Located 15 miles southwest of
Marysville on a gentle slope reaching back
from the Little Blue River, the town was established in 1868.
The first settler who located near the present townsite of Waterville,
was Stearnes Ostrander, early in the spring of 1857. He was followed
during the same year by some half-dozen settlers, who located on Coon
Creek, a short distance from where Waterville would be established.
The first mill erected in Waterville and vicinity was built in 1858 by
William Pearsoll. The mill was built on the "combination plan" and used as
both a saw and grist mill. In 1859, more settlers took up claims in the
When the Central Branch of the
Missouri Pacific Railroad was on its way
through, it decided to extend west exactly 100 miles from Atchison,
Kansas. The land was purchased from William Osborn. The railroad reached
Waterville in November, 1867.
The townsite was
surveyed by O. B. Gunn, then Chief Engineer of the railroad in February,
1868. It was named by William Osborne, a railroad superintendent, for his
hometown of Waterville, New York. Henry Agle bought the first Waterville
lot and erected the first house in town. For a brief time Waterville, the
furtherest point west on the railroad became a cowtown. Stock yeards were
built to receive the cattle