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.
Situated alongside the
Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad, the first
store was established by
Eastman and Thomas and Charles Parker built the first residence in town.
A drug store/post office was run by J.A. Wallace, who later
become the town's first mayor. By the end of the year, the town also
boasted about 19 homes and a boarding house.
His intention was that this square be the
location of the county court-house, and citizens rallied to remove county seat
status from Council Grove.
The next year Parker also established a
steam grist mill with an attached saw mill and a two story stone
schoolhouse was built.
under several feet of water,
1904. This image available for
Parker laid out the settlement
surrounding a town square, as he planned from the beginning to remove the county
seat status from Council Grove
and the square would soon house a new courthouse.
In the spring,
an election was held for town officers, at which J. A. Wallace was chosen mayor.
Also occurring in 1871 was the incorporation of the city and almost immediately Parkerville challenged Council Grove
for the County Seat. An election was called to settle the matter. All
sorts of trickery was resorted to by both sides, including bringing in men
by the hundreds for voting purposes. At that time the population of the
county was 2,225. The number of votes cast was 1,312, of which 899 were
for Council Grove and 413 for Parkerville.
In October, 1877, the
Morris County Enterprise, a
weekly newspaper, was established by
V.C. Welch, and quickly had a circulation of about 500. In 1880 a handsome stone Methodist Episcopal Church was
built. The town thrived in its first
decade and by the early 1880s, it boasted a dry good store, two drug
stores, two grocery stores, a hardware store, two harness stores, and a
wagon shop. There were also two cheese factories, a steam grist mill and a
saw mill. However, it
was also in the early 1880s that the Missouri Pacific Railroad also built a line
through the county, which soon created the new settlements of Wesley and
Herington, which took trade away from Parkerville.
However, the town continued to prosper
through the turn of the century, by which time it had a grade school, high school, bank,
newspaper, law offices, a veterinarian, grocery store and other
businesses. A nearby horse track drew spectators from a large area.
Through the depression, the town suffered and the bank closed in 1931. The
Parkerville High School closed in 1945 and the students then attended the
White City High School. The grade school; however, continued to hold
classes until 1966.
In 1950, the last train went through the
town and within a decade all signs of the railroad were gone, including
the tracks. Today, Parkerville is a very sleepy semi-ghost town
with only the Baptist Church still open today. It has just about 70
residents. The town is located about 18 miles northwest of Council Grove.
Compiled and edited by
of Kansas, updated April, 2010.