RENO COUNTY, KANSAS

HISTORY

Abbyville, a village of Reno county, is situated in Westminister township, 17 miles southwest of Hutchinson, the county seat. The former name was Nonpariel. It is a station on the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe R. R., has a bank, a money order, postoffice with two rural routes, express, telegraph and telephone facilities, churches of the leading Protestant denominations, some mercantile and shipping interests, and in 1910 reported a population of 300. (Kansas, Frank W. Blackmar, A. M., Ph. D., Volume 1, 1912, page 17)

Arlington, an incorporated town of Reno County, is situated in the township of the same name, 17 miles southwest of Hutchinson, at the point where the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific R. R. crosses the Ninnescah river. It has a bank, grain elevators, a weekly newspaper, a good public school system, a cornet band, a money order post office with two rural free delivery routes, express and telegraph offices and is the shipping and supply point for a large area of the rich agricultural country surrounding the town. The population increased from 312 in 1900 to 450 in 1910. (Kansas, Frank W. Blackmar, A. M., Ph. D., Volume 1, 1912, page 101)

Buhler, a town in Little River township, Reno county, is located on the Little Arkansas river at the point where it is crossed by the St. Louis & St. Francisco R. R., about 12 miles northeast of Hutchinson, the county seat. It has a bank, a money order post office with two rural routes, two grain elevators, hotel, creamery, telegraph, telephone and express service, some good mercantile houses, schools, churches, etc., and in 1910 reported a population of 275. (Kansas, Frank W. Blackmar, A. M., Ph. D., Volume 1, 1912, page 252)

Haven, one of the thriving and prosperous towns of the wheat belt, is in Haven township, Reno County, and is located on the Missouri Pacific R. R. 15 miles southeast of Hutchinson, the county seat. It has 2 banks, a weekly newspaper (the Journal), a flour mill, an elevator, a creamery and a number of well stocked retail stores. The town was laid out in 1886, and was incorporated as a city of the third class in 1901. It is supplied with telegraph and express offices and has an interational money order post office with three rural routes. The population according to the census of 1910 was 528. (Kansas, Frank W. Blackmar, A. M., Ph. D., Volume 1, 1912, page 830)

Hutchinson, the "salt city," is one of the important cities of the first class in Kansas. It is the judicial seat of Reno county, in the central part of the state, and is 168 miles southwest of Topeka. It is at the outlet of a great corn and wheat raising district, and has one of the largest salt works in the world. Hutchinson is a city of active, wide-awake business men, excellent railroad facilties, fine hotels, extensive manufacturing and jobbing interests, shady streets, beautiful buildings, and plenty of automobiles. A home owned electric street railway system extends all over the city. The Hutchinson salt plants have been yielding from 2,500 to 5,000 barrels of salt per day for the last twenty years and the source still seems inexhaustible. The vein of rock salt is 400 feet thick and is found at a depth of 375 feet. The Hutchinson salt is unsurpassed as a table salt. The amounts of money spent in running these plants is enormous, the cost of fuel alone being moe than the amount received for salt sold within the state, the profits coming from export sales - and that with natural gas for fuel at 10 cents per 1,000 feet. The various flour mills have a combined capacity of 3,000 barrels per da, most of which is shipped out of the country by way of Galveston. The elevators have a storage capacity of 6,500,000 bushels. Te soda ash plant, which is probably the largest institution of its kind in the country, manufactures the raw material or base of all soda products. The wholesale business aggregates $11,500,000 annually and 400 traveling salesmen, representatives of Hutchinson firms, have their homes here. There is a meat packing establishment an the poultry and egg business is extensive and brings large returns. There are foundries, a straw board factory, canning factory, paint factory, creamery, blank book manufactory, machine shop, furniture factory and boiler works. The five Hutchinson banks have a combined capital of over $500,000, and they were among the few banks in the country which did not in some manner restrict cash payments during the panic of 1907.

