Belvoir, Kansas, once located on the Santa Fe Trail in Douglas County, was one of the old settlements in the state. It is an extinct town today.
Among the first permanent settlers in its vicinity, who arrived in 1855-56, were H. Heine, James M. Dun, M. Clayton, R. A. Dean, H. McKenzie, A. S. Baldwin, A. E. Northrop, J. Hulze, D. Dack and Mr. Smith, who died in 1856, which was probably the first death in the area. The settlement was named after Belvoir, the plantation home of William Fairfax in Virginia.
In what was known as the McKenzie neighborhood, the St. John’s Church Catholic church was established in 1856. Several houses were also built and a tavern that accommodated westward-bound travelers. In the summer of 1865, a stone schoolhouse, measuring 24’x40′ was built at a cost of $1,500. Dr. George Hubbard and W. Markle were among the first teachers. On account of the proximity of Belvoir to Twin Mound, a post office was not established until April 26, 1869, with L. D. Bailey appointed as the first postmaster.
In 1873, the Carbondale branch of the Union Pacific Railroad was completed 2.5 miles from Belvoir and the post office was moved to the railroad. Soon, a new schoolhouse was built and other businesses followed. However, by 1903, the population had fallen to such a degree that the post office was closed on January 31.
In 1910, the community had a population of 30.
Decades later, the old townsite was flooded when Clinton Lake was established.
Belvoir was located on the old Santa Fe Trail about 13 miles southwest of Lawrence, in the Wakarusa River Valley.
Compiled and edited by Kathy Alexander/Legends of Kansas, updated April 2022.