LEGENDS OF KANSAS

 

History, Tales, and Destinations in the Land of Ahs

 

Nekoma  - Dying in Rush County

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Nekoma, Kansas DepotBefore Nekoma became an “official” town, it was first settled by John W. Felch, who homesteaded on Walnut Creek in 1871. Other settlers soon followed and the town was platted by the Santa Fe Railroad Town Site Company in 1884 for use as depot and stockyard.

 

However, it would be several more years before the railroad would reach Nekoma on September 1, 1887. In the meantime a new depot was constructed and was ready for its arrival. A post office was established on June 23, 1890, which continued to be used until recent years.

 

In 1893, a man named Elmer Miller built the first general store, and in 1900 a larger general store, that included a large soda fountain and creamery, was built by Mike Moran. At the turn of the century, the village boasted just about 25 people, but would grow over the next several years. Soon, it boasted three grain elevators, a hardware store, lumber yard, implement dealer, barber shop, and restaurant, in addition to its two general merchandise stores. By 1910, the community had grown to 75 people and before long more businesses were built including a service station, feed mill, and the Nekoma State Bank in 1916. The community also had a school, opera house, two churches, and a local chapter of the Independent Order of Oddfellows.

 

The community's population peaked at just over 100 residents, but the town was never incorporated.

A two room school house continued to be used until the mid 1950's and the Nekoma State Bank survived the depression and decline of population, operating out of a simple wood frame building until 1986. At that time, the assets of the 70 year-old bank were purchased by investors who moved its operations to La Crosse, reopening in March, 1987.

 

The former wood frame Nekoma State Bank then stood abandoned for the next 15 years. However, with the help of the Rush County Historical Society, the building was moved to La Crosse in 2003, restored and is now a part of the La Crosse Museum Complex, developed into a museum of rural banking.

 

Recently, the Nekoma post office was closed and the old settlement has become a ghost town, with only a few of its original buildings and even less people remaining.

 

Nekoma is located about seven miles west of Rush Center on Kansas Highway 96.

 

 

Nekoma, Kansas

Nekoma, Kansas still has a few residents but its heydays are long gone,  March, 2009, Kathy Weiser.

Image available for photo prints & editorial downloads HERE.

 

 

 

 

© Kathy Weiser/Legends of Kansas, updated October, 2015.

 

Nekoma, Kansas playground

This old playground in Nekoma sits silent today, as its swings and teeter-totters sway in the gusts of the Kansas wind. Kathy Weiser, March, 2009.

Image available for photo prints & editorial downloads HERE.

 

Nekoma, Kansas Church or School

This school was once filled with the sounds of happy voices, Kathy Weiser, March, 2009.

Image available for photo prints & editorial downloads HERE.

 

Nekoma, Kansas

My guess is that the business on the right was once the post office, the last surviving business in Nekoma. Kathy Weiser, March, 2009.

Image available for photo prints & editorial downloads HERE.

 

An old building in Nekoma, Kansas

All to often, old buildings are left to crumble in on themselves, Kathy Weiser, March, 2009.

Image available for photo prints & editorial downloads HERE.

 

 
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