one surviving mound.
Iron ore and fluorite are found in Crittenden county and there were iron furnaces near Tolu in the early nineteenth century.
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