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
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.
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.
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.
located about seven miles west of
Rush Center on Kansas Highway 96.
still has a few residents but its heydays are long gone, March,
2009, Kathy Weiser.
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