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Western & Eastern Treasures

Ghost Town USA Column Index for Kansas

Kansas (the Sunflower State) is famous for wheat, corn, and other agricultural products.  Numerous small towns dot the prairie landscape that evokes the popular line from America the Beautiful ... “For amber waves of grain.” It is here that small town America was born and nurtured.  It was here that Dorothy and Toto began their famous flight of fancy.


In addition to farming and "The Wizard of Oz", Kansas is also the land of Ghost Towns.   Like many other states outside the American West and its millions of acres of dry desert, Kansas' ghost towns are generally forgotten remnants of the past, many hidden under plowed fields of grain.  Then there are the hundreds of rapidly fading agricultural communities that still stand out in the sea of grass that marks the American Heartland.  Many of these small towns began their slide toward oblivion after WW II, many completely dying with their boots still on.  The old communities that make up “Small-Town-USA,” have just about gone the way of the Edsel, BFO metal detectors, or the Dodo bird...pfft!


Kansas was a major crossroads state with cattle trails, emigrant routes, and railroads crisscrossing the state.  Towns were created by land booms rippling across the state as various sections of prairie were opened up for settlement.  Many other towns were trailside "watering holes" that catered to the baser instincts of the pioneering cattlemen, and died out when the cattle trail moved or was abandoned.  Others were railroad boomtowns that fell on hard times when the tracks were pushed onward and outward.  Many of the towns were agricultural communities that have died in the past half-century due to the mechanization of farming, and better transportation methods, that allow people to live in a nearby large town and “commute” to their farms, eliminating the need for many small towns, and their supporting stores and businesses.


The Kansas Historical Society has over 6000 “Dead Towns” in their files and online database online database.  Author/historian Daniel Fitzgerald, has written a series of six books on about 600 of these ghost towns.  Any way you look at it – Kansas has a lot of ghost towns! 


Memories of these former boomtowns still float like dust in the wind over the Kansas prairie.  The winds of time that created these ghosts reaches into America's Heartland, and those gentle zephyrs lift those memories and deposit them in front of you.  Reach out and grab them!  To get you started on your own exploration of the Sunflower State, the 34 historical vignettes below give details of the lives of a few of these former towns.


Check out our HELP! Page if you can add any info to some KANSAS locations folks are looking for.  When they are found, I’ll post on this page.  


Where photos are indicated thusly, please use your browser’s “BACK” button to return to this or the individual vignette pages.  More photos will be added over time, and the vignette formatting will also slowly change to incorporate the photos on the page, rather than as a link.


ALSO check  (and other counties for infill info)

Online Book Cutlers History of Kansas 1883

ALSO Kansas Cyclopedia (1910 pop and 1912 info)





Nemaha Co.

ALBANY is located about 2.5 miles north of Sabetha, a half mile west of the county line/US 75, and at the junction of X4 Road (6th Street)/204th Road.  Sabetha (2010 pop – 2571) -  is a mile west of US 75, seven miles south of the state line, 65 miles north of Topeka.  The aerial photo on Gnis shows the Albany Historical Museum located on the northwest corner of the junction.  There are a few scattered farms around the area.  The museum is located in the old two-story, rock, Albany School.  The four acre cemetery is located a half mile to the north, on 208th Road, and about 0.2 miles west of the junction with X4 Road. 


This agricultural town was established in the spring of 1857 by a small group of settlers from Albany, New York.  In the fall, some 46 more folks arrived, taking up land claims.  On August 05, 1858, a post office opened with John Shumway as the first postmaster.  A proper town site was then laid out in 1859.  A wooden framed home and school building quickly followed, as did several other houses.  A two-story store was built in 1860, and several wings were added.  They served as shops and apartments. The store itself served as a community center, and even church services were often held inside, as well as in the homes and yards of some of the local farmers.  Albany became a thriving trade center, and flourished through the Civil War, at which time it was a “station” on the Underground Railroad.  Some of the businesses included a blacksmith, boarding house, creamery, hotel, livery stable, millinery store, post office, sawmill, school and the general store.  The cemetery was established around 1862 and a large limestone school was built in 1867.  School was held on the first floor, while the second floor served as a high school during the week and church services on Sundays.


Albany boomed until 1870 when railroad surveyors forsook the site and went for the easier grades near Sabetha, running the line through that town.   Once the railroad bypassed Albany, the Albany Store building was physically moved south to Sabetha and Albany quickly faded, although the post office remained open until July 17, 1882 and the school remained active until 1962.


In 1965, the property was purchased by the museum foundation, and restoration was begun.  Other significant buildings in the area were relocated to the site and now there are a total of 17 buildings on site.  Two large buildings house automobile and tractor collections, and there are also several train cars and a track.  The Albany School and Waggner (sic) House are the only ones actually native to the location.  The museum complex is the site for the annual fundraiser – Old Albany Days, which takes place generally the weekend after labor day, in September.


Population figures:

·        1980 -> N/L



·        SE¼ of the NW¼ Sec 25, T1S, R14E, 6PM (6th Prime Meridian & 40° Base Line), Berwick Twp.

·        Latitude: 39.9369449 / 39° 56' 13" N

·        Longitude: -95.7980448 / 95° 47' 53" W



·        W2; W7a, b; W8a; W9; W20a; W20b



AKA - Ellen

Lane Co.

AMY is a class D, near ghost town located along the Burlington Northern & Santa Fe (BNSF) Railroad line, 4.5 miles east of the Scott/Lane County line, 7.3 miles west of Dighton (2010 pop - 1038) and straddling SH 96, midway between CR 250/Dodge Road (west) and Eagle Road (east).

It was established as an Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad (ATSF) switch station named ELLEN in 1887, but no development occurred until 1905.  Between 1906 and 1911 it was prosperous, but faded after that.  Today, it is a massive bank of grain elevators overlooking a tiny, rural community.


For more details, see our AMY page.


Clark Co.

This class A, 1880s boomtown site is located a mile southeast of Minneola (2010 pop - 745), which is at the junction of US 54 and 283, 21 miles south of Dodge City. 


Nine months after it was founded by E. N. Hall, A. R. Neely, L. J. Newkirk, Charles Limbocker, J. S. Shearer, Charles Eckley, “and others” in late 1884/early 1885, APPLETON had a bank (Appleton State Bank – failed in a couple years), barbershop, two blacksmiths, church with “Sabbath” school (Methodist-Episcopal founded Dec 1886), six grocery/feed stores, two hotels, land & loan office, two meat markets, a weekly newspaper (the Appleton Era – January 07, 1886 – July 21, 1887), post office (July 22, 1885 - April 23, 1888) and a restaurant.  In 1885, it was one of the county’s designated voting precincts. 


When the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific (CRI&P) Railroad came through, it missed the town by a mile.  A station named Minneola was established a mile northwest of Appleton, and in July 1887, they extended an offer to the folks in Appleton to relocate the town and their homes to the railroad.  The church continued to hold services in the schoolhouse until the winter of 1887, when it moved to Minneola.  Today Minneola has over 700 people, and Appleton is a barren site.


A mile southeast of Minneola, places Appleton at or near the SE corner of Sec 13, which would place it on the west side of CR 7 and north of the section line. Source 9a says it was in the SE¼ of Section 13, and that quarter section is entirely plowed over farmland with no structures or foundation outlines visible.  


The 20-acre Appleton Township (Minneola) Cemetery is located about two miles further south, about three miles south of Minneola and two miles south of Appleton’s site.


Population figures:

·        1890 -> 2010 - 0



·        SE¼ Sec 13, T30S, R25W, 6PM, Appleton Twp.

·        Latitude: 37.4289219 / 37° 25' 44" N (SE Corner of Section APPROX)

·        Longitude: -99.9971592 / 99° 59' 50" W (SE Corner of Section APPROX)



·        SWC of the SE¼ Sec 25, T30S, R25W, 6PM, Appleton Twp.

·        Latitude: 37.4006210 / 37° 24' 02" N

·        Longitude: -100.0051500 / 100° 00' 19" W



·        52a (pgs 22, 24, 48-49); 52b (pgs 46-47, 48, 74, 75); UND (KS State Historical Soc info from Englewood research – 1982); W2; W3; W7a, b, c, d;



AKA - Linsdale

Morris Co.

Burdick is located on the ATSF railroad, south of BB Ave, and between S 2700 and S 2800 Rd., 6.5 miles east of Lost Springs (Marion Co.), 4.5 miles east and 2.7 miles north of the county line, in the southwestern corner of the county 47 AIR miles southeast of today’s Salina. 


