LEGENDS OF KANSAS

 

History, Tales, and Destinations in the Land of Ahs

 

Extinct Towns of Linn County, Kansas

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Linn County Extinct Towns:

 

Boicourt/Barnard/Cobb

Brooklin

Cadmus

Linton/Woytown/Miami

Mansfield

Moneka

Oakwood

Paris

Potosi

Twin Springs

More Extinct Towns of Linn County

 

Also See:

Linn County, Kansas

Linn County Border Troubles

Towns & Places of Linn County

 

An old barn in Linn County, Kansas

An old barn in Linn County, Kansas, Kathy Weiser, June, 2011.

 

 

 

 

Boicourt/Barnard/Cobb - Located about seven miles northwest of Pleasanton and  three miles northwest of the settlement of Blooming Grove (later called Trading Post). It was situated on what was called Hensley's Point and went by several names throughout the years. Eighty acres were purchased by a man named J. B. Grinnell and after a survey was made, a sale of lots commenced in the fall of 1869. The first building erected in the town was built for a store and grocery by John B. Leabo, and when the post office was opened on  December 1, 1869, Leabo was appointed the first Postmaster. The first school was taught in John Morrison's house, by William Stark, in the winter of 1869-70. By the early 1880's, contained eight dwellings and about 40 inhabitants.  On January 25, 1886, the name was changed to Cobb for just a few short months until July 9, 1886, when it was changed to Boicourt. In 1910, the small settlement had grown to about 100 people. Through the years, the town dwindled and its post office closed its doors forever on March 31, 1964. Today, the area is filled with farms and homes. Nearby are two historic cemeteries, including Maple Grove, which was established in the early 1860's. It is located at US 69 and 1800th St, seven miles north of Pleasanton.

Brooklin - Situated about seven miles northwest of the present site of Boicourt, this old pro-slavery settlement got its start in the fall of 1855 when E. O. Brooks & Co. built some cabins here and started a store. The name was derived from Mr. Brooks' name and Linn, the name of the county. At this time, there was no bridge across the Marais des Cygnes River, near which, Brooklin was located. So the settlers cut down a very large tree and fashioned it into a canoe for the purpose of transporting their goods across the river to the new town. In the spring of 1856, David Sibbett, being a frail young man, opened a school, but it was soon broken up and scattered, as were also most of the people of Brooklin, when a report that John Brown, who had just committed the Pottawatomie Massacre, Jim Lane, and others were coming in that direction, and killing all the pro-slavery men before them. Mr. Brooks hastened to Missouri with his stock of goods. Later, it was foudn that the report was false and all was quiet at Brooklin. Upon hearing this, David Sibbett and a man named Z. W. Leasure, bought the goods, brought them back to Brooklin, re-opened the store, and for a considerable time carried on a flourishing business. David Sibbett was appointed Postmaster when a post office was opened on January 2, 1857. Unfortunately, the town never thrived and in October, 1871, the post office closed its doors forever. Most of the residents moved to Boicourt or La Cygne. By the early 1880's, all that was left were the remains of two blacksmith shops.

 

Cadmus - Situated in the north central part of Linn County, on Elm Creek, it was a small agricultural community. The Cadmus Grange #350, a fraternal organization for American farmers, was organized in July, 1873. A grange building, still stands in Cadmus, though when it was built is unknown. The small town gained a post office in July, 1877, with J.S. Payne appointed as its first Postmaster. The post office closed its doors forever on November 15, 1902, at which time the small community  received its mail from Fontana. In 1910, the town was called home to about 80 people. An old store, with its windows shattered still stands. Two miles north of the old town is the Elm Grove Cemetery. Here, can be found a Granite Memorial dedicated in 1919 to the Veterans of the Civil War, Spanish-American War, and World War I.

 

Cadmus Grange #350, Cadmus, Kansas

The  Cadmus Grange #350 still stands. We could not determine if it is still used for

any purpose today. Kathy Weiser, June, 2011.

 

Old store in Cadmus, Kansas

The windows of the old Cadmus store or broken and boarded up today. Kathy Weiser, June, 2011

.

 

Linton/Woytown/Miami - Situated on the open prairie about 8 miles south of Pleasanton, when this settlement first began it was called Woytown, named after H. H. Woy, one of the earliest settlers. It gained a post office on October 20, 1881. The first store was oopened by a man named S.W. Kiser. In January, 1884, the town's name was changed to Miami. At this time, the town was called home to about 25 people. Situated on the St. Louis & San Francisco Railroad, it never grew very much. On October 6, 1896, the post office name was changed once again, this time to LInton. Its post office closed its doors forever in February, 1903. In 1910, it was called home to 32 people.

