The first elevator for grain was built for O'Neil Brothers, who also owned
and operated a hardware and implement store. The second elevator was built
in 1893, for the Brunswig Elevator Company.
A third elevator was built in 1893, known as the Farmers Elevator. Among
those who early located in Summerfield were Dr. J. H. Murphy and Dr.
William Johnston. The first carpenters were David Wilson, George Van
Allen, James Monroe and Webster Brothers. The first draymen were Charles
Travelute, George Curtis and John Nelson.
The first newspaper, the Summerfield Sun, was published by Edward
and Harry Felt, sons of Hon. A. J. Felt, of Seneca, former
lieutenant-governor of Kansas. The office was in the second story of the
I. Jay Nichols building, and the proprietors shared the floor with a
hardware and implement dealer. The name of the paper was , and it was a
bright, newsy sheet. The first story of the building was used as a livery
barn and feed stable. It was totally destroyed by fire in 1892. A. A.
Gearhart built a livery barn on the same site and a few years later it was
burned and Mr. Gearhart lost a number of horses in the fire. Later another
livery barn was built on the same site.
A great fire occurred on June 29, 1894, when almost the entire business
portion of the city was reduced to ashes. The fire started in the store
building owned by H. H. Lowrey and destroyed every store building north,
including two general merchandise stores, variety and book store, drug
store, and a hardware store. The loss was near one hundred thousand
The ruins had hardly quit smoking when preparations were begun for larger
and more substantial buildings.
In 1910 Summerfield was described as having has banking facilities, a
weekly newspaper (the Sun), telegraph and express offices, schools and
churches, and an international money order post office with three rural
mail routes. That year the population peaked at 554 people.
By 1916, the elevators handled about 200,000 bushels of grain and the
deposits in the State Bank of Summerfield amounted to $250,000, making the
third in line of deposits among the 27 banks of Marshall county. In 1917,
there were 40 prosperous business houses, five miles of sidewalk,
well-graded streets, a splendid park, many fine residences and three
churches, with good congregations. Fifty automobiles were owned in the
town, and was described as being one of the most prosperous and active
business centers of northern Kansas.
But, for Summerfield, it had already reached its peak. Over the next
decades its population would gradually decrease and today is called home
to an estimated population of 151 people. It is located on
Highway 99 at the Kansas-Nebraska border.
Vermillion - A village of Noble Township,
Vermillion got its start in 1869 with the coming of the Central Branch
Railroad. It is located 28 miles southeast of Marysville on the Black
Vermillion River, from which it takes its name. A townsite was laid out in
1869 which contained 240 acres, with 100 acres given over to the railroad,
which built a depot and side track. The first building was erected in 1870
by W. H. Dickinson as a store. The post office was established in May of
the same year with Theodore Collier as postmaster.
The first building erected on the townsite was built by W. H. Dickinson in
the spring of 1870 and used as a store. Soon after a large building was
erected by Robert Shields for a store. In 1872 this building was used as a
hotel. In 1872 a new frame building, 24x42 feet was erected for use as a
school at a cost of $2,000. The first teacher in the new building was L.
B. Holmes. In the summer of 1874, G. W. Duffy built an elevator with a
capacity of 3000 bushels
Several churches were organized during tje town's early years including
the Presbyterian in 1871, which had a church building by 1879. The
Methodist Episcopal Church was organized and first meetings were held in
the depot until a church building was built in 1874.
In 1895 Ed Horth built another elevator. The telephone system was
organized by P. H. Hybskmann and H. D. Williams, with the first connection
made in 1901. In 1903-04, a new modern brick building was erected to use
as a highschool. There were 58 pupils initially. The city erected a public
hall for its use, a room in which was set apart and donated to the Mutual
Improvement Club for a library room.
In 1910, Vermillion had become a trading point for a large section of
farming country, has banking facilities, grain elevators, a newspaper,
schools, churches, express and telegraph offices, and an international
money order post office with four rural mail routes. That year, the
population peaked at 366 people
In 1817, Vermillion was represented by two hardware store, general
merchandise store, two meat markets, a harness shop, two resturants, two
hotels, a lumberyard, a drug store, a furniture store, and two garages.
Over the years Vermillion's population declined and today is home to just
about 109 people It still retains its post office. Its originally depot
still stands on East 2nd Street. It is the oldest existing depot in the
county and possibly in the state. The structure next door, built in 1885
as a hotel for the depot, now houses the city hall and library, with a
museum on the second floor. It is located at 02 Main Street.
Vermillion can be reached directly from U.S. 36 on Highway 187, the
shortest Kansas state highway.
Vliets - An unincorporated town in Marshall County, Vliets was was laid
out in 1889. It was named for the Van Vliet family, the original owner of
the town site. It was located on the Central Branch Railroad and the
Vermillion River. On November 11, 1887 a post office was established.
The East elevator was built and operated in 1889 by the
Union Commercial Company, an organization of Swedes. A Mr. Buck owned and
operated another elevator known as the Buclo elevator. The annual
shipments average one 150,000 bushels of grain. The school was organized
and built in 1899 at a cost of $2600. The building contained two rooms, in
which four grades were taught and one year high school. The local
telephone system was owned by the State Bank of Vliets. A large general
merchandise store of J. M. Owen, opened for business June, 1914.
In 1910 the main lines of business and professional pursuits were
represented. It has banking facilities, telegraph and express offices and
a post office with one rural mail route. The population in 1910 was 350.
The Farmers Union Co-operative Business Association was organized in
April, 1915, and opened business on September I5, 1915, with a capital
stock of $10,000. The plant was built at a cost of $5000; which included
an elevator, coal house, corn crib, office and full equipment of machinery
with which to operate. The company handled grain, flour, cream, eggs,
poultry and salt. The first year the shipment of grain was 120,000
Over the years the population of this small community dwindled and its
post office closed in December, 1992. Today, it is primarily comprised of
a Coop elevator. It is located between Vermillion and
Winifred - The town of Winifred was founded in 1907 and platted and laid out by
Gottfried Keller on his farm. It was on the Topeka and Marysville branch
of the Union Pacific Railroad, eleven miles southwest of Marysville.
The present site of Winifred was made the county seat of Marshall County
in 1858 by the Territorial Legislature, and was named
Sylvan. A body of men
representing the Nebraska Town Company came to Sylvan at that time with 24
oxen and wagons loaded with lumber to build the town; they also brought
some mercantile goods which they sold in a tent. No buildings were
erected. The only official business transacted at the new county seat was
the canvassing of the vote of 1859. There being no house at Sylvan, the
county commissioners held their session in the house of George D.
Swearingen, a mile distant. The vote of the "people" returned the county
seat status to Marysville. Afterwards Sylvan was abandoned until the new
town of Winifred was founded.
One of the first pioneers was Isaac Walker and family who had settled the
land adjoining the land where Winifred would be established. The new town
was called Winifred for Mrs. Isaac Walker
The town grew slowly and did not receive a post office until February,
The school house was built and opened in 1911 at a cost of $2500. The two
room school initially had two teachers providing instruction from the
first grade to the second year of high school. The first store was
operated by S.C.M. Smith. By 1917, the town boasted the Winifred State
Bank, a hardware store. two grain elevators, a garage, a general
merchandise store, a barber shop, restaurant, lumber company
Today, Winifred is a ghost town.
Its post office closed on January 1, 1986. All that is left today is an old bank building,
grain elevators, and the
Winifred Baptist Church, which still holds services.