A small town in Scott Township of Lincoln County, Barnard is
located near the northern boundary of the county about 12 miles from Lincoln,
the county seat. Though mostly quiet today, it was once listed as one of the
principal communities in the area, being the terminus of the Barnard line of the
& Santa Fe Railroad.
The area surrounding what would become Barnard was first
settled by cattlemen about 1868. When Kansas
Territory was opened to settlers, a
number of sod shanties and dugouts were built in the area, by would-be
In the spring of 1887, when a new branch of the Santa Fe Railroad
was being graded, it was first thought that a town would be started near the
center of Salt Creek Township, as they had voted for bonds and Scott Township
A number of locals who were interested in the probable site
for the new town, began to build on the late Dan Saunders farm, in Salt Creek
Township, about three and one-half miles east and one south of the present site
The Baker brothers from Asherville were the first to build on
the probable townsite, establishing a lumber yard just across the road from the
old Saunders residence. The “to-be” settlement was called Milo.
But the Santa Fe Railroad had different ideas and when it
became evident that their depot would be located in Scott Township, immediately
two townsites were plotted, one on the west edge of Salt Creek Township, the
other just across the township line in Scott Township.
The majority of the community that would become Barnard was
first surveyed and laid out in September, 1887 by the Kaw Valley Town Company
who priced the lots from$60 to $300. The town was named for John Fiske Barnard,
a general manager for one of the Santa Fe Railroad's operating divisions at the
time the Barnard branch was built.
Another development, called Nealeigh, owned by a local man
named Mr. Loy was established in Salt Creek Township, with lot prices ranging
from $20 to $60.
The Lincoln Beacon, of September 22, 1887, reported on
the disparaging differences in prices and encouraged the locals to do business
with Mr. Loy, rather than giving their money to a company not located in the
Within no time, an
interesting rivalry sprung up between the promoters of the two townsites and the
area dividing them was soon dubbed the neutral strip. The Nealeigh site was also
facetiously called “Slabtown.”
The first business enterprise secured by either of the two rival
sites was the Baker Bros. Lumber Yard, which was moved from the Saunders place
in Milo to Barnard.
The first general store; however, was opened in Nealeigh by
W.D. Snapp and his son-in-law, Marion Loy, who bought out a store that had been
established in Milo. The first residence built in Nealeigh was occupied by Ross
Wilcox, manager of the lumber company.
By the summer of 1887, Nealeigh held the edge over nearby
Barnard, when more buildings were moved from Milo and new ones were built,
including a general store and a livery stable.