PEABODY, MARION COUNTY, KANSAS

 

The following is from a visitor guide from approximately 1965.

Enjoy your visit. It is always a pleasure for Peabody to welcome visitors to our city. We hope you will enjoy your visit and want to return again and again. Peabody has had an interesting history and is still a growing, changing city.

historically speaking, Marion County, organized in 1860 is one of the oldest counties in the state of Kansas and was named for General Francis Marion of Revolutionary War fame.

The first settlement of Peabody, originally called Coneburg, was made in the autumn of 1870 by a small group of colonists from Wisconsin. By June of 1871, the main line of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe railroad had reached the town site and soon the directors of the railroad passed through town on their way up the Arkansas River Valley. As an honor to F.H.Peabody of Boston, treasurer of the Santa Fe, the new town was named for him. In 1874 he presented to the new growing settlement, a library building, furniture and a collection of 2,000 books for free public use. Peabody always has been proud of having received and maintained this cultural center, the first free public library in the state of Kansas. In 1914 the present Carnegie Library was erected. Through the efforts of the civic organizations, the original Peabody building has been preserved and in 1961, during the Kansas Centennial year, it was dedicated as the Peabody Library Historical Museum.

In August 1874, one of the first groups of Mennonites arrived in Marion County at the Peabody Santa Fe depot, moving the next day by wagon across the prairie to land they had purchased northwest of town. They brought with them, in stone jars, the carefully selected hard Red Turkey wheat.

Frederic Remington, a young art student from the East, arrived in Peabody in 1880 and bought a ranch south of town. Fascinated by the western scene, he begn filling notebooks with on-the-spot sketches of men and animals in action. Restless by nature, he later traveled on westward following the frontier and its colorful life.

Today's visitors, approaching Peabody from the north and east on Highway U. S. 50 will notice, three miles east of town, a tall monument atop a high point. This is Indian Guide where once stood a huge pile of native stone, the Indians' marker placed there to direct other migrating Indian tribes to the flinty rock of Chase County from which their arrowheads, spears, knives and other articles could be made. Nearer town the local golf links comes into view. Then at the north end of town proper are the two newer school buildings: Junior and Senior High School and the Brown Building, used for athletics, vocational agriculture and shops. Several blocks away is the Elementary School, the original school building built of stone, providing ample facilities for the younger children of both town and unified country school districts. Throughout the school system scholarship has always been stressed and each year the Kiwanis Club and Alumni Association offer monetary awards as an additional incentive.

Driving about town one finds miles of paved, tree-lined streets, may fine homes, six churches, the Carnegie Library, the City Hall built in 1886, the Peabody Library historical museum, modern stores and shops and bowling alley, all indications of culture, comfort and community progress.

Primarily a city of homes, Peabody has had its share of industries, the most interesting one of the past was that of silk culture here. At a silk station, established in 1885, silk was reeled from cocoons of silk worms fed and cared for locally. The project was abandoned in a few years due to repeal of the protective tariff which allowed cheaper Japanese silk to enter this country duty free.

Three blocks west of Main Street is a plot of 23 acres, originally called the Agricultural Fair Grounds, where the first county fair was held in 1875. Here was an excellent race track and grandstand, also display building with booths and stalls, but the horse racing aroused the chief interest.

With the turn of the century the Fair Grounds became the City Park. It was landscaped adn provided with play ground equipment. Chautauquas were held there for ten successive seasons. More recently an electrically lighted stadium has been built and in 1963, a municipal swimming pool. These facilities make possible a year round recreational program for the young people.

Annually an estimated 15-20 thousand people attend Peabody's Chamber of Commerce 4th of July Celebration and Fireworks display.

A few blocks from the park area are two new projects of which the community is justly proud: the Peabody Memorial Nursing Hospital and the County Cedar Rest Home, both new, modern buildings provided with the latest equipment for care fo the elderly, an asset to any town.

Enjoy your visit and we invite you to come back again. 

 

 

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places:

W. H. Morgan house
Old Peabody Library, currently called Peabody Historical Museum
Peabody City Park
Peabody Downtown Historic District: Walnut Street area, between Division and First Street
Peabody Township Carnegie Library, currently called Peabody Township Library
J. S. Schroeder Building



Mayors of Peabody, Marion County, Kansas

2009-Now  Larry K Larsen

2007–2008  Edmund Slocombe

2005–2006  Tom Schmidt

2003–2004  Randy Dallke

2001–2002  Kevin Ensminger

1998–2001  N.M. Patton

1977–1998  Douglas Porter

1971–1976  Guy Meirowsky

1967-1970 John DeForest

1961-1964 John DeForest

1953-1956  John DeForest

1965-1966  Earl Graham

1957-1960 Earl Graham

1949–1952 Ray Beeton

1941–1948 D.M. Ward

1937–1940 A.H. Gilfillan

1933–1936 Oliver Kornhaus

1931–1932 John Willoughby

1928–1930 Herbert H Wehry

1925–1927 L.W. Noble

1923-24, 1916 J.W. Nusbaum

1941–1948 D.M. Ward

1937–1940 A.H. Gilfillan

1933–1936 Oliver Kornhaus

1931–1932 John Willoughby

1928–1930 Herbert H Wehry

1925–1927 L.W. Noble

1923-24, 1916 J.W. Nusbaum

1941–1948 D.M. Ward

1937–1940 A.H. Gilfillan

1933–1936 Oliver Kornhaus

1931–1932 John Willoughby

1928–1930 Herbert H Wehry

1925–1927 L.W. Noble

1923-24, 1916 J.W. Nusbaum

1941–1948 D.M. Ward

1937–1940 A.H. Gilfillan

1933–1936 Oliver Kornhaus

1931–1932 John Willoughby

1928–1930 Herbert H Wehry

1925–1927 L.W. Noble

1923-24, 1916 J.W. Nusbaum



1941–1948  D.M. Ward

1937–1940  A.H. Gilfillan

1933–1936  Oliver Kornhaus

1931–1932  John Willoughby

1928–1930  Herbert H Wehry

1925–1927  L.W. Noble

1923-24, 1916 J.W. Nusbaum

1919–1922  Arnold Berns

1917–1918  Orlando Jolliffe

1915  H.A. Kobel

1911–1914 W.H. Sulphin [10]

1905–1910 J.S. Holmberg

1903–1904 G.W. Campbell

1897-1898, 1902 O.J. Furst

1901  D.L. Sammis

1900  John Janett

1899–1900  Thomas Osborne

1896-1891 W.M. Irwin

1894–1895 A.A. Wheeler

1893 W.H. Traver

1992 J.M Bechtel

1890 A.H. Smock

1889 W.M. Brueser

1894–1895 A.A. Wheeler

1893 W.H. Traver

1992 J.M Bechtel

1890 A.H. Smock

1889 W.M. Brueser

1887 F.B. McKercher

1888 J.F. Hess

1886 I.A. Shriver

1886 G.A. Funk

1884-1885


1883 D. McKercher

1882 F.C. Bush

1881 F.H. Kollock

1880 G.W. Neal

1879 Philip Weidlein


 

 

 

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