In 1880 or so, the Swedish farming town of LINSDALE was established, and in 1887, the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad came through and the town was renamed BURDICK.  The post office opened on August 29 of that year with Clyde L. Reed as the first postmaster.  Since the area was good cattle grazing land, cattle were brought in and Burdick quickly became an important cattle grazing and shipping center, with cattle being brought in from as far away as Texas to be fattened on the rich grass, then shipped to market from here.  A store opened in 1889, and the boom was on.  More businesses arrived as did people, and this now-class D community quickly became a wide-open cow town, with all the amenities needed to entertain cowboys, including the first reported rodeo in Kansas.


In 1912, Burdick was an active railroad shipping center with the following businesses still active: a bank, several churches, newspaper (Burdick Bulletin – December 15, 1909 – December 15, 1910), post office, telegraph/express office and several stores.  Through the 1920s it was still a vibrant little town, but has declined slowly since the 1930s.  The 1950s were especially telling as in 1956, the post office relocated into the former brick bank building; the nearby Diamond Springs/Burdick high school that was built in 1921, closed in 1957; the grade school followed, closing in the 1960s; the railroad depot closed and was torn down in 1968.  The town has generally continued to decline, but even so, the Burdick Meat Locker and the Burdick Oil Company along with the post office (66838) are still open, and the town hosts the annual Labor Day weekend festival.


Several period photos of Burdick can be seen on the Wichita State University Library website.


Population figures:

·        1910 – 225, 1920 – 200, 1930 -  N/L, 1980 - 150, 1990 - 70, 2000 - 75, 2010 -



·        N-Ctr Sec 23, T17S, R5E, 6PM, Twp 8

·        Latitude: 38.5633104 / 38° 33' 48" N

·        Longitude: -96.8467342 / 96° 50' 48" W



·        63 (86, 95, 02 – K/18); 69(E/8); W5a (pg 253); W2; W3; W7a, c; W9



AKA - Weeks

Lyon Co.

Located on the northeast side of the junction of Road F/ former bed of the Missouri Pacific Railroad, 1.1 miles south of US 56, 5.2 miles east of the county line, five miles west of Allen (2010 pop - 177) and 17 AIR miles north-northwest of Emporia.


When the Missouri Pacific Railroad came through the area in 1886 it established a station here called WEEKS, honoring the farmer who donated the land for the station.  However, after the 1886 baseball World Series, Weeks was renamed BUSHONG for the famous catcher of the St. Louis Browns baseball team, Albert John (Doc) Bushong.  The railroad named several of its stations in Kansas after players of that team.  Bushong is the sole survivor.


When the post office was established, Joseph Fulls was the first postmaster in this little agricultural town.  On August 06, 1899, the Bushong Bulletin newspaper came out, but only lasted for a single issue.  By the 1910s, the Main Street was lined with one and two-story rock buildings, including a bank, hotel and the garage (built in 1915).  There were quite a few others, but they were not identifiable in the old photos.  In the 1920s, a major fire burned the community hall, a garage and a restaurant.  That large gap was never rebuilt.


In 1927 Bushong incorporated and Main Street was lined with businesses such as: a blacksmith, an elevator, garage, gas station, grocery store, hardware store, a combination grocery/hardware store and the post office. A couple years later, in 1929, the Emporia Gazette Print had an article about Bushong, giving it a population of 150 and having two-room grade school and a four-room “rural” high school.  It also had a Methodist Church with an active Sunday School.  It appears to have peaked around 1930, then began to fade.  In the 1940s it was still had the bank, elevator, a couple grocery stores, a post office, railroad station and maintenance shop, a shoe repair shop.


In the 2010 Census, 12 of the 16 housing units in this tiny, still-incorporated city of the third class were occupied.  In 2015, the Directory of Kansas Public Officials (W20) listed a mayor, four council members, a city clerk and a city treasurer.  The town consists of a tall cylindrical water tower; a park; concrete sidewalks that face empty lots; a loose cluster of occupied and abandoned homes and mobile homes; the two-story, abandoned, rock and brick high school on 4th Street; the white, clapboard Bushong Church at 4th and Main; the roofless rock Bushong State Bank at the northwest corner (NWC) of Main and 3rd (with the brick vault in the rear); the brick, former post office/city building cater-corner on the SEC of Main/3rd; and just south of that, the tin-roofed, rock Bushong Garage (built for E. A. Pykiet in 1915). 


In a 2012 blog entry, the writer indicates that the post office building and garage are boarded up and secure, and the town looks more abandoned than occupied.


At the height of the Cold War, Bushong was Site 5 of a circle of ICBM Atlas E missile complexes surrounding Topeka and administered by the 548th Strategic Missile Squadron, based at Forbes Air Force Base (Now Forbes Field/Topeka Regional Airport). It is located ON PRIVATE PROPERTY on the west side of Road D, about 1.5 miles north of the intersection of US 56/Road D, which is 3.4 miles northwest of Bushong.  Trespassing is NOT permitted.  Please view the site from the public right-of-way (road shoulder.)  According to construction began in June 1959 and was completed a year later.  The missiles arrived in January 1961, and were all in place by October.  The squadron was deactivated on March 25, 1965.


Population figures:

·        1927 – 150+, 1930 – 193, 1970 – 39, 1980 - 62, 1990 - 57, 2000 - 55, 2010 - 34



·        N½ of the SW¼ Sec 24, T16S, R10E, 6PM, Agnes CityTwp

·        Latitude: 38.6430637 / 38° 38' 35" N

·        Longitude: -96.2572195 / 96° 15' 26" W


LOCATION: Missile Complex

·        SWC of the NE¼ of the SE¼ Sec 4, T16S, R10E, 6PM, Agnes CityTwp

·        Latitude: 38.6866349 / 38° 41' 12" N

·        Longitude: -96.3022503 / 96° 18' 08" W



·        25 (pgs 96-98); 63 (86, 95, 02 – K/20); 69 (D/9); W2, W7c; W9; W16a; W17a; W18; W24


Clark Co.

This class A 1880s boomtown was located on the trail between Fort Dodge and Fort Supply, 1.5 miles north of Ashland. The exact location is not determined. 


Clark City was born in June 1884, the first town established in present Clark County (which was official on May 05, 1885). Clark City was established with the intent of obtaining the county seat when Clark County was to be formed from Ford County.  It had many businesses, including a church (with Sabbath School established in the fall of 1884), drug store (Dr. Davis), flour & feed (Robinson & Turner), grocery & feed store (W. D. Baker prop.), land office (Church & Myers), newspaper (Clark County Clipper – 1st issue Sept 18, 1884), two physician/surgeons, post office (July 14, 1884 > June 26, 1885 with W. D. Baker as the postmaster), real estate office & shoe store (Robert C. Marquis) and three restaurants (Harry Aylesworth prop, Charles Ward prop., and the Star Restaurant – J. M. Beckett prop).  A wide-open saloon operated near the town and was the cause of a lot of problems in both Clark City and nearby Ashland.


In October 1884, Ashland was established and the developer offered free lots to residents of Clark City and help in relocating their homes to Ashland.  As a result, Ashland quickly eclipsed Clark City and obtained the county seat.  By mid-January 1885, Clark City was gone and Ashland had over 2000 residents.  Baker moved his 18 x 30, wood-frame store/post office to Ashland and became Ashland’s first postmaster.


Today it is unmarked farmland.


Population figures:

·        1890 -> 2010 - 0



·        E-Ctr of the N½ Sec 35, T32S, R23W, 6PM, Center Twp. (Center of half-section)

·        Latitude: 37.2183019 / 37° 13’ 06” N

·        Longitude: -99.7886517 / 99° 47’ 19” W



·        52a (pgs 48, 51, 56, 58); 52b (pgs 48, 77, ); 52c (pgs 33, 53); W2 (Not listed, but coordinates obtained through it); W5a (pg 358);

W7a, d;


Doniphan Co.

Today this class D rural community is along the Missouri River in the southeast corner of the county, up in the northeast corner of the state, six AIR miles northeast of Atchison (Atchison Co.), and 12.7 AIR miles southwest of St. Joseph, Missouri. 


The Doniphan Land Company was organized in November 1854, and in 1855 they surveyed the town site and sold lots at the site of an old trading post operated by Joseph Utt the couple years prior.  Development included homes, Presbyterian church (1856-1881), St. John the Baptist Catholic Church (1857 – 1864 when it burned), Kansas Valley Bank of Leavenworth (built 1857), a post office (March 03, 1855 > August 15, 1943), newspaper (Kansas Constitutionalist), a sawmill (Samuel Collins, summer 1855-1860), a second sawmill (James F. Forman, April 1857- burned in summer of 1858, rebuilt and burned again 1861),  flour mill (J. W. Forman, 1856/57 – burned in 1869), the Doniphan House (hotel, built by Forman brothers, burned in 1868), The 40-room St. Charles Hotel (built in 1857 – burned in 1860), Foreman Brothers’ General Store, Allen B. Lyon’s general store and Bowdell & Drury’s Drug Store.  A doctor and a lawyer also set up offices as did multiple newspapers. A blacksmith, lawyers and wagonmaker also set up shop.  In 1856 a “subscription” school opened, and in 1857 the government land office was established, but relocated a couple years later.  The population in 1857 was said to have reached 2000.


