Hamden, Kansas – Extinct in Coffey County

Coffey County, Kansas Map by L.H. Everts & Co., 1887

Coffey County, Kansas Map by L.H. Everts & Co., 1887

Hamden, Kansas is an extinct town in Hamden Township in Coffey County.

It was settled by the Hampden Colony, which consisted of 100 men and women from Hampden, Massachusetts, in April 1855. On Sunday, April 29, 1855, Reverend Knight preached the first sermon on the townsite, probably the first ever preached in Coffey County. On August 5, 1855, the townsite owners had their first drawing for lots. Several houses were built between 1855 and 1856, and its projectors and owners expected to make it the leading city of southern Kansas. A post office was established on June 15, 1857.

The establishment of its rival, Burlington, across the river, in 1857 slowed the growth of Hamden and its post office closed on February 16, 1858. On August 18, 1859, Enos Strawn, Probate Judge of Coffey County, deeded the townsite to John M. Espy and Amasa B. Sampson in trust for the occupants. On the same day, Espy and Sampson conveyed the property to Rueben H. Farnham, of Lecompton, Kansas. On September 19, 1860, Rueben Farnham conveyed the property to Isaac E. Olney of Clinton, Missouri. Major A. C. Marvin, of the same place, was understood to be a silent partner of Mr. Olney in the purchase. Isaac Olney immediately removed to Hampden and erected a house for his family. In the fall of 1863 and 1864, several houses were built. The post office reopened on April 9, 1864, and in May 1863, the county seat moved from Burlington to Hamden, reviving the hopes for the town.

On June 4, 1864, Isaac Olney issued the first issue of the Hampden Expositor, which lived a precarious existence until the spring of 1865, when the office was removed to Garnett. The town received a death blow in November 1865 when the county seat was returned to Burlington. The post office closed its doors for the last time on April 2, 1866.

©Kathy Alexander/Legends of Kansas, September 2022.

Also See:

Coffey County, Kansas

Coffey County Photo Gallery

Extinct Towns of Coffey County

Kansas Ghost Towns


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.