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Towns & Places of Morris County, Kansas

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Towns

Burdick

Council Grove

Delavan

Diamond Springs - Oasis on the Santa Fe Trail

Dunlap

Dwight

Latimer

Parkerville

Skiddy, aka: Camden

White City

Wilsey

Extinct Towns  

 

Morris County, Kansas, 1899

Morris County map, 1899.

 

Burdick, KansasBurdick - Situated in southwestern Morris County on the edge of the Flint Hills, the area was first settled by Swedish immigrants in the 1880s. The town got its start as a station on the Strong City & Superior division of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad and was first called Linsdale.

 

However, by the time the settlement gained a post office in August, 1887, the settlement was called Burdick. By 1910, the town had a population of about 225 people and boasted a bank, a money order post office, telegraph and express offices, and several churches. At its peak, it also sported a grocery store, general store, two banks, and both a grade school and a high school. The Burdick High School closed in 1957, sending its students to school at Lincolnville in Marion County. The grade school continued into the 1960s, when those students were also sent to Lincolnville. Today, all that remains are the Burdick Meat Locker, a family-owned business since 1921 that is known for its meat processing, beef jerky, and potato sausage; and the Burdick Oil Company, a family owned, full-service gas station and ranch supply that celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2008. though Burdick is an unincorporated community, it still maintains a post office. It is located about 27 miles southwest of Council Grove.

 

Delavan - Founded in 1885 by Henry Kingman, the town was named for his home town of Delavan, Illinois. Just a year later Topeka, Salina and Western Railroad extended its tracks from Council Grove to a point just east of Delavan; however, the route was unused until the Missouri-Pacific Railroad took over and completed the rail line on to Colorado. The town grew slowly, becoming a minor trading center and shipping point for the rich agricultural neighborhood by the turn of the century. In 1910, it had a bank, a money order post office with one rural route, express and telegraph offices, Christian and Methodist churches, and a public school. At this time, it had a population of just 58 and was described as "one of the most progressive villages of its size in the state." The town fared better in the early 20th Century, boasting a general store, lumber yard, farm machinery dealership, the bank, a telephone office and both a grade school and a high school.

 

The Great Depression; however, took its toll on the small community and the bank closed in the early 1930s.  The town got a boost during World War II when the Herington Army Airfield was established in 1942 at nearby Herrington, Kansas in adjacent Dickinson County, about seven miles west of Delavan. The Army airfield took some 14 months to build, putting a number of Delavan people to work. The base; however, closed just two years later in 1945. The Delavan High School closed in 1950, when students were forced to bus to Wilsey for classes. Delavan's post office closed in 1992. All that remains of Delavan today is the Grandview Township Community Center, which once served as the Delavan Grade School. Delavan is located about 17 miles west of Council Grove, Kansas.

 

 

 

Dwight, KansasDwight - When the Chicago, Kansas, and the Nebraska Railroad Company decided to extend the Rock Island System west from Topeka in 1887, developers purchased land and platted the town of Dwight. The town was named after Dwight Rathbone who donated land for the Dwight Methodist Episcopal Church.   It was settled about the time the railroad was built and a post office established in March, 1887. By the turn of the century Dwight had developed into a trading and shipping point in the northeastern part of the county. By that time it had a a money order post office with two rural routes, express, telegraph and telephone service, three churches, and good public schools. The town was incorporated in 1905 and in 1910 had a population of almost 300 people. Throughout the years the Presbyterian and Methodist churches played an important part in the life of the community. Today, Dwight continues to be a small town with a population of about 325 people. The Swartz School Museum is located on Main Street. Originally located about 2 miles southwest of Dwight, it was built in 1871.

 

Latimer - Platted in 1887 by M.D. and Jane Herington, who also founded Herrington, the town was a stop along the Chicago, Kansas and Nebraska Railroad, which later became the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad. It was named in honor of a railroad official. Initially the settlement got off to a good start a soon had a bank, a lumber yard, a post office, and several other businesses. However, Latimer never grew very large and by 1910 only had a population of about 14 people. The Latimer State Bank hung on until the Great Depression, at which time it closed. the post office closed in 1961 and a grain elevator operated until the mid-1990s. Today, a Lutheran Church is the only remaining business in Latimer, which is called home to only about 20 people.

Parkerville - Located on the Neosho River about 12 miles northwest of Council Grove, Parkerville was established by Charles G. Parker, a former Santa Fe Trail wagon train freighter, in 1870. See full article HERE.

 

 

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