The timeline for the town’s briefly published, weekly newspapers is: Constitutionalist (January 01 – October 14, 1857), the Crusader of Freedom (January 30 – March 06 1857), Doniphan Post (Fall 1860 - 1861), The Doniphan Democrat (May 1871 - early 1872), The Doniphan County Weekly News  (March 17 – August 25, 1882) and the Bible Investigator (January through September 1882).


In 1864, the First Methodist-Episcopal Church was built with Reverend Houts as the first pastor.  Later that year the wooden frame Catholic Church burned, but was replaced in 1867 by a 26 x 50 brick edifice with a bell tower and stained glass windows.


A 40,000 bushel elevator, the largest in the state at that time, was built in 1867 and operated by Adam Brenner.  It burned in 1872.


On February 11, 1869, the town incorporated, and in 1873 reincorporated as a City of the Third Class.  In that same year the first permanent public school building was erected for a cost of $8000 by James F. Forman.  It was a two-story, 38 x 65 building and had four rooms and a full basement.  In 1883 it had 60 students.  That year also saw a large, 44’ x 65’, two-story Brenner Vineyards building built on Main Street.


Two lodges and two other associations were also chartered, including:

·        Masonic Lodge – Arcana Lodge #31, AF&AM, chartered December 29, 1858

·        R. A. M. – Doniphan Chapter #13, chartered October 17, 1869

·        The Doniphan Dramatic Club, founded November 1880

·        Young Folks Literary Society, Started in June 1882.


This busy Missouri River port bustled until a bridge was built across the river and then it began a decline, that was mitigated in part when the Atchison & Nebraska Railroad pushed tracks into the town.  In 1881 a flood wiped out the rail line and cut the town off.  


In 1912 it had faded greatly, only counting 178 residents in the 1910 census.  In the 1980s several of the old buildings still stood, but it appears to have faded out completely now to where the GNIS aerial photo shows what appears to be only a cluster of farms.


Population figures:

·        1857 – 1000 (est.), 1910 – 178, 1930 – N/L, 1980 – rural, 1990 – rural, 2000 – rural, 2010 –



·        SE¼ of the SE¼ Sec 5, T5S, R21E, 6PM, Wayne Twp.

·        Latitude: 39.6416624 / 39° 38’ 30” N

·        Longitude: -95.0808028 / 95° 04’ 51” W



·        25 (pgs 17-20); 63 (86, 95, 02 – G/23); 69 (B/11); W2; W3; W4 (Doniphan); W5a (pg 528-529); W7a, b, c; W8b; W9


Chase Co.

This class D-community is located along the east side of the BNSF Railroad, just over 200 yards east of the junction of US 50/210th Road (Main Street), 5.6 AIR miles due west of Cottonwood Falls and 6.7 road miles southwest of Strong City.  It lies just to the west of the confluence of the Cottonwood River/Middle Creek.


This town was founded in 1872 and the post office established January 07, 1873, when it relocated from Middle Creek to a spot along the ATSF Railroad (Now the BNSF). It incorporated in 1904 as a city of the third class, and has been damaged several times by flooding of nearby Middle Creek and Cottonwood River.


In 1912, it had a bank, money-order post office, weekly newspaper (SEE below for list of the newspapers), a railroad station, telegraph & express offices, and several stores.  It was at the center of a natural gas discovery and also had a doctor, a couple grocery stores, hardware store, hotel, and a pharmacy, but no dates were given for that mention.  An undated period photo shows a solid business-lined main street.


The high school closed in 1967, and the grade school a few years later.


On GNIS, the street view on Acme mapper shows the following buildings still standing along Main Street starting at the west end, and running east along the north side, then returning along the south side.  First up on the west side of the railroad, is the corrugated metal elevator.  Crossing the tracks, “Bummies” Food Store (opened in 1947 by Glenn and Maria Baumgardner) anchors the first slot.  To the east of Bummies is a large lot, then the still-solid looking 1898 stone bank building with a “For Sale” sign in the window (was active in 2002, but closed now), a wooden false front store building in dire need of paint, then Chestnut Street.  On the east side of Chestnut is a vacant lot, decorated with a basketball court set up on what looks like an old store slab.  Just east of that is a small wood and limestone false front; then a large, former automobile repair garage, a gap, then the dressed stone, 1936 City Hall building with its WPA cornerstone.  Just to the east is Spruce Street. 


Crossing over to the south side of Main, we head back west.  On the southwest corner is a park and to the south the large brick Elmdale United Methodist Church (with a 1890-1917 cornerstone) on the corner of Spruce and Elm (one block south of Main).  Continuing west, the broken concrete sidewalk fronts empty lots until it reaches a battered sheetmetal automotive garage on the southeast corner of Main and Chestnut.  On the west side of the intersection is the still-active, fairly modern, brick post office (66850) building.  It is the last commercial building until the railroad is reached.  The Camp Wood Road heads south to Camp Wood, a YMCA organized camp located about two miles to the south and on the south side of the Cottonwood River.


On the west side of Spruce midway between Elm and Campbell streets is a little 18 x18, windowless concrete block structure with steps leading up to the front door.  Could this have been a jail???  Turning west on Campbell, on the south side of the road is a large brick, two-story building with AUDITORIUM inscribed on the upper parapet stone.  To the west, across an open lot is a large, two-story rock building that looks like an old school, and currently in use as a residence.  Across from the auditorium is a ratty-looking, four bay fire department building.  On the Acme street view it looks abandoned, or at least poorly maintained.  The rest of town is a few scattered older homes and mobile homes.



·        Elmdale Reporter (December 15, 1899 – February 22, 1906

·        Elmdale Gas Jet (March 04 – December 24, 1909)

·        Elmdale News (September 15, 1921 – May 15, 1931)


Population figures:

·        1910 – 253, 1930 – 246, 1960 – 114, 1970 – 102, 1980 - 109, 1990 - 83, 2000 - 50, 2010 - 55



·        NW¼ Sec 27, T19S, R7E, 6PM, Diamond Creek Twp.

·        Latitude: 38.3733165 / 38° 22’ 24” N

·        Longitude: -96.6464694 / 96° 38’ 47” W



·        63 (86, 95, 02 – L/18); 69 (E/8); W2; W5a; W7a, c; W11





Clark Co.

In 2010, this class D-agricultural community had a population of 77.  It is located on US 283, three miles north of the state line, about 50 miles south of Dodge City.  Founded in 1884, Englewood was touted as the “Veritable New Chicago of the Great Southwest.”  By 1886 there were three drug stores, four dry goods/grocery stores, two hotels, two lumberyards, a newspaper and a restaurant.  It began to fade in the 1890s.  By the mid 1970s Englewood looked like a stereotypical ghost town; its wide main street a two block long line of unoccupied buildings in all stages of repair.  Englewood was our Ghost Town of the Month for June 2001, and a much modified version for February, 2008.


This is one of the towns featured in my newest book, GHOST TOWNS: Yesterday & TodayTM.

For more details, see our Englewood page.


Wallace Co.

Also known as Camp Pond Creek, this pioneer military fort was built along the Butterfield Overland Despatch Company’s Smoky Hill Trail around 1865 to protect settlers against the Indians.  This company is NOT to be confused with John Warren Butterfield’s famous Butterfield Overland Express Company, which operated from September 15, 1858 to June 30, 1861. 


In September 1865, Camp Pond Creek was established next to the Pond Creek Stage Station to protect travelers arriving at the station located about 1.5 miles west of the present town of Wallace.  When the stage line was sold in 1866, the fort relocated to a point near the river, and was renamed Fort Wallace on April 16, 1866.  The new location was along the south side of present-day US 40, and on the north side of the south fork of the Smoky Hill River, 10.5 miles east of Sharon Springs, 4.1 miles west of the county line and two miles southeast of Wallace.  It is south of Road Wa E-O (which runs across the south side of the cemetery. 


Built mostly out of wood and stone, the frontier fort had about 40 buildings as well as a normal contingent of 75 or so soldiers, but at the most had around 350, although it was built to accommodate 500.  It was decommissioned on May 31, 1882.  The building materials were quickly scavenged and the fort disappeared.  The fort had a post office that was established on October 03, 1866 and discontinued on June 01, 1882.    A newspaper, The Wallace County News was published here, but only one issue was published: December 27, 1870.  On October 19, 1888 an act of Congress decreed that all of the 14 square mile military reservation would be sold, except the railroad right-of-way, and the post cemetery, which was given to the city of Wallace.