The city is paved, lighted with electricity, has a good sewer system, waterworks, an efficient fire department and police force. The finest hotel between the great lakes and the Pacific coast, and the best retail stores between the 6th principal meridian and the Continental divide are located here. This is the seat of the state reformatory. Hutchinson has a live commercial club, which is continually inducing new factories and new commercial enterprises to locate there. The railroad facilties are greatly to their advantage, in these matters, and have been one of the principal factors in the growth of the city into an important commercial and manufacturing center. The main lines of both the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific and the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe pass through the city; the Missouri Pacific line from Ellsworth to wichita runs through Hutchinson and there are two additional lines of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe, one running south and the other running west to Kinsley, where it meets the main line. The frieght hauled from Hutchinson by the Santa Fe alone amounts to more tons per month than that of any town on the line, except Kansas City and the terminals. Hutchinson ranks sixth among all the towns on the road, terminals included. A state fair is held annually at Hutchinson by a fair association owning large grounds and buildings. Exhibits of live stock and agricultural products come from all over Kansas and neighboring states.

Aside from her money making interests Hutchinson has other valuable assets, not the least of these being her large and beautiful shade trees, which money cannot buy and which time alone can produce. A Carnegie library, many fine churches, and the best of schools make the town attractive from an intellectual and religious standpoint. The population in 1910, according to the government census, was 16,364. It is rapidly increasing, as a great deal of labor is needed in the factories. In 1900 the population was but a little over 9,000.

The town was founded by C. C. Hutchinson in 1871. The first building on the site was erected in the fall of that year and in early days was the stopping place for newcomers and travelers. It was also the grocery store, the meat market, and contained the real estate office of C. C. Hutchinson. In Aug., 1872, the new town having sufficient population, it was incorporated as a city of the third class. The first officers were: Mayor, Taylor Flick; police judge, J. B. Brown; councilmen, John McMurray, G. A. Brazee, E. Wilcox, R. C. Bailey and D. M. Lewis. The founder of the town and the city officers from the first tried to eliminate the selling of intoxicants in or about the town. In spite of this some of it was sold outside the limits, and as there were no county government at the time the offenders could not be molested by the city. However, they were arrested by the United States marshal. Among the first to open stores were W. Bailey, general store, T. F. Leidigh, grocery; Jordan & Bemis, general store, E. Wilcox, hardware and farm implements; J. S. Fay, opened a hotel and J. & C. McMurray, a livery stable. the year 1872 was an eventful one. The Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe R. R. was built past this point; the first bank was started by the founder of the town; the Hutchinson News was founded on July 4, and the first school was taught by Miss Jennie Hodgson in a small frame building on Main street. Mr. Hutchinson was elected to the legislature, and through his efforts Hutchinson became the county seat. (Kansas, Frank W. Blackmar, A. M., Ph. D., Volume 1, 1912, pages 891-893)

Langdon, a village of Reno county in Langdon township, is a station on the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific R. R. 16 miles southwest of Hutchinson, the county seat. It is a thriving little town, the shipping and trading center for a prosperous agricultural area. A fish hatchery, conducted by private enterprise, is located here. The town has a bank, a number of retail stores, telegraph and express offices and a money order post office with two rural routes. The population, according to the census of 1910 was 300. (Kansas, Frank W. Blackmar, A. M., Ph. D., Volume 2, 1912, page 104)

Nickerson, the second largest town in Reno county, is located on the Arkansas river, and the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe and Missouri Pacific railroads, 12 miles northwest of Hutchinson, the county seat. This is the location of Nickerson college and of the Reno county high school, which was established by act of the legislature in 1899. There are 2 banks, an opera house, mills and elevators, a weekly newspaper (the Argosy), and all the general lines of retail establishments. the town is supplied with telegraph and express offices and has an international money order postoffice with two rural routes. The city is divided into three wards and according to the census of 1910 had 1,195 inhabitants.

