A mining station on the Girard branch of the St. Louis & San Francisco railway twenty-eight miles from Joplin, 350 miles from St. Louis, and twelve miles from Girard, in the county of Crawford, Kansas. It is a shipping-point for the minerals abouning in its section and the surplus agricultural products of the adjacent country. It has a population of 655, a public school system, church organizations and mercantile houses. the trades and minor industries are fully respresented. An important business feature of that town is the extensive zinc smelting works of Robert Lanyon & Co., which are supplied with abundance of coal in the immediate vicinity. These works produce nearly six tons of spelter per day. The Joplin Coal and Mining Company have a branch of their extensive business located at that point.
The Oswego Coal Company mine their coal in the vicinity of New Pittsburg, and supply the St. Louis & San Francisco Railway company with their fuel. Their trade in the products of coal also extends as far west as Wichita and at the intermediate points along the line. Messrs. Hobart and Condon, of Oswego, Kansas, at which place the main office is situated are the active officers of that company, the former being its president and the latter secretary and treasurer. A branch office is also established at Wichita.
Nearly in the center of the county of Crawford, upon a magnificent rolling prairie, stretching along the extreme southeastern portion of the State of Kansas, and at the terminal point of the Girard branch of the st. Louis, a San Francisco railway is the stiuation of the enterprising and thriving city of Girard. From the junction of the main line and the branch referred to, the distance is twenty-nine miles and 361 miles from st. Louis. That city is the county seat and has a population of about 1,500. It was first settled in 1869, and was laid out in the usual manner of most Western towns having a large public square and park in the center, upon either side of which are solid blocks of business houses. The streets are board and at right angles and the sidewalks commodious and in good conidtion. Its growth and prosperity are supported by a rich and productive surrounding country and which is constantly receiving large accessions from emigration.
In Crawford county the bottom lands average fifteen per cent, the balance or uplands being eighty-five percent. The timbered land is only ten percent, which the open prairie is ninety percent. The timber belt has an average width of one-half mile through the county, the varieties consisting of red and black oak, walnut, hickory, cottonwood, elm and poplar. Underlying the whole surface of the coutnry there is a strata of bituminous coal, varying in thickness from five feet to a few inches, and of a good quality. The varieties of this coal are red, black and gray, much of it being near the surface, and is obtained by stripping, at only a depth of from four to eight feet; the better quality, of course, is found at a depth of from thirty to fifty feet. It is handled and sold in Girard at ten cent per bushel.
There are important zinc smelting works at New Pittsburg, in the county of Crawford, owned and operated by Messrs. Robert Lanyon & Co. These works are supplied with coal from the immediate vicinity, one shaft yielding a daily product of from seven to ten car-loads. The zinc ore is brought from Joplin, Webb City, and other points is Jasper county, Missouri as it required three car loads of coal to smelt one of zinc, the transfer of the metal instead of the fuel is manifestly a great economy. These works give employment to about one hundred men. During the past year the Joplin Coal and Mining Company, at New Pittsburg and Carbon, shipped upwards of 3,000 carloads. The capacity of these smelting works amounts to 11,000 pounds of spelter per day, and is the source of the rapid growth of that town during the past three years. In 1879 the number of buildings erected as fifty and each succeeding year has witnessed a steady increase both in building and population. For building purposes there are large deposits of lime and sandstone in the immediate vicinity.
The county is not only free from debt, but its treasury shows a surplus of over $20,000. Fruit, hay, grain, live stock, etc., are produced and shipped in large quantities. The soil is exceptionally fertile and productive. Upon forth acres about one-fourth mile from the city of Girard, the agricultural society of that city and county have located their well-improved grounds and buildings. Within the enclosure there is an excellent one-half mile track which is a favorite with horsemen. The inhabitants of that city are moral, temperate, enterprising and intelligent. Its local affairs are ably represented by two well-conducted weekly newspapers, the "Herald" and "Press," the fomer Democratic and the latter Republican in sentiments.
The location of that town is in the southeastern portion of Crawford County, Kansas, and is a station upon the Girard branch of the St. Louis & San Francisco Railway. It is distant from St. Louis 356 miles and from Kansas City 142 miles. It was first settled but three years ago, in 1878, and its population is now about 200. It has one public school with an average attendance of twenty-five scholars; two churches, the Methodist Episcopal and Quaker denominations; two hotels and a public hall, together with several stores and the minor industries appertaining to a thrifty and growing town. Its principal shipments are the products of the adjacent country. That town also enjoys postal and express facilities.