Today it is an historic site without any buildings. 


For more info on this historic old military post, go to: Fort and Santa Fe Trail  

Follow the next links to read a great history of the Smoky Hill Trail and the Butterfield Overland Despatch.


…SEE Pond Creek Stage Station below for a brief history of the stage line.


NOTE:  GNIS indicates the site (MUSEUM???) closer to the town of Wallace.  The Lat/Long info below is to the ACTUAL fort site as marked on the GNIS topographic map.




·        NWC Sec 26, T13S, R39W, 6PM, Wallace Twp.

·        Latitude: 38.9022097 / 38° 54’ 02” N

·        Longitude: -101.6294229 / 101° 37’ 01” W



·        NE¼ of the NE¼ Sec 29, T13S, R38W, 6PM, Wallace Twp.

·        Latitude: 38.9003275 / 38° 54’ 00” N

·        Longitude: -101.5587785 / 101° 33’ 28” W



·        1; 5a (pg 676); 6 (pgs 215, 235, 242, 246, 249, 251, 252); 7 (pgs 246, 255, 256); W2; W7a, c;


Rice Co.

This class D agricultural town is on SH 4, ¾ mile south of the county line, seven miles east of Bushton, six miles west of Geneseo and 12 miles northwest of Lyons. 


It was founded in 1878 at the junction of the Missouri Pacific Railroad /St. Louis & San Francisco Railroad, but little development occurred until 1887 with the arrival of the Missouri Pacific. By the early 1900s was a booming agricultural and railroad shipping center with around 1000 people.  It had an automobile/tractor dealership, a bank, a bar, two blacksmiths, brass band, several churches, dentist, doctors, flour mill, fraternal groups, three grain elevators, two grocery stores, three-story hotel, lumberyard, newspapers, post office, schools and a telegraph & telephone office.  It incorporated as a 3rd Class city in 1909.   In 1914 a tornado smashed the town, including the Baptist church, which was rebuilt in 1950, but has since been abandoned.  In 1934 fire destroyed most of what remained of the town and it never regained its vigor. 


The post office was established as Frederic on May 14, 1887, and the name changed slightly to Frederick on April 24, 1904.  It was discontinued on May 15, 1954.


Some of the newspapers published here included:

Frederick Independent (January 19, 1888 – February 21, 1889)

Rice County News (August 28, 1890 – July 20, 1895)

Frederick Republican (August 24, 1892 – August 30, 1893)

Frederick Bulletin (September 28, 1893 – February 03, 1894)

Frederick Flame (October 14 – December 30, 1897)

Frederick News (September 04, 1908 – November 25, 1910)


In 2011, despite being the second smallest incorporated city in the state, it still had a mayor and two city council members, as well as the grain elevator, five occupied houses and a three-acre cemetery. 


Population figures:

·        1910 – 151, 1930 – N/L, 1970 – 39, 1980 – 29, 1990 – 18, 2000 – 11, 2010 – 18



·        NE¼ of the SW¼ Sec 1, T18S, R9W, 6PM, Eureka Twp.

·        Latitude: 38.5125329 / 38° 30’ 45” N

·        Longitude: -98.2676017 / 98° 16’ 03” W



·        14 (164-165); 63 (86, 95, 02 – L/13); 69 (E/6); W2; W3; W5a (pg 684); W7a, b, c; W9;


Harper Co.

This class D agricultural town is at the junction of NE 100 Ave/NE 30 Rd (1st St), where the former railroad crosses it, in the eastern part of the county six miles south of US 60, three miles west of the county line and 14 miles north of the state line. 


B. H. Freeman operated a trading post, located about three miles to the west of the present site.  On April 19, 1878 a post office called Midlothian was established at Freeman’s trading post.  In 1885, the St. Louis, Fort Scott and Wichita Railroad (later the Missouri-Pacific Railroad) ran tracks through the area, and on February 27, 1885 Freeport was platted.  On March 7, Midlothian was platted immediately adjacent to Freeport, and separated only by Grand Avenue.  A railroad depot was built on the Freeport side, and the two towns battled for supremacy.  On September 16, 1885, Freeman relocated his post office to the railroad.  The sources don’t say to which location.  In reality that was a moot point, as Midlothian changed names to West Freeport, and on October 12, 1887, it was all incorporated as Freeport.


During its lifetime several newspapers came and went, typical with these pioneering communities with bigger dreams than reality.   These included: the Freeport Leader (August 13, 1885 – January 01, 1899),   the Freeport Tribune (March 11 – September 30, 1886) and the Freeport News (July 09 – December 10, 1915).


By 1912, the town had “a score of business houses”, including: bank, blacksmiths, dry goods stores, express & telegraph office, grain elevators, two or three hotels (The City Hotel was one, Geo. W. Corbin, proprietor), livery stable and the post office (relocated from Mid Lothian, three miles to the southeast, on September 15, 1885).  The Freeport Telephone Exchange is listed as dissolved as of October 29, 1913. Many of the business buildings were moved away or burned at some time after they were abandoned.


With only five people living here in 2010, it is the smallest incorporated town in Kansas.  Some of the remaining buildings include the 1902 bank building, two sets of grain elevators along the former railroad line (Danville Cooperative Assn.), water tower and a 60 member Presbyterian church, whose white clapboard building still stands on the north side of Church Lane.  The post office is ZIP 67049 and as of December 2014 appeared to still be open, although it is on the hit list for closure.  In 2014, four of the five residents were city “employees” – mayor, three council members and the City Clerk (also one of the council members.)


The bank building is a low, brick, corner building with individual storefronts facing south and east. On the south, facing 1st (Main) Street, is the post office, while on the corner is “City Hall” inside the original bank.  Rounding the corner onto Grand Ave is a vacant storefront with “FREEPORT” on the transom, its unmarked twin to the right and finally an unmarked one at the far right.  The Freeport Cemetery is located just a quarter mile to the north and on the west side of Grand Avenue.  Some sources (including a business listing) claim the Freeport State Bank in Freeport is still open, however, according to the website, only two branches of the bank were open as of April 2012:  one in Harper (main – est. Jan 01, 1902) and the other in Anthony (branch – est. 1989).  The branch in Freeport actually closed in 2009.


Population figures:

·        1887 – 300, 1892 – 700->1000, 1895 – 54, 1910 – 161 (250?), 1970 – 21, 1980 – 12, 1990 – 8, 2000 – 6, 2010 – 5



·        SWC Sec 3, SEC Sec 4, NEC Sec 9, T33S, R5W, 6PM, Twp 4

·        Latitude: 37.1978157 / 37° 11’ 52” N

·        Longitude: -97.8569476 / 97° 51’ 25” W



·        25 (pgs 199-202); 63 (86, 95, 02 – Q/15); W2; W5a (pgs 689-690); W7a, c; W9; W22; W24; W26hp


Allen Co.

Founded in 1857 by the Union Settlement Association, this agricultural colony was at the junction of 465th St/Virginia Rd., in the northwestern corner of the county, 1.5 miles south and west of the county lines, about ten miles northwest of Iola (county seat), north of the Neosho River, between Martin and Indian creeks.


Around 300 families indicated an interest to settle here, so in 1858, L. L. Northrup set up a sawmill and a store.  A post office also opened on November 13, 1858 with Dr. Stone as the first postmaster.  It is not clear if it was a part of the original store or a stand-alone.  A college was planned, but reality set in and only about 75 families showed up, so it was never built.  A smaller grammar school and churches were established. 


In 1861, Dr. Stone passed postmaster duties over to the Justice of the Peace, Jonathan M. Mattoon, who held the postmaster position at least until the early 1880s. 


By 1869 the town had about 100 people, a blacksmith shop, hotel, two stores and a wagon shop.  A Congregational church was also built of stone and in 1866, a two-story wooden frame “academy” under the auspices of the Neosho Presbytery was also built.  There was also a Presbyterian Church here with Rev. Salathiel Irwin as the pastor.


Geneva continued to grow slowly in anticipation of the arrival of the railroad, but by 1872, it didn’t come, so the town began fading.  Even so there appears to have been a little burst of energy, as on January 15, 1882, Charles L. Knowlton opened a general store.  It is not clear from the source if this was a NEW store, or continuation of the previous store.  In April the Geneva House (hotel) opened its doors with Dexter L. Warren as the owner.  The blacksmith was listed as Plamer (sic) (Palmer??) McClure and Theodore Elliott operated a dry goods store.