Nickerson was founded by the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad company. The depot was built in 1872 and the station was named in honor of Thomas Nickerson, who was at that time president of the company. A section house was built the same year. In 1875, a school house was erected. It was not until Aug., 1875, that anyone came to live on the town site. At that time Dr. L. A. Reeves built a two-story structure and opened a store. These buildings comprised "old Nickerson." In 1878 a new town site was laid off on land owned and up to this time farmed by Mr. Sears. Building began at once and within 60 days after the town was surveyed it had two hotels, a dozen stores, 2 livery stables, 2 lumber yards, and a printing office. The first building was a drug store put by Mr. McCormick. The hotels were built by James DeVitt and A. L. Harlow. The postoffice was established in 1873 with Mrs. M. Sears as postmistress, and was kept in a little sod house. Later Dr. Reeves was postmaster and kept the office in his store, which he moved to the new town in 1878. The money order system was established in 1880. The first schoolw as taught in 1874 by Mary Kinney. The Nickerson Argosy was established in 1878 by Sargent & Brown. A Lodges, churches and other organizations were established at different times during the '70s, until by 1880 all the leading ones were represented. The town was organized as a city of the third class in June, 1879. The first set of city officials were: Mayor, Dr. L. A. Reeves; council, M. McCormick, C. S. Morse, J. O. Smith, H. R. Nickerson; police judge, O. O. Olmstead; treasurer, C. E. Heath; clerk, A. H. Jackson; marshal, J. D. Reed. (Kansas, Frank W. Blackmar, A. M., Ph. D., Volume 2, 1912, page 369)

Pretty Prairie, a little town in Reno county, is located in the southern part of the county on the Kingman branch of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe R. R., about 20 miles south of Hutchinson, the county seat. It is the trading point for Albion township, and an important shipping point for live stock, grain and produce. It has a bank, mills and elevators, express and telegraph offices, and a money order postoffice with three rural routes. The town was incorporated as a city of the third class in 1907. The population according to the census of 1910 was 327. (Kansas, Frank W. Blackmar, A. M., Ph. D., Volume 1, 1912, page 501)

Partridge, a thriving little town of Reno county, is located on the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe and the Missouri Pacific railroads in Center township, 11 miles southwest of Hutchinson, the county seat. It is an important shipping point for grain, live stock and produce, has a bank, an elevator, telegraph and express offices, and a money order post office with two rural routes. It was laid out early in 1886 and was incorporated as a city of the third class in 1906. The population according to the census of 1910 was 246. (Kansas, Frank W. Blackmar, A. M., Ph. D., Volume 2, 1912, page 446)

Plevna, a little town in Plevna township, Reno county, is a station on the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe R. R. 22 miles southwest of Hutchinson, the county seat. It has a good graded school, several general stores, telegraph and express offices, and a money order post office with two rural routes. The population according to the census of 1910 was 200. (Kansas, Frank W. Blackmar, A. M., Ph. D., Volume 2, 1912, page 482)

South Hutchinson, is that portion of the city of Hutchinson lying south of the Arkansas river. The population in 1910 was 387. (See Hutchinson) (Kansas, Frank W. Blackmar, A. M., Ph. D., Volume 2, 1912, page 718)

Sylvia, the third largest town in Reno county, is a station on the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe R. R. and is located on the north branch of the Ninnescah river in Sylvia township, 30 miles southwest of Hutchinson, the county seat. It is in the midst of a locality famous for wheat and corn crops and is a town frequently heard from in connection with those products, being an important buying and shipping point for live stock and grain. The town has a bank, a mill, an elevator, a weekly newspaper (the Sun), telegraph and express offices and an international money order post office with three rural routes. The population, according to the census of 1910, was 634. Sylvia was founded in 1886 and organized as a city of the third class the next year. T. J. Talbott was its first mayor. (Kansas, Frank W. Blackmar, A. M., Ph. D., Volume 2, 1912, page 794)

Turon, one of the prosperous little towns of Reno county, is located at the junction of the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific and the Missouri Pacific Railroads in Miami township, about 33 miles southwest of Hutchinson, the county seat. It has 2 banks, a weekly newspaper (the Press), a creamery, an elevator, telegraph and express offices, and an international money order postoffice with two rural routes. Turon was founded in 1886. It was incorporated as a city of the third class in 1905. The population in 1910 according to the U. S. census report was 572. (Kansas, Frank W. Blackmar, A. M., Ph. D., Volume 2, 1912, pages 82 & 823)

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