Burt, Kansas – Extinct in Woodson County

Woodson County, Kansas by L.H. Everts & Co., 1887.

Woodson County, Kansas by L.H. Everts & Co., 1887.

Burt, Kansas, was an inland village on Turkey Creek in Liberty Township in north Woodson County. Today, it is a ghost town with just a few remaining buildings.

In 1880, D.H. Burt built a small building that he stocked and operated as a store. On July 31, 1884, a post office called Burt was established in D.H. Burt’s store, where he served as Postmaster. A mail route was established between Burt and Yates Center, and mail was delivered every other day.

He remained in business until 1885 when he sold his store and rented his farm to Reverend E.J. Troyer, an Evangelical minister who preached at the Askren schoolhouse and the Finney church.

In the spring of 1888, E. J. Troyer traded his store with Joseph Gordon for a 40-acre farm. However, Gordon only kept the store for about a year before selling it to Mr. Helmick in 1889. A short time later, D.H. Burt returned and re-purchased the store from Helmick. In about 1894, the Burt Store was robbed. Afterward, D.H. Burt sold the store to J.F. Whittaker, who had recently built a house and another store.

In 1897, Forrest Randall built a blacksmith shop behind the Burt Store and a basement house just north of the store.

In the spring of 1899, Henry Old bought a half interest in Forrest Randall’s blacksmith shop. They put in a small stock of hardware, including bolts, nails, stovepipes, harnesses, and other items. Being successful in this, they decided to expand their business. In 1900, they borrowed $300 from a local man with interest at 10%. With $150, they built a store building onto their blacksmith shop. With the rest of the money, they put in a stock of groceries on the north side of the building with a buggy and hardware on the south side.

Huckster Wagon

Huckster Wagon

Burt then had two stores side-by-side, a post office, a blacksmith shop, and three or four houses. That year, Whittaker put out a huckster wagon, making home deliveries run by Beal Manifold, and Randall and Old also started a huckster wagon run by Roy Stewart. In 1901, the annual sales of Burt Store were around $10,000. In 1903, Henry Old bought out the Whittaker store.

Telephone lines were run from Yates Center in 1906. The following year, the post office closed on October 15, 1907.

In 1910, the population was 53, and residents received mail by rural route. Moody was the nearest railroad station and shipping point, about seven miles northeast.

The Burt store changed hands several times in the next few years but mostly belonged to Henry, Noah, and Chester Old.

Oil was discovered in the area in about 1920, and the Burt store was a popular and busy place. O.G. Mulsow ran the Burt store from 1919 to 1928 when Noah Old again bought it and later, in 1939, sold it to Elmer Crumrine. The Crumrines ran the store for several years before selling it to the Leonard Scott family, who, after a short time, sold it to Mac and Ella McClure. The McClures moved to Oregon after selling the store to Mr. and Mrs. O.G. Mulsow. After O.G. passed away, his wife, Alta Mulsow, ran the store for some time before selling it to Mr. and Mrs. Wendall Stockebrand.

They then sold the store to Mr. and Mrs. Arnold Cook. Mrs. Cook ran the store while Arnold opened a welding and repair shop. This couple closed the store in 1864 after operating for almost 84 years. However, the couple remained as Arnold Cook continued to operate his shop. When the Burt Store closed, It was the last general store in operation in the County.

Today, only two houses and the old building that housed the Burt Store remain at the old townsite. It is located about eight miles northwest of Yates Center.

©Kathy Alexander/Legends of Kansas, updated June 2024.

Also See:

Emerging Ghost Towns of the Plains

Extinct Towns of Woodson County

Kansas Ghost Towns

Woodson County


Blackmar, Frank W.; Kansas: A Cyclopedia of State History, Vol I; Standard Publishing Company, Chicago, IL 1912.
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