In 1912 Geneva was listed as a “post village” and was a station located on the ATSF Railroad.  It served as a trading/shipping center.  At that time it had 100 people and a blacksmith shop, express office, post office and store. The post office closed September 30, 1942.


The five-acre Geneva Cemetery is located on the east side of 60th Street, midway between Utah and Virginia Roads, about 0.9 miles southeast of Geneva.  It looks “well populated.”  In 2000, the entire township only had a population of 119.


Population figures:

·        1870 – 100 (approx),  1910 – 100, 1930 – N/L, 1970 – , 1980 – N/L, 1990 – N/L, 2000 – N/L, 2010 –




·        W-Ctr Sec 25, T23S, R17E, 6PM, Geneva Twp.

·        Latitude: 38.0169756 / 38° 01’ 01” N

·        Longitude: -95.4941499 / 95° 29’ 39” W



·        Ctr W line SW¼ Sec 30, T23S, R18E, 6PM, Geneva Twp.

·        Latitude: 38.0129290 / 38° 00’ 47” N

·        Longitude: -95.4809180 / 95° 28’ 51” W



·        69 (F/10); W2; W5a (pgs 728-729); W7a, b; W9; W19;


Greeley Co.

This forgotten, class A, mid-1880s boomtown was located four miles north of Horace and about five northwest of Tribune.  The actual location is not determined, but is probably at or near the intersection of Road 14 (Horace Road)/Road L.


Hector was another typical community vying for the county seat – and failing.  At its peak, it had a hardware store, a couple hotels, a lumberyard, a newspaper (Hector Echo April 01 – July 29, 1886), post office (established in December 1885), real estate company and two stagecoach lines.  By summer 1886, the population relocated to the winning town (Tribune), leaving a faded ghost.


LOCATION: (Jct of roads as noted above) APPROX

·        SWC Sec 30, NWC Sec 31, T17S, R40E, 6PM, Berwick Twp

·        SEC Sec 25, NEC Sec 36, T17S, R41E, 6PM, Berwick Twp

·        Latitude: 38.5383287 / 38° 32' 18" N

·        Longitude: -101.7904758 / 101° 47' 26" W



·        W2 (Not listed, but coordinates obtained through it); W7a, b, c; W12 (May 24, 2013); W13; W26gl


Greeley Co.

This fading, tiny, still-incorporated city of the third class, has what I feel is one of the most classic name combinations in American Ghosttowndom!  A town with the name of Horace doesn’t stand out, nor does the county named Greeley.  But combine them… Horace Greeley.  It is a tiny, still-incorporated city with only about 70 people sitting on the Union Pacific Railroad and SH 96 just 14 miles east of the Colorado/Kansas state line and two miles northwest of the county seat, Tribune (2010 population of 741).


For more details, see our HORACE page.

This is our CURRENT Ghost Town of the Month.


Marshall Co.



This old town is located at the intersection of 12th/Zenith Roads, along the west side of the Big Blue River, about four miles southeast of Blue Rapids, in the southwestern part of the county.  When the Tuttle Creek Lake dam was built in the late 1950s, the Feds required the town be vacated, although it was not on the floodplain behind the dam, which began filling in 1962.


The town was established in 1859 and named for the popular writer Washington Irving.  Like Horace (above), the town’s namesake never actually visited here.  The year after founding, the town was pounded by wind and storms and many of the first settlers gave up and returned to their home state of Iowa.  The old real estate axiom about “Location, location, location” applies to Irving.  In 1866 and 1875, a plague of grasshoppers destroyed crops and trees.  In 1879 a pair of tornadoes from two separate storms pounded Irving, killing 19 and injuring many others and destroying the 1868 schoolhouse, which was later rebuilt.  Details of the tornadoes can be seen at


In 1903, the river flooded, damaging and destroying many of the towns’ structures.  Fire also ravaged the town in 1905 and 1907.  Despite all this, Irving continued to thrive, and in 1910 boasted a population of 403.


In 1912, the Cyclopedia of Kansas credits Irving with a bank, several churches, grade school, public library, weekly newspaper (see list below), post office and telegraph and express offices.  After that vignette in the book, Irving suffered additional fires in 1913 and 1916, the later wiping out the entire north side of Main Street.


In the mid-1950s news that a dam was to be built caused the citizens to leave, and by 1960 the town was dead.  Numerous foundations and streets remain, along with a large marker with the town name, and a small mailbox for visitor comments.



·        Blue Valley Recorder (December 10, 1869 – August 26, 1879)

·        Irving Blue Valley Gazette (June 20 – December 19, 1874, April 08, 1876 – December 28, 1878)

·        Irving Blue Valley Citizen (February 13 – July 02, 1880)

·        Irving Leader (May 20, 1886 – at least February 24, 1944)

·        Holiness War News (November 1890 – October 1891) (possibly a monthly?)


Population figures:

·        1910 – 403, 1960 -> 2010 - 0



·        W-Ctr Sec 25, T5S, R7E, 6PM, Geneva Twp.

·        Latitude: 38.0169756 / 38° 01’ 01” N

·        Longitude: -95.4941499 / 95° 29’ 39” W



·        63 (NOT shown on 02 map); 69 (C/8); W3; W7c; W8c; W9


Decatur Co.



 True ghost town with an abandoned bank and schoolhouse (W17b)


From W26dc

Founded as a post office on September 13, 1881, it was called Altory. Anselmo B. Smith platted the town site, located 10 miles of Oberlin, in 1885 and called it Kanona. The town had a hardware store, a barbershop, two general stores, and a hotel. By 1910, the population was 125. By 1920, Kanona was a shipping point along the Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy Railroad line. A stockyard and two elevators were built near the tracks.

Several fires in the 1920's destroyed several of the businesses, and a tornado in 1949 damaged the school, lumberyard, and many other buildings in town. Today there is not much left of the town.



Population figures:

·        1930 – N/L, 1980 - rural, 1990 - rural, 2000 - rural, 2010 –


 9 miles east of Oberlin and south of the highway (1938)

3S, 27W


Faded Dreams, Cyclopedia


63 (86, 95, 02 – F/7); 69 (B/3); W17b;


Johnson Co.

This class A/F agricultural town was located on the Santa Fe Trail, on the west side of the Bull Creek Crossing, two miles northeast of present-day Edgerton, which is on US 56, 40 miles southwest of Kansas City.  Today the town is all gone, except the Lanesfield School, which is a county historical site located on the east side of Dillie Road, midway between W 183rd St and W 191st St, about a mile west of US 56.


Lanesfield was laid out in 1858 across the creek from its rival town McCamish.  A post office called Hibbard was established here on February 26, 1855, and on July 17, 1861 it changed its name to Lanesfield.  In 1863 a school opened, but was taught from a home.  1867 a nursery there as well as a log schoolhouse, and in 1869 that was replaced by a rectangular, fieldstone, one-room schoolhouse for the town’s 18 students.  A year later the student population had increased to 69.  At this time, Lanesfield outgrew McCamish, which foundered.  Some of the businesses in Lanesfield included: a blacksmith shop, three churches (Christian, Methodist and Presbyterian), a two-story hotel, the post office, school, three stores, 17 residences and around 100 people.  There were no saloons.


In 1870, the ATSF Railroad came through, bypassing the town by several miles.  As a result, both Lanesfield and McCamish packed up and relocated to the railroad.  As all the buildings in both towns were moved, and the school building was made of rock, it remained behind as a rural school serving the surrounding farms. The relocated communities combined into one town called Martinsburgh.  The Lanesfield Post Office relocated on July 17, 1870 and changed names to Martinsburgh.  In July 1841, the names were all changed to Edgerton.


The schoolhouse was remodeled a couple times, in 1883 and again in 1904 after a lightning strike damaged the structure.  It remained in use and along with a couple other revisions, continued to serve its educational capacity until 1963.  In 1967 the old school was opened as a museum, but was underfunded and began to deteriorate.  In October 1988 it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places, and underwent a restoration to its 1904 look.  On April 1, 1989 it reopened as a museum and has remained open since, the only remaining building in Lanesfield.


It was also the site of a battle between Free State supporters and Slave State supporters in September 1856.


Population figures:

·        1980 - , 1990 - , 2000 - , 2010 -


LOCATION: (Lanesfield School Historic Site)

·        Ctr Sec 32, T14S, R22E, 6PM, McCamish Twp.

·        Latitude: 38.7894520 / 38° 47' 22" N

·        Longitude: -94.9916332 / 94° 59' 30" W



·        W2 (school); W7a, b; W8d; W14; W15; W19 (September 12, 2012);


Clark Co.

This class A-boomtown was located 15 miles north of Ashland. 