 

Mansfield - Located about four miles northwest of
Mound City, and about the same distance southwest of Paris, Mansfield got its start in the early 1860's. A Mansfield Town Company was formed and a store was established by the Coleman Brothers. On January 22, 1866, a post office was established, with  J. W. Hawthorne as the first Postmaster. Most of the people who lived in Mansfield came from nearby Paris. Mansfield's life was short lived. It reached its height of its prosperity in 1867, at which time it contained from 12-15 houses, and about 50 inhabitants. From this time it gradually dwindled away. The post office closed in June, 1875.  

 

Augustus Wattles Home in Moneka, Kansas

The ruins of the Augustus Wattles home in Moneka, Linn County, where

 John Brown wrote his Parallels defense in 1859. Photo taken in 1940.

 Photo courtesy Kansas State Historical Society.

 

Moneka - Located about one mile north and one-half mile west of Mound City, Moneka got its start in February, 1857, when the Moneka Town Company was formed. The members of the town company were made up of Free-State men, including John B. Wood, Erastus Heath, Andrew Stark, Julius Keeler, Augustus Wattles, and his brother, John O. Wattles. The town was said to have been named for an Indian maiden, meaning "Morning Star." The first store started here was kept by O. E. & O. S. Morse; the first tin-shop by F. C. Bacon, a sawmill was built by William Hobson on Little Sugar Creek, and a large hotel by George E. Dennison. The hotel would shelter, at various times, several of the Kansas Territorial Governors and most of the Free-State leaders of the territory; and here, plans of actions would be made on behalf of Free-State settlers.

 

Some of the first settlers included Augustus Wattles, and his brother, John O. Wattles, who built their homes on quarter sections on the north, with Andrew Stark, who resided on the West. Stark would later serve as first Clerk of the Kansas Supreme Court, from 1861 to 1867. One of the first settlers, John O. Wattles, an ardent abolitionist, Christian, and enthusiastic educator, influenced the Moneka Town Company to erect a large frame building to be used for an academy. Work began on the building on July 4, 1857; but, it wouldn't be completed until the following year. A post office was opened on December 18, 1857.

 

In February, 1858, after a lecture by John O. Wattles, several people formed the Moneka Women’s Rights Association. Both women and men in this fledgling progressive community wanted the women to have same rights as men, including voting, owning property, and acting as guardians for their own children. John's wife, Esther Wattles, became the group's first president and Esther's niece, Sarah Grimke Wattles, became the secretary. Other family members that were part of the original founders included Susan E. Lowe Wattles and Emma Wattles. In addition to women's rights, the group also address issues of anti-slavery, sending letters to territorial constitutional conventions and to the Kansas Legislature. From the community of about 200 people, 42 joined the Moneka Woman’s Rights Association; about half of which were men.

 

The month after this association was established, the Moneka Academy was completed. School began in April with Miss Sarah A. Wattles as the teacher. For several years the Moneka Academy would be considered the premier educational center of Linn County.

 

The year 1858, the community reached its peak population of nearly 200 people. However, the Kansas-Missouri Border War was still running rampant in Linn County and many of the Free-Staters were being scared away by pro-slavery advocates. In May, 1858, John Brown, who was earlier acquainted with Augustus Wattles, arrived in Moneka following the  Marais des Cygnes Massacre. Making his headquarters in Augustus Wattles' home for a time, Brown was soon making raids into Missouri. Though Augustus believed in freeing slaves, he did not agree with Brown's violent methods. While staying at Augustus Wattles' home, Brown wrote his famous "Parallels" letter sitting at a desk in Wattles'  home.

 

In the meantime, John O. Wattles, was working hard to promote and grow the town, trying to convince a railroad planned from

Jefferson City, Missouri to Emporia, Kansas to travel by way of Moneka. To promote this goal, he held meetings along the whole route, organized a company, and obtained a charter, with directors in both Missouri and Kansas. He convinced Congress to grant a right away, make an appropriation of public lands, and had preliminary surveys conducted. However, John suddenly died in 1859. This coupled with the breaking out of the Civil War stopped all further proceedings.

 

Afterwards, the town began to die. Many of the businesses, including the Bacon Tin shop, and residents moved to Mound City. The Moneka Academy Building was moved to Linnville, where it remained until 1871, when it was removed to Pleasanton.

 

With no businesses left to support the community and most of inhabitants long gone, the post office closed its doors for the final time on January 22, 1866. Area residents then received their mail from Mansfield.
 

 

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