Geary, first called Geary City, was located in 1857 by a company of Leavenworth people and was named for Governor John W. Geary. It is an extinct town today.
The original town site, containing 260 acres, was purchased from C. Lewis. A quarter section was soon added to it and named Lewis’ Addition or South Geary. Shortly after the town was laid out, the company discovered that its title was not clear, and they abandoned their plans.
Afterward, however, the town began to grow. The first building was a log cabin, not on the townsite, that served as a saloon. The first structure on the townsite was a hotel built by the town company and the first store was built near the river and was operated by Mr. Clutter. Afterward, a grocery store was run by Porter & Cooper and J. L. Roundy opened a furniture store. In about June 1857, the New Era newspaper began publication. It was Free-state in politics and aspired to a literary character. Interestingly, of its two editors, one was a Democrat and the other a Republican.
On July 22, 1857, a post office called Geary was established with J. L. Roundy as postmaster.
James McCahon was the first lawyer, and Dr. F. Grubb the first physician. The New Era newspaper was suspended in 1858. Flickinger & Langdon put up a sawmill in 1859. Another sawmill was established by Frick & Grubb and ran ten years longer before it was moved to Doniphan. A grist mill was built in 1860 by Frick & Franklin.
But, Geary did not grow, and its post office closed on October 14, 1905. It then received its mail by rural route from Wathena, eight miles distant. In 1910, its population was 52.
Geary was located in Wayne Township, about nine miles southeast of Troy.
©Kathy Alexander/Legends of Kansas, July 2022.
Blackmar, Frank W.; Kansas: A Cyclopedia of State History, Vol I; Standard Publishing Company, Chicago, IL 1912.
Cutler, William G; History of Kansas; A. T. Andreas, Chicago, IL, 1883.