It was founded during the 1884-1887 land boom, but without an viable economy, it faded rapidly.  It lasted long enough to be named as a voting district in 1885.  In the early 1890s Luman Snyder’s blacksmith moved to Minneola and R. B. Smiley, the storekeeper/postmaster relocated to Ashland, leaving the town abandoned, except the schoolhouse.  A post office operated here from July 21, 1885 through November 30, 1900, with Wesley M. Hale the first postmaster and storekeeper, as well as one of the town founders.  It was on the local Methodist-Episcopal Church circuit, but no building was built.


GNIS shows the site on the NE corner of the junction CR15/CR H, miles southeast of Minneola


Population figures:

·        1980 - , 1990 - , 2000 - , 2010 -



·        SW¼ Sec 6, T31S, R23W, 6PM, Appleton Twp.

·        Latitude: 37.3689125 / 37° 22' 08" N

·        Longitude: -99.8517972 / 99° 51' 06" W



·        52a (pg 49); 52b (pgs 34, 75); 52c (pgs 56, 72); W2; W5a (pg 359 – Clark County entry); W7a, b;


Johnson Co.

This class A townsite was originally established at the Santa Fe Road crossing of Bull Creek in 1857 by Richard McCamish.  The Hibbard Post Office was already operating on the west side of the river at what was to become LANESFIELD.  McCamish laid out the town on the east side of the creek and named it after himself.  It was to be a pro-slavery rival for free-state Lanesfield and located about two miles northeast of today’s Edgerton. It suffered from the growth at Lanesfield and managed to sport only one saloon and a general store.  It is said that the post office name started with Hibbard, and was also known as Bull Creek and Uniontown as well as Lanesfield and McCamish.


In 1870, what remained of the town relocated to what became known as Edgerton.  Nothing remains today.


Population figures:

·        1980 - , 1990 - , 2000 - , 2010 -



·        E-Ctr Sec 32, T14S, R22E, 6PM, McCamish Twp.

·        Latitude: 38.7904924 / 38° 47' 26" N

·        Longitude: -94.9849470 / 94° 59' 06" W



W2 (Not listed, but coordinates obtained through it); W7a, b; W8d; W14; W15; W19 (September 12, 2012);


Franklin Co.

This class A wannabe state capital was about eight miles north-northwest of Ottawa, 17 miles south of Lawrence and a mile east of Centropolis, east of Eight-Mile Creek and west of the Minneola School. (Do not confuse with the Minneola in Clark Co.)  The Minneola School was located on the west side of Kentucky Road, 1.5 miles south of the county line and just a hundred yards or so south of the junction with Stafford Ter., 2.5 miles west of US 59 and 1.8 AIR miles due east of Centropolis.


In 1856 the embryonic town of St. Bernard was destroyed by Free-Staters in a clash with pro-slavery folks.  St. Bernard had been established as the county seat on the east bank of Eight-Mile Creek in 1855 and a post office opened that same year.  After St. Bernard was burned, a new group of investors called the Minneola Town Company drew up plans and platted a large city on 320 acres, to try for the county seat and territorial capital.  It was to be located almost on the same site and the development began.  According to an article in the Ottawa Republican, dated August 9, 1877, a total of 30 or 40 buildings were erected, including houses, a 77-room hotel and a legislative hall. 


On February 10, 1858 territorial capital status was given to Minneola, but was quickly voided as it turned out to be a scandal, due to the awarding of future city land to the legislators for their votes.  On March 22, the territorial legislature met in their new facility at Minneola and a major debate raged through the night.  The next morning, Leavenworth got the honor, and Minneola foundered.  Even so, on November 26, 1858, the St. Bernard Post Office changed its name to Minneola. 


Minneola foundered and by 1860, the county seat was relocated to Ohio City.  On February 21, 1863 the post office was relocated to Centropolis (still a small town).  On November 25, 1863 the Centropolis Post Office came back to Minneola, again changing its name.  In April 1864, the former legislative hall was de-constructed and moved to Ottawa.  The post office was finally discontinued on December 08, 1865, sealing the dead town’s fate.  The few remaining buildings were torn down and/or relocated, while Minneola quickly reverted to farmland.


During its turbulent lifetime, the town sported newspapers.  They included:


Kansas Leader (February 24, 1858 – single issue), Journal (March 19, 1864 - single issue), Kansas Journal (April 09, 1864  - single issue), Journal (April 30 – May 28, 1864),  Kansas Weekly News Journal (June 04 - September 03, 1864).



A good source for the early history of this town can be found here.  Another excellent article on the story of Minneola is the two part series in the Ottawa Herald for October 20, 1986 and October 21, 1986.


GNIS lists Minneola as a variant name for Centropolis, even though they were separate entities.


Population figures:

·        1980 - , 1990 - , 2000 - , 2010 -


LOCATION: (West Jct of Iowa/Stafford Roads)

·        Ctr of W line SW¼ Sec 29, Ctr of E line SE¼ Sec 30, T15S, R19E, 6PM, Centropolis Twp.

·        Latitude: 38.7133365 / 38° 42' 48" N

·        Longitude: -95.3346020 / 95° 20' 04" W


LOCATION: (Minneola School)

·        NEC of the SE¼ Sec 29, T15S, R19E, 6PM, Centropolis Twp.

·        Latitude: 38.7163968 / 38° 42' 59" N

·        Longitude: -95.3160860 / 95° 18' 58" W


LOCATION: (Centropolis)

·        NW¼ of the SW¼ Sec 30, T15S, R19E, 6PM, Centropolis Twp.

·        Latitude: 38.7161188 / 38° 42' 58" N

·        Longitude: -95.3502536 / 95° 21' 01" W



·        25 (pgs 61-65); W2; W3; W7a, b, c;


Scott Co. 

In 1912 was listed a hamlet along the Missouri-Pacific Railroad (BNSF RR today) 9 miles west of the county seat at Scott.  It had an express office and a “money-order” post office.


Crossing into Scott County, the next little town is MODOC. This town is slowly sliding towards ghost town status, having only 60 people in 1990.  It is north of SH 96, along the UPRR, 2.5 miles east of the county line.  The split main street is lined with a few houses, some interesting commercial buildings and lots of dead cars.  It was originally known as Plummer, and had a post office 1886-1992.


From W26sc

The town site was purchased by the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad company, which then surveyed and platted 200 acres into town lots. The ATSF and the Missouri Pacific Railroads both built large depots and stockyards to work with transporting livestock.


Population figures:

·        1910 – 75,  1980 - 55, 1990 - 60, 2000 - 35, 2010 -



·        SE¼ of the NW¼ Sec 25, T1S, R14E, 6PM (6th Prime Meridian & 40° Base Line), Berwick Twp.

·        Latitude: 39.9369449 / 39° 56' 13" N

·        Longitude: -95.7980448 / 95° 47' 53" W



·        63 (86, 95, 02 – L/4); 69 (E/2); 78 (May 2006, GTUSA Column); PV (Jul 2005); W2; W5b (pg 298);


Woodson Co.

Located along the Neosho River



NEOSHO FALLS was established by Isaac Dow and Nathaniel S. Goss at a spot where the river dropped, which gave them a good location to established a mill.


In 1870, the M-K-T Railroad ran a “feeder line” through the town. (It shut down in 1970).


1882-1883 population said to have been 750 and had a full compliment of businesses.


In 1887, the ATSF Railroad came through (it shut down in 1935)


In 1951, the town flooded and faded from that point on.


The school was built in 1939, and closed in the 1960s, starting with the high school in 1961, followed by the grammar school in 1969.


In 2005 the small community building was located in front of the massive, abandoned, brick and concrete, 2-story school.  Other buildings of note include the white wood-framed Methodist Church; Senior Center; the vine-covered, two-story, brick Memorial Hall; a couple smaller gas station-looking buildings; a squat, solid powerhouse along the river at The Falls; and a park. 


Located next to a row of metal elevators/silos was “The Last Resort” a bar and last surviving business in town.  In 2009 it had been renamed “The Oasis.”



The first and longest lasting newspaper appears to by the Post, which underwent numerous name changes in its 1873-1934 run

Woodson County Post (#1) (September 24, 1873 – January 05, 1883)

Neosho Falls Post (#1) (January 12, 1883 – December 02, 1887)

Post (December 16, 1887 – December 26, 1890)

Neosho Falls Post (#2) (January 02, 1891 – May 34, 1934)

Woodson County & Neosho Falls Post (June 07 – September 20, 1934)

Woodson County Post (#2) (September 27, 1934 – February 17, 1936)


Other shorter-termed papers included:


Young Jayhawker (April – July 1877 – three issues only – monthy?)

