Before long, Bison was developing in a thriving
community and at the turn of the century it had a bank, a weekly newspaper
called the Bison Bee, a telegraph and express office, a telephone
company, and several retail stores. Other churches were also built including the
English Methodist Episcopal andGerman Baptist Church.
In 1890 the congregation of the original Lone Star German Methodist Episcopal Church west of the city built a new church
a mile north of the site. The building was then sold to the school district and
classes were held there until 1947, at which time it began to be used as a
clubhouseby the Sunshine Extension Homemakers Unit of Bison.
The first gas well drilled in Rush County was at the
north edge of Bison in 1903, marking the beginning of oil and gas development in
Rush County. By 1910, the town's population had grown to about 375.
The following year, the town was officially incorporated.
In 1937, the Works Progress Administration (WPA)
built a new grade school of native stone blocks as well as hand-dug municipal
water well which measured eighteen feet in diameter and sixty-nine feet deep. In
1935, they built the
Bison City Hall, also of native limestone, over the well. Today, the well
continues to produce an abundance of water.
Bison lives on today with a population of just a
little more than 250 people and strives hard to preserve its heritage. The Bison Community Museum, located on Main Street,
displays numerous items of area history including photographs, tools, and
The historic Lone Star German Methodist Episcopal Church and school continues
to stand and currently, furnishings and memorabilia are being collected in an
effort to restore the interior of the school to its former appearance.
of Kansas, updated March, 2017.