History, Tales, and Destinations in the Land of Ahs


Atchison County Extinct Towns - Page 3

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Pardee - One of the oldest settlements in Atchison County and the first in Center Township, the town was established by Caleb May, in October, 1854. He was President both of the Monrovia and Pardee Town Companies. It was named for Pardee Butler, an abolitionist minister minister from Atchison. In August, 1855, the first post office in the township was established at nearby Ocena. The town was platted in the spring of 1857 and S.G. Moore was the first settler. A school house was built in the fall and the Minister butler preached his first sermon in Pardee there just a few months later. In the fall of 1858, Pardee Butler relocated near the town. In August, 1858, the post office was moved from Ocena to Pardee and the same year, the first store was opened by Mr. Moore. By the early 1880's, the town was called home to about 100 people and had two stores, two churches, and a public school, and a private school. But, because of its location off the line of the railroad, it was not growing. In August, 1902, its post office closed briefly, but reopened in October. However, less than a year later, it closed its doors forever on March 31, 1903. The settlement was located in the southern part of Atchison County about three miles south of Farmington.


St. Patrick's Catholic Church, St Pat, Kansas St. Pat - This small community was established in 1857 by a number of Catholic settlers.  In 1863, they built St. Patrick Catholic Church on the top of a hill which overlooked gently rolling prairie. However, the first building was made of wood and strong winds later destroyed it. The congregation then rebuilt a much stronger building of native stone, which still stands today. The parish holds the distinction of being the oldest active parish in Northeastern Kansas. A cemetery, which lies west of the church is also still in use today.


Though the church is still active, there are no other signs of the community other than a few scattered homes. It is located the southeastern part of Atchison County about 10 miles south of Atchison on Highway 7 and one mile west on a county road. In the winter, when the trees are bare the church steeple can be seen for miles.


Sumner - Though long gone today, this old town has a fascinating history, complete with a ghost story. Located along the Missouri River about three miles south of Atchison, it was founded by John P. Wheeler, a 21 year-old surveyor. A Free-State supporter, Wheeler saw great opportunities in establishing a town on the waterway where abolitionists would be welcome. This was unusual at the time, as the county was overwhelmingly populated by pro-slavery advocates. The town was built on the high bluffs overlooking the Missouri River and in 1856 and named for George Sumner, one of the original stockholders of the Town Company. The fledgling city gained a post office in July, 1857. Wheeler and other promoters distributed a detailed color lithograph depicting a beautiful city. This was not actually the case, but rather, was a dream. However, the promotion worked and by 1858, Sumner was called home to about 2,000 people -- 500 more than Atchison at the time. It also had several prominent businesses including a hotel and a wagon and implement factory. Town Company president, John Wheeler, became a member of the Kansas Territorial Legislature and pushed through a bill that would name Sumner as the Atchison County seat; however, it was defeated by the pro-slavery advocates and the title went to Atchison. Sumner's demise came during the Civil War when Atchison was actively growing. Many of the businesses and residents soon moved to the larger town and buildings were moved or torn down, taking the lumber to build others in the county seat. Sumner was further damaged by a destructive tornado that swept through in June, 1861, but a few remaining residents held on for a while. The post office closed in January, 1870.


Sumner, Kansas CemeteryBut, there would remain one last resident until every single building was abandoned -- former Sumner Mayor, Jonathan Lang, who lived in the dead town until his death. Afterwards, lightning struck his old cabin and burned it to the ground.


Today, there is nothing left of the old town with the exception of a nearby cemetery. Utilized as a family cemetery today it is still active and very well maintained. It can be accessed by traveling south on U.S. Highway in Atchison to Raven Hill Drive, then east until merging with Sherman Road, south to 258th St, then east .2 miles to Sumner Cemetery. The old townsite is said to continue to host the ghost of former mayor and last resident of the town, Jonathan Lang, who allegedly wanders the overgrown site in search of its old residents. The old town site is on private property and nearly inaccessible except by boat.





More Extinct Towns




Post Office Dates

Additional Information from Kansas: A Cyclopedia of State History, 1912, and the Kansas State Historical Society

Brownlee 1885-1887


Burnside 1857-1858


Cow Island N/A

Also called Isle au Vache, this was an Island in the Mississippi River where once stood Cantonment Martin.


Dalbey N/A


Eden 1858-1900

Located in the northern portion of the county on Independence Creek, it was about five miles east of Huron. In 1910 the population was 20.


Good Intent, aka Goodintent 1872-1900

A hamlet in the eastern portion of Atchison County, it was located northeast of Atchison.


Hawthorne 1891-1900


High Bridge 1888-1900

A hamlet in the southeastern part of Atchison County, it was located about 10 miles south of Atchison.


Invermay 1882-1897


Locust Grove 1862-1887

Post office moved from Mount Pleasant.


Noll 1899-1900

A small situated on the Missouri River about five miles below Atchison.


Ocena, aka: Oceana 1855-1858

Post office moved to Pardee in August, 1858.


Parnell 1883-1923

Situated on both the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad and the Missouri Pacific Railroad, the town was platted in December, 1883. The station was named for a hero of the Civil war, James L. Parnell, a private soldier in the  Kansas volunteer infantry, who was killed during the skirmish at Haare Head, Arkansas on August 4, 1864. Parnell was the original settler on the site of Parnell and was one of the first citizens of Atchison county to respond under President Lincoln's call of July, 1862. It was located seven miles southwest of Atchison. In 1910, it had only a population of 12.


Plum Grove 1862-1868

Post office moved to Oak Mills in January, 1868


Port William 1856-1860

Located in Walnut Township, the settlement was situated on the Missouri Pacific Railroad.


Saint Nicholas 1859-1863, 1868-1873

Post office moved to Cummingsville in December, 1873.


Shannon 1882-1941

A small village located on the Missouri Pacific Railroad about nine miles west of Atchison was platted by G. W. Sutliff in February, 1883. It had a population of 50, one store building, a few residences, a railroad station and a small elevator in 1910.


Spencer 1860-1867


Todd 1897-1900



Compiled and edited by Kathy Weiser/Legends of Kansas, updated March, 2017.



If you can add additional information or photographs regarding this article, please feel free to send us an Email. We welcome updates and additional information.


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