Our School Review (May 1878 – single issue)

People’s Herald (August 14 – October 23, 1878)

Weekly Record (August 12 – September 09, 1879)

District Fair Daily News (September 23, 1880 – single issue)

Woodson County Republican (September 08, 1886 – January 05, 1887)

Woodson County Independent (January 12 – August 03, 1887) (MAY have been a name change for the Republican)

Neosho Valley Reformer (#2) (February 18 – May 06, 1898)

Four Counties Paper (September 25, 1927 – May 23, 1928)




Population figures:

·        1930 – 462, 1970 – 184, 1980 - 157, 1990 - 157, 2000 - 179, 2010 -



63 (86, 95, 02 – M/22); 69 (F/10); W7c; W16b; W18



AKA – Pond Creek City

Pond City

Pond Creek Stage Station

Wallace Co.

This historic stagecoach station was located on the Smoky Hill trail (Atchison, KS to Denver, CO) at the mouth of Pond Creek, about 1.5 miles southwest of present day Wallace.  When the Kansas Pacific (now UP) Railroad came through, the stage station relocated about ¾ of a mile northwest to the railroad line.  Due to Indian attacks, a small military post was established next to it.  In 1866 that post moved 2½ miles to the east …SEE Fort Wallace Entry above


The Smoky Hill Trail stretched from David A. Butterfield’s adopted hometown of Atchison, KS to Denver Co., a rough, dangerous 592-mile long road filled with 12 days of “adventure” through rough terrain and unfriendly Native Americans. The first stage coach rolled out on September 11, 1865 but due to bad weather, inability of the army to protect the travelers and continual depredation of Butterfield’s stations and horses, he sold out to a Platte River Road freighter named Ben Holladay.  Holladay had the same issues as Butterfield, so in November of the same year, Holladay sold out to Wells, Fargo & Company.  They operated the line only until February 1867, when they sold to the United States Express Company.  Shortly thereafter, the line folded as the railroad took over most of the business.


After the fort relocated and the stage lines stopped running, the location called itself Pond City and acted as a blow-off town with saloons and brothels serving the soldiers at Fort Wallace.  A post office also operated at Pond Creek from November 30, 1868 through April 11, 1870, at which time the town was abandoned and the remaining 40 or so citizens moved to Wallace and the newly arrived railroad.


NOTE: This Butterfield line is NOT related to John Warren Butterfield’s famous Butterfield Overland Express Company, which.  That company’s line DID NOT run through Kansas.


Population figures:

·        1980 - , 1990 - , 2000 - , 2010 -



  ORIGINAL SITE (Confluence of Pond Creek/Smoky River)

·        SWC of the NW¼ Sec 25, T13S, R39W, 6PM, Wallace Twp.

·        Latitude: 38.8966762 / 38° 53' 48" N

·        Longitude: -101.6104457 / 101° 36' 38" W



·        NWC Sec 26, T13S, R39W, 6PM, Wallace Twp.

·        Latitude: 38.9022097 / 38° 54' 02" N

·        Longitude: -101.6294229 / 101° 37' 01" W



·        14 (pgs 254-258); 25 (pg 252); W2; W7a, b;


Nemaha Co.

This forgotten ghost was once a way-station on the Fort Leavenworth Trail, along the west side of the South Fork of the Nemaha River, just south of the confluence with Wildcat Creek, about three miles north of Seneca. It became an important stopping point along the road, but when traffic rerouted through Seneca later, the old town died.


It was established as a river crossing on the Fort Leavenworth Trail in the summer of 1855.  The developers quickly built a hotel and store, along with a dozen "shacks" housing saloons and other diversions for travelers.  It also obtained county seat honors, and on July 11, 1855, the post office opened with Isaac H. Steer as the postmaster.


This pro-slavery community quickly engaged in the free-state vs pro-slavery debate, and an active rivalry with a neighboring town called Central City.  Another free-state town called Seneca was established about two miles to the south in 1857, and the builders there also made a crossing of the river.  The final insult was the Seneca folks sowing grain seed on the trail to Richmond and erecting a sign pointing to their clear trail.  An election was pushed to remove the county seat from Richmond, and in 1858 not only did the county vote to abolish slavery, they also voted to remove the county seat from Richmond and install it at Seneca.


Richmond quickly faded and the post office was discontinued July 12, 1859.


Population figures:

·        1980 - , 1990 - , 2000 - , 2010 -



·        NEC of the SE¼ of the SW¼ Sec 14, T2S, R12E, 6PM, Richmond Twp.

·        Latitude: 39.8742112 / 39° 52' 27" N APPROX

·        Longitude: -96.0444437 / 96° 02' 40" W APPROX



·        W2 (Not listed, but coordinates obtained through it); W3; W7a, b; W8e; W13


Haskell Co.

This class A former county seat is on the northwest corner of the junction of US 83/US 160 (W)/SH 144 (E), six miles north of Sublette, some 50 miles southwest of Dodge City. 


Santa Fe was founded in 1886, and the post office was established on June 16, 1886.  Some of the businesses in the fledgling town included: a bakery, two grocewry stores, hotel with boarders, laundry, two lumberyards and a restaurant. The population is said to have boomed to 1000 or so, and in mid-1887, the town quickly went into a head-to-head battle with Ivanhoe for the county seat honors when the county was organized on July 1.  Santa Fe received 562 votes, while Ivanhoe got 396.  On January 2, 1888 Santa Fe incorporated as a third-class city and boasted a population of “over 350, less than 2000.”


Life was good for a few years, with many more businesses added to its commercial collection:  three banks, a couple more hotels, newspapers, grocery stores, churches and a school were built.  However, with the land rush in nearby Oklahoma and a lack of railroad transportation, by 1910 the population had dropped to 150.  In 1912, it still had a bank, two active newspapers (the Santa Fe Monitor [1888 - 1918] and the Haskell County Republican [January 27, 1899 - April 11, 1913]), post office and several stores.


These two weekly newspapers were the longest running of the several that came and went, merged, changed names and so forth.  According to The Library of Congress, others included:  (USE this source for the other towns also)

·        Haskell County Review (July 2, 1887 - February 1, 1888)

·        Santa Fe Champion (c. May 1887 - c.1888)

·        Santa Fe Leader (c.1886? - c. December 27, 1888)

·        Santa Fe Times (merged with the Monitor 1892-1894)

·        Santa Fe Trail (June 6, 1895 - January 6, 1898)



According to W11c the newspapers included: (ones marked this way are unchanged between the two sources)

Ivanhoe Times (December 12, 1885 – September 02, 1892) (maybe relocated but did not change the name until 1892?)

Times (September 09 – November 18, 1892)

Santa Fe Monitor (June 15, 1888 – July 18, 1918)

Santa Fe Monitor & Times (December 08, 1892 – April 26, 1894) (In 1892 merged with Times, then in 1894 dropped the Times part of the name)


Santa Fe Trail (June 11, 1886 – December 23, 1887, June 06, 1895 – January 06, 1898)

Santa Fe Champion (May 21, 1887 – May 12, 1888)

Haskell County Review (July 2, 1887 - February 1, 1888)

Haskell County Republican (#1) (February 08 – May 30, 1888)

Santa Fe Leader (April 26 – December 27, 1888)

Haskell County Republican (#2) (January 27, 1899 - April 11, 1913)





In 1913, the Santa Fe Railroad came through, bypassing the town.  In that year little remained except the courthouse and a bitter court battle over the relocation of the county seat.  By 1920 most of the town and its buildings had relocated to Sublette or Satanta.  Because it was located on the railroad, nearby Sublette obtained the county seat, and Santa Fe quickly declined.  The post office closed on July 31, 1925, and what remained of the town has since faded into oblivion. The site is now a cattle feedlot.


From W26hs

Named after the trail that passed through five miles north of the town site, Santa Fe was platted on July 31, 1886. At that time it was located in Finney County, which changed its boundaries in 1887, and Haskell County was established. Santa Fe was right in the center of the newly formed county. It was named the temporary county seat in July, and in November, the town won the permanent county seat after an election was held.

Both the Kansas, Texas and Southwestern Railroad and the Dodge City, Montezuma and Trinidad Railroad expressed interest in building a railroad to Santa Fe, but neither option worked out because they decided to build tracks south of the town. Santa Fe began to decline in the early 1900's after these two railroads decided not to build to the town, but its citizens still held out hope that another railroad would make plans to build tracks to town. After a third railroad, the Wichita Falls Railroad, had made plans to come but decided not to, an election was held on February 5, 1913 to determine the county seat. The choices were Santa Fe and Sublette. When Sublette did not receive the required three fifths of the vote, they took the matter to the Kansas Supreme Court which ruled in favor of Sublette.

