History, Tales, and Destinations in the Land of Ahs


Towns & Places of Pawnee County, Kansas

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Towns & Places of Pawnee County





Pawnee Rock


Extinct Towns of Pawnee County

Fort Larned National Historic Site

Museums & Historic Sites




Pawnee County Historic Map.

Pawnee County Historic Map.


Fort Larned, Kansas in the 1860s,

Fort Larned, Kansas in the 1860s.


Fort Larned Parade Ground

Fort Larned today, Kathy Weiser, March, 2009.

Image available for photo prints & editorial downloads HERE.





Burdett - Located 23 miles west of Larned, Burdett was originally named Brown's Grove in 1876 in honor of Dr. Gallitin Brown who settled beside a large grove of ash trees. Situated on the banks of the Pawnee River, this village was first platted in 1876 and was surrounded by a very fine farming country which yielded some of the best wheat ever harvested in Kansas at that time. In 1877 it received a post office. In 1880, it became a station on the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad on the tracks running from Larned to Jetmore. At this time, the name was changed to  "Burdette" in honor of Robert Jones Burdette who was in the newspaper business. Over the years, the last "e" in Burdette was inadvertently dropped. By the turn of the century, the small community boasted a bank, a money order post office,  telegraph and express offices, a grain elevator, a hotel, and several retail stores. It had become the chief shipping and supply point in the western part of the county and its population in 1910 was about 300. Burdett was the childhood home of Dr. Clyde Tombaugh, the astronomer who discovered the former planet Pluto. The very small community of Burdett, which as a population of just about 240 today, is located on Kansas Highway 156 about 23 miles west of Larned, Kansas.




Garfield - Originally called Camp Criley when it was founded in 1872, it was a supply station for workmen building the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad. It was named for Captain J.D. Criley, the construction superintendent. The town got a post office in may, 1873. However, the very next year when numerous Ohio emigrants came to the area, taking up some 30 residences, the town's name was changed to Garfield, after then congressman from their old district in Ohio, and later President of the United States. After taking his name, James Garfield promised to give a bell to the first church built in the community. When the Congregational Church was built in 1875, the received the bell which is now housed at the Garfield Memorial Wayside Chapel, which is a replica of the original church. The roadside chapel is located in Downey Park in Garfield on Highway 56. The Garfield Town Company officially platted the town in December, 1873, and the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad Company located an experimental garden of forestry here. It embraced extended across Big Coon Creek, and included trees of many varieties.


On July 25, 1874, Garfield was plagued by grasshoppers, which totally destroyed the area crops. By the turn of the century, Garfield had become a primary shipping point and sported a bank, a money order post office, telegraph, express and telephone accommodations, a flour mill, four  grain elevators, a hotel, a public library, schools, several churches and a number of retail stores. The town was officially incorporated in 1910 at which time it was called home to some 333 people. Today, Garfield's population has dropped to around 180. It is located on Highway 56 about 11 miles southwest of Larned.


Larned - The county seat of Pawnee County Larned was built on the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad at the confluence of the Pawnee and the Arkansas Rivers. Named for nearby Fort Larned, it was laid out in December, 1873. See full article HERE.


Rozel - Situated on the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad, the town was founded in July, 1886 by the Arkansas Valley Town and Land Co., who acquired the land from the railroad for $832 and selected a town site consisting of two city blocks. The name Rozel was chosen in honor of a daughter of one of the founders of the Land Company whose name was Rozella. At the turn of the century the town boasted a bank, a mill, a grain elevator, a number of retail stores, telegraph and express offices; and a money order post office. The population in 1910 was about 200. Today, the town has just about 170 people.




Compiled by
Kathy Weiser/Legends of Kansas, updated March, 2017.


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