LEGENDS OF KANSAS

 

History, Tales, and Destinations in the Land of Ahs

 
 

Towns & Places of Ford County, Kansas

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Towns & Places:

Bloom

Bucklin

Dodge City (County Seat)

Ford

Fort Dodge

Kingsdown

Spearville

Wright

Extinct Towns

 

 

Ford County, Kansas Map, 1899

Ford County map, 1899.

 

 

Bloom, KansasBloom - The area was first settled by the Thomas J. Vanderslice family, with 4 brothers, in the early 1880's who built homes there. Situated along the Fort Dodge-Camp Supply Military Road, it soon became a stopping point for travelers. The brothers called the area Bloomburg, after their Pennsylvania hometown, which was later shortened to Bloom. Bloom first gained a post office in 1885; but, didn't really become a settlement until the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad came through in 1888. The railroad tracks crossed a section just a little south of the original settlement and a number of homes and businesses were moved closer to the rail line.

 

By 1888, there was a hotel, 3 grocery stores, and a school. Always a small village, its post office closed on April 30, 1891 and by 1893, the town was no longer active due to severe drought. Many of the buildings were moved or torn down, leaving just two families left in the vicinity -- the S. O. Albright family and the Oscar J. Andrews family. There were; however, a number of area ranchers and in 1904, the post office reopened. These cattlemen also needed a store and in1908, S.O. Albright, an original homesteader, opened one. Two years later, other businesses had also been established. Bloom's population peaked at a couple of hundred residents in the 1930s when it boasted a hotel, gas station, restaurant, post office and lumber yard.

 

Over the years, it declined and its public school was closed and merged with Minneola in the 1960s. Its post office closed forever in 1992. Today, the only open business is the grain elevator. Its original train depot still stands, the grain elevator, a deteriorating gas station, and a couple of homes.

 

Old gas station, Bloom, Kansas

An old gas station is quickly deteriorating in Bloom, Kansas, Kathy Weiser, November, 2012.

This image available for photo prints & commercial  downloads  HERE!

 

 

Ruins of the Bloom, Kansas school

All that's left of the Bloom School is its entrance, and gymnasium, Kathy Weiser, November, 2012.

This image available for photo prints & commercial  downloads  HERE!

 

 

 

 

 

Bucklin - Established at the junction of two divisions of the Chicago & Rock Island Railroad , the town was founded by the railroad in May, 1887 and named for a Rock Island civil engineer. Bucklin gained a post office in August, 1887 and the first train made its appearance in October. That first year, the town grew quickly adding two grocery stores, two general merchandise stores, a hardware store, lumber yard, blacksmith and a hotel.

 

The station was connected to Dodge City via the railroad in 1888. A bad drought in the 1890s caused a number of settlers to leave, but by 1905, the town was growing again.

 

Bucklin was officially incorporated in 1909 and the following year, reported a population of 696. At that time, it had two banks, the weekly Banner newspaper, a couple of hotels, and several retail businesses.

 

Due to its location on the railroad, it had become a shipping and supply point for area farmers and ranchers. The next year, in 1911, the downtown district suffered a fire that destroyed the 2-story Bucklin Hotel, a real estate office, and two additional buildings. Over the years, Bucklin remained a small agricultural town and today supports almost 800 people. The Bucklin Banner newspaper is still published today. Bucklin is located about 27 miles southeast of Dodge City.

 

 

Bucklin, Kansas Main Street Today

Bucklin, Kansas Main Street Today, Kathy Weiser, July, 2013.

image available for photo prints & editorial downloads HERE.

 

Bucklin, Kansas, early 1900's

Bucklin, Kansas, early 1900's.

 

 

Dodge City - A Wicked Little Town - The largest, most famous, and county seat of Ford County, Kansas, Dodge City has a rich history as a wild and wicked cowtown. See full article HERE!

 

Ford - A small town established as a station on the Bucklin & Dodge City division of the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad, the settlement was organized by Andrew Russell and the Ford Town Company in 1885. It was named Ford because of it was the site of the only ford on the Arkansas River within the eastern part of the county. It gained a post office Ford gained a post office in February, 1885, and the town site was officially platted a couple of months later in May.

 

Just to the north of Ford, another town sprung up across the river called Ryansville, after Pat Ryan, an early settler in the area. It was officially platted the same year as Ford in September. The two towns quickly were in a rivalry for dealings with the railroad, but Ford ended up getting the right-of-way. When that occurred, a newspaper, two hotels a lumberyard and a drug store moved from Ryansville to Ford. Eventually, the two towns formed the Union Town Company and 30 blocks were annexed to Ford. The first train arrived in November 25, 1887. By 1910, the town reported a population of 205, a bank, and a couple of stores. Today, Ford continues to be a small agricultural community with a population of a little more than 300 people. It is located about 18 miles southeast of Dodge City on U.S. Highway 400.

 

Fort Dodge - History & Hauntings - See full article HERE!

 

 

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