Most of the citizens left Santa Fe during the next five years and moved to either Sublette, 7 miles south of Santa Fe, or Satanta, west of Sublette. The land that once was home to a town called Santa Fe is now being farmed.

The ethnicity of its settlers is unknown.




Population figures:

·        1980 - , 1990 - , 2000 - , 2010 -



·        NEC of the SE¼ Sec 36, T28S, R33W, 6PM, Haskell Twp.

·        Latitude: 37.5694689 / 37° 34' 10" N

·        Longitude: -100.8712748 / 100° 52' 17" W



·        25 (pgs 292-294; W2 (Not listed, but coordinates obtained through it); W5b (pg 645); W7a, b, c, d (Haskell Co.); W12 (March 02, 2012) ;



Woodson Co.

START HERE on updates


This class B- “silver” mining town was near Yates Center, 50 miles north of Independence.           In the 1850s, what was thought to be silver was discovered.  A rush occurred, buildings went up and mining shafts went down.  When the ore turned out to not be silver, the mines closed and the town folded.  Exact location not determined.


Population figures:

·        1980 - , 1990 - , 2000 - , 2010 -



·        SE¼ of the NW¼ Sec 25, T1S, R14E, 6PM, Berwick Twp.

·        Latitude: 39.9369449 / 39° 56' 13" N

·        Longitude: -95.7980448 / 95° 47' 53" W



·        W2 (Not listed, but coordinates obtained through it); W3, W7b;


Cherokee Co.

This location is on NW 40th Street, south of NW Weir Road, in the northwest part of the county 5.5 miles southwest of Cherokee (Crawford Co.) and two miles northeast of West Mineral.  Not much remains.  It had a post office from June 21, 1900 through July 31, 1918.  In 1912 it was listed in the Cyclopedia of Kansas as a “mining hamlet.”  At that time it had a “money-order post office,” and a population (in 1910) of 25.


Population figures:

·        1980 - , 1990 - , 2000 - , 2010 -



·        NW¼ Sec 33, T31S, R23E, 6PM, Ross Twp.

·        Latitude: 37.3072792 / 37° 18' 26" N

·        Longitude: -94.9044072 / 94° 54' 16" W



·        W2; W5b (pg 768); W7a, b;


Atchison Co.

This pioneering Kansas city was located along the Missouri River, three miles south of Atchison, and northwest of Kansas City.  It was established in 1855 when the free-staters were kicked out of Atchison.  They established a new community on the bluffs above the Missouri River and in 1856 started marketing.  A post office opened on July 22, 1857 and by 1858 some 2000 residents called Sumner home.  It had a large hotel and even a wagon & implement factory.  Even though Sumner was larger than Atchison, the county seat election of 1858 awarded the honors to Atchison.


The Sumner Gazette newspaper, operated off and on with minor name changes from at least September 12, 1857 through August 27, 1859, and then again between September 16 and November 19, 1871.


Sumner began to fade, and when the railroad went to Atchison rather than Sumner, the death knell sounded.  In 1860 a tornado ripped through the heart of the remaining town and pretty much wiped it off the face of the earth.  The post office was discontinued on January 28, 1868, but reopened on June 29, 1868, closing again for good January 03, 1870.


The now forgotten site of this ghost town is on private property and has no remains.


Population figures:

·        1980 - , 1990 - , 2000 - , 2010 -



·        NW¼ of the NE¼ Sec 19, T6S, R21E, 6PM, WalnutTwp.

·        Latitude: 39.5194409 / 39° 31' 10" N

·        Longitude: -95.1113567 / 95° 06' 41" W



·        25 (pgs ix-x, xi, 20-23); W2; W3; W7a, b, c;


Chase Co.

20 miles south of Cottonwood Falls, the county seat.

12 miles south of the railroad town/shipping center (1912) of Bazaar.

In 1912 it was listed as a “little inland hamlet” and had a daily stage to Matfield Green.  The 1910 census listed a population of 30.


Post office August 24, 1874 > January 31, 1909.


Population figures:

·        1980 - , 1990 - , 2000 - , 2010 -



·        NW¼ of the NE¼ Sec 19, T6S, R21E, 6PM, Matfield GreenTwp.

·        Latitude: 39.5194409 / 39° 31' 10" N

·        Longitude: -95.1113567 / 95° 06' 41" W



·        21; W5b (pg 808); W7a, b;


Cherokee Co.

ADD  personal visit 2012 (WET May 2013 – GTUSA column)


     In 1930, Treece, just across the state line in Kansas, had 749 people.  By 2011 only one building remained and by June 2012, the site was off limits and had a population of zero.


In 1922, the Treece Booster (newspaper) operated a short time between February 16 and March 09, 1922.


For more details, see our PICHER OK page (encompasses Treece in the vignette for Picher.)


Population figures:


1930 – 749

1950 - 378

1970 – 225

1980 – 194

1990 – 172

2000 - 149

2010 - 138

2012 – 0 (disincorporated)



63 (86, 95, 02 – Q/24);


Clark Co.

Another class A-1880s boomtown located nine miles north of Englewood (2 miles south of jct with US 160???) and just off US 283.


Vesta was established by Harry W. Henry and several other developers in May 1885, and a post office and several businesses were quickly established.  A store was established by W.Y and Charles I. Peck, the brothers who were later in 1885 involved in a shooting in Englewood.  They were fined $500.  In June it was a designated voting precinct even though it never had more than two or three buildings.  Like other boom towns of the era, it had no viable economy and by 1888 Vesta was a memory.


The post office operated from July 10, 1885 with Harry Henry as the first postmaster.  It became a part of Clark County when it was carved out of Ford County in 1886 and operated through March 31, 1891.


Population figures:

·        1980 - , 1990 - , 2000 - , 2010 -


LOCATION:  (NEC of the junction US 283/CR V)

·        SWC Sec 18, T33S, R24W, 6PM, Englewood Twp. APPROX

·        Latitude: 37.1664399 / 37° 09' 59" N APPROX

·        Longitude: -99.9815454 / 99° 58' 54" W APPROX



·        52a (pgs 22, 49); 52b (pgs 31, 65); 52d (pgs 17, 19, 21, 22); W2; W7a, b;


Wallace Co.





Wallace County News (June 12, 1885 – November 27, 1887)

Wallace County Register (January 02, 1886 – March 15, 1890)

Western Kansas Rustler (August 17 – September 30, 1886)

Wallace Weekly Herald (March 10, 1888 – February 23, 1889)

Wallace County Gazette (June 04, 1890 – February 04, 1891)

Wallace County Index (March 09 – August 03, 1906)



Population figures:

·        1930 – N/L, 1970 - 112, 1980 - 86, 1990 - 75, 2000 - 67, 2010 -



63 (86, 95, 02 – J/3); 69 (D/1);W7c;


Riley Co.

“There are still a few people living there last I knew. I went to first grade and fourth grade at the school that was there. I lived in the house across the street from it. Right next door, Paul Richards had his grocery store/butcher store. I grew up with his girls Rexene and Lori. I also went to church in the big church just a couple of blocks away. Lot of fond memories.”

Contributed by Lori Bjorling-Ford, October 18, 2008


It is located at the junction of Tabor Valley Road/SH 18 (Zeandale Road), two miles west of the Riley/Wabaunsee County line and 1.5 miles south of the river.  A post office operated here from June 29, 1857 through March 16, 1868.  It was re-established on August 27, 1888 and finally discontinued on December 31, 1944.  (GBS)


In 1912, it was located on the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad eight miles east of Manhattan, and had an express office, post office and telegraph office.


40-acre cemetery


Population figures:

·        1870 – ,  1910 – 75, 1930 – N/L, 1970 – , 1980 – 45, 1990 –50, 2000 - 50, 2010 –



·        SEC Sec 20, SWC Sec 21, NEC Sec 29, T10S, R9E, 6PM, Zeandale Twp.

·        Latitude: 39.1594419 / 39° 09' 34" N

·        Longitude: -96.4266661 / 96° 25' 36" W



·        43E; 63 (86, 95, 02 – I/19); 69 (C/9); W2; W5b (pg 954); W7a, b; W8f




Historians estimate that there may be as many as 50,000 ghost towns scattered across the United States of America.

Gary B. Speck Publications is in process of publishing unique state, regional, and county guides called

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These original guides are designed for anybody interested in ghost towns. Whether you are a casual tourist looking for a new and different place to visit, or a hard-core ghost town researcher, these guides will be just right for you. With over 30 years of research behind them, they will be a welcome addition to any ghost towner's library.

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First Posted:  April 16, 2001

Last Updated: December 27, 2014 (MAJOR revision)




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