Eureka, the judicial seat and largest town in Greenwood county, is located south and a little west of the center of the county on Fall river and on the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe and the Missouri Pacific railroads. It is 158 miles southwest of Atchison and 109 miles south of Topeka. Eureka has all the modern improvements expected in a city of its size. It is lighted by electricity, has natural gas for lighting, heating and commercial purposes, a fire department and waterworks. Among the business enterprises are a wagon factory, broom factory, flour mill, 4 banks, good hotels and two weekly newspapers. All the leading denominations of churches are represented and the schools are unsurpassed in the state. This is an important grain, live-stock and produce shipping point. There are telegraph and express offices and an international money order postoffice with five rural routes. The population, according to the census of 1910, was 2,333.
Eureka was located in 1857, and the first building was a school house built of short planks hewn from logs. This was a general purpose house and was used for all public purposes. The town site belonged to David Tucker and Levi N. Prather. Mr. Tucker bought out Prather for $160, and in 1867 sold the whole site to the town company for $50. The postoffice was established in 1858, with Edwin Tucker as postmaster. There was no store until after the war, and all goods had to be brought from Kansas City or Atchison with ox teams. The first store was a community affair. James Kenner agreed to keep the store, with the understanding that if it interfered too much with his occupation of farming, he would turn it over to Edwin Tucker at the end of the year. This he did. The store was opened on April 1, 1866. Among the first business and professional men were: Dr. Reynolds, the first physician; McCartney, blacksmith, 1866; Judge Lillie, the first lawyer, 1868; Hawkins, the first carpenter, 1867, and Mr. Akers, who was the first landlord of the company hotel.
The first newspaper was the Eureka Herald, published by S. C. Mead, the initial number of which appeared in Aug., 1866. The first school was taught by Edwin Tucker in 1858. The first bank, which was also the first bank in the county, opened in the summer of 1870. It closed the first of the next year. The Eureka Bank, opened in Nov., 1870, and continued to do a successful business. In 1867 the town was laid out and lots were sold. It was incorporated first in 1870, with the following trustees I. R. Phenis, A. F. Nicholas, L. H. Pratt, Harley Stoddard and C. A. Wakefield. The next year it became a city of the third class with Ira P. Nye as mayor and George H. Lillie as city clerk. Eureka became the county seat and the first term of court was held in May, 1867, but adjourned without transacting any business. (Kansas: A Cyclopedia of State History, Volume I, 1912, by Frank W. Blackmar, Page 599)
Madison, the second town in importance and size in Greenwood county, is located on the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe and the Missouri Pacific railroads, and on the Verdigris river in Madison township, 27 miles northeast of Eureka, the county seat. It is the only important shipping and receiving station for many miles around and has a number of mercantile establishments. There are 2 banks, a weekly newspaper (the Spirit), express and telegraph offices, and an international money order postoffice with five rural routes. The schools are excellent and all the leading denominations of churches are represented. The population in 1910 was 721.
The first Madison was established in 1872, northwest of the present town. E. Smith opened a general merchandise store, and later four men named Green, Strails, Crinkle and Oglesby erected log buildings and began business. In 1879, when the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe R. R. was built, the town was moved to the present site, which was laid out by a town company with the following officers: President, L. J. Cunkle; secretary, S. J. Wells; treasurer, W. Martindale. The postoffice was also moved, the postmaster, T. A. McClure, still retaining his office. A school house was built at the cost of $1,100, and E. Walters was the first teacher. The first building on the new town site was the residence of W. H. Green. Professional people came in, new business enterprises were established and inside of two years the population had increased to 300. The first church was organized by Rev. H. P. Baker before the founding of the town. The first newspaper (the Madison News) was established in 1879 by W. O. Lundsford. (Kansas: A Cyclopedia of State History, Volume II, 1912, by Frank W. Blackmar, Pages 210-211)
Hamilton, a village of Greenwood county, is a station on the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe R. R. in Janesville township 15 miles northeast of Eureka, the county seat. All lines of mercantile enterprises are represented. There are banking facilities, a weekly newspaper (the Times), telegraph and express offices, and a money order postoffice with one rural route. Hamilton is an important shipping point for the products of a large and productive agricultural country. The population, according to the government report for 1910, was 325. (Kansas: A Cyclopedia of State History, Volume I, 1912, by Frank W. Blackmar, Page 803)
Fall River, an incorporated city of the third class in Greenwood county, is a station on the St. Louis & San Francisco R. R. about 22 miles southeast of Eureka, the county seat. As the name indicates it is situated on Fall river. It is a thriving little city. All lines of mercantile enterprise are represented; it has banking facilities, a weekly newspaper (the News), express and telegraph offices, and a money order postoffice with four rural routes. The population according to the census report of 1910 was 383.
The town was laid out in 1879, by the Fall River Town company. The first building was the residence of J. M. Edminston, the second was the store of the Romig Bros., and the third was the Fall River House, built by George Bulkey, the secretary of the town company. A number of buildings were moved from Charleston. Ritz & Putnam established the first general store in 1880; Dr. J. J. Lemon was the first physician; and A. M. Hunter the first attorney. The first number of the Fall River Times was issued in Sept., 1881, by N. Powell. The first school was taught by B. F. McVey in 1881. It was supported by subscription. (Kansas: A Cyclopedia of State History, Volume I, 1912, by Frank W. Blackmar, Page 321)
Virgil, a village of Greenwood county, is located on the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe R. R. and the Verdigris river in Lane township, about 20 miles northeast of Eureka, the county seat, and about 7 miles from Quincy. The town is supplied with telegraph and express offices and a money order postoffice with one rural route. Several of the leading religious denominations have church buildings, the schools are good, and the main lines of mercantile enterprise are well represented. The population according to the census report of 1910 was 173. (Kansas: A Cyclopedia of State History, Volume II, 1912, by Frank W. Blackmar, Page 849)
Climax, one of the villages of Greenwood county, is located on the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe R. R. and on Otter creek, 10 miles southeast of Eureka, the county seat. It has good churches and schools, and several of the leading lines of business activity is represented. There are telegraph and express offices and a money order postoffice. The population in 1910 was 100. (Kansas: A Cyclopedia of State History, Volume II, 1912, by Frank W. Blackmar, Page 370)