History, Tales, and Destinations in the Land of Ahs


Grant County Extinct Towns - Page 2

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Old Ulysses, Kansas, 1906Old Ulysses (1873-1909) - Simply called Ulysses at the time, the town was established on March 20, 1873 about the time that the Santa Fe Trail traffic was beginning to slow down due to the coming of the steam engine to western Kansas. Named for General Ulysses S. Grant, the settlement was surveyed by George W. Earp, first cousin to Wyatt Earp of Dodge City and Tombstone fame, in 1885. Earp was Ulysses’ first promoter, businessman and, like his cousins, its first peace officer. The settlement gained a post office on April 29, 1886 and was "officially" organized in June of 1888. At that time, Ulysses boasted a population of some 2,000 residents and supported twelve restaurants, four hotels, six gambling dens and a number of other businesses. Though Kansas was supposedly a dry state at the time, the town also had about twelve saloons.


1888 was the same year that Ulysses became embroiled in a bitter contest with nearby Appomattox (then called Tilden) for the county seat. Though Ulysses finally won the honor of county seat, the town went deeply into debt winning the title. In 1909, when Ulysses was unable to climb out of its profound financial burden, and to prevent foreclosure of the entire town site, the community just decided to move. Loading every building onto skids, the townspeople relocated three miles across the prairie to the present day site of Ulysses, which was then called "New Ulysses." All the lots in the old town were deeded back to the East Coast bondholders and only a masonry school was left behind. The post office closed on July 15, 1909. Today, there are no buildings left on the old townsite. However, a wonderful sign has now been erected that marks the site.


More: See Ulysses Today - Born Twice and Still Kickin!




Old Ulysses sign

Old Ulysses, photo by Kathy Weiser-Alexander.



Shockey Cemeter in Grant County, Kansas

The cemetery is all that remains of Shokey, Kansas, photo by Leon Barton, courtesy Find a Grave.



Shockey/Laport (1886-1906) - A post office was first established in November, 1886 as Laport in Hamilton County before Grant County was created. In April, 1887, the post office was renamed Shockey after local settler, William Shockey. Sometimes called Shockeyville by locals, the town boasted a lumber and hardware store, two general stores, a blacksmith and other businesses. The town had about 50 people and some of its earliest residents were T.R. Hornaday, J.W. Plunkett, David Holmes, A.W. Snyder, F.W. Rider, George Rider, Karl Gall, T.W. Swinney, Peter Kiistner, Peter Molz, L. Binney and William E. Hutchison. It's post office closed in 1906. All that is left of Shockey today is a cemetery. It was located on Bear Creek northwest of Ulysses on S29-T27-R38.


Zionville (1885-1905) - Zionville was established in 1885 in Hamilton County before Grant County was created. One of the first settlers, M.M. Wilson, established one of the first businesses - a general store which became the center of activity. Mr. Wilson also allowed school and church services to be held in his home. In 1886, the town gained a post office and other businesses were soon established including a livery stable, the Elwood Hotel, and a restaurant. The post office closed in 1901 but reopened in 1903, only to be closed again in 1905. All that's left today is the tiny Zionville Cemetery. The site of the old town is located about 10 miles south of Ulysses, on the Virgil Mawhirter farm near the old site of Wagon Bed Spring


Zionville, Kansas Cemetery

The old Zionville Cemetery, Kathy Weiser-Alexander.


Zionville, Kansas

An old home in Zionville has long been abandoned, Kathy Weiser-Alexander.



More Extinct Towns



Post Office Dates

Additional Information from Kansas: A Cyclopedia of State History, 1912, and the Kansas State Historical Society


Athy 1916-1925  




Also called Conductor City, the town was located southeast of Ulysses right up against the county line. It never had a post office.




Doby was locate on the south fork of the Cimarron River about four miles above its mouth and 15 miles southeast of Ulysses.




A post office was first established in Hamilton County in 1886, before Grant County was created. It was later in Stanton County, before moving to Grant County. The post office was in a general store and only one other business existed. It was located near the west line of the county about nine miles southwest of Ulysses on S36-T28s-R39w. 



1888-1898, 1899-1903

Post office originally established in Stanton County. Closed in 1898 and moved to Grant County. Post office reopened In January 1899, but closed forever in May, 1903.




The tiny town of Spurgeon only had a population of fifteen. It was located on located northeast of Ulysses on S28-T27-R35



1891-1901, 1907-1916

A country post office in located 15 miles northeast of Ulysses.





Located in southeast Grant County on the border with Stevens County near the Cimarron River, this was an Irish settlement established in 1886. It never had a post office. Located on S33-T30s-R35w.



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



Also See:


Grant County History and Information

Santa Fe Trail Thru Kansas

Ulysses - Born Twice and Still Kickin!

Wagon Bed Spring on the Santa Fe Trail


If you can add additional information or photographs regarding this article, please feel free to send us an Email. We welcome updates and additional information.


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