Herkimer, Kansas

Herkimer, Kansas View, courtesy Google Maps.

Herkimer, Kansas View, courtesy Google Maps.

Herkimer, Kansas, is an unincorporated community in Marshall County. As of the 2020 census, the population of the community and nearby areas was 54.

The first settlement made in the vicinity was by the Fredericks Brothers and H. Lenker, who settled on Horseshoe Creek in 1858. They were followed in 1859 and 1860 by H. Hibermann, the three Reamer brothers, I. and N. Holloway, James Bartlou, T. Koeneke, and others.

Herkimer, Kansas circa 1914 colorized.

Herkimer, Kansas, circa 1914. Touch of color LOA.

School District No. 63 was organized in 1870, and a stone schoolhouse was built. In 1874, through the efforts of O. Keller, a post office was established under the name Reamer Creek, with F. Reamer acting as postmaster. A few weeks later, the office was discontinued.

In 1878, a townsite was laid off on a tract of land owned by O. Keller, its founder. The first residence was built on the townsite by Adanf Keller.

The first business house built in the place was erected by Wesley Ulch in 1880. He remained for about two years. A post office was established on July 18, 1878, and named for a town of the same name in New York. In 1879, the neighboring farmers contributed a lot of work for a sidetrack, scraping, and leveling. In 1880, a depot was built for the St. Joseph and Western Railroad with Charley Tobias as agent.

Soon, H. Ainelunxen built a one-story frame store on the east side, John Huber built a hardware store and tin shop, and August Fisher built a blacksmith shop on the west. In 1881, V.W. Emmert started a lumber yard and erected a warehouse for handling grain. In 1881, the school was destroyed by a severe storm but was rebuilt in the summer of 1882.

Dr. R. L. Tayes built a drug store and office in 1883; Herman Engel was the first harness maker in town; he came in 1884. At that time, Charles and Anton Huber erected a two-story double frame store, with the second story used for theatre and public gatherings. A steam-grain elevator was moved from Hanover to Herkimer in 1889 by W. H. Koeneke.

The German Evangelical church was built in 1890 for $2500.

Zion Lutheran Church in Herkimer, Kansas courtesy Google Maps.

Zion Lutheran Church in Herkimer, Kansas, courtesy of Google Maps.

The Zion Lutheran Church was established in Herkimer in 1892 as an offshoot of the Immanuel Lutheran Church near Bremen. A parsonage and schoolhouse were also built. The church continues to serve a congregation today.

On April 26, 1902, a fire destroyed every business building in town except the elevator and Doctor Tayes’ drug store, causing a loss exceeding $40,000. Unfortunately, the town never fully recovered.

Situated amid a prosperous agricultural community, Herkimer was the business center for Logan Township in 1910. At that time, it had a telegraph, express, and post office, and the population was 225.

Though the town’s population continued to fall, it still boasted several businesses in 1917, including the Herkimer State Bank, a general merchandise store, a hardware store, a garage and automobile dealership, a barbershop, a shoe shop, a meat market, a blacksmith, implement dealer, restaurant, a pool hall, and the grain elevator. At that time, the town was called home to about 130 people.

The Herkimer School continued to teach students until 1966. The building still stands today.

The post office closed its doors in May 1974. Though the town’s population is unknown today, Herkimer Township is called home to about 230 people. Herkimer is located on a bend of Reamer Creek, five miles northwest of Marysville.

Vintage Herkimer, Kansas School

Vintage Herkimer, Kansas School.

The old school still stands in Herkimer, Kansas today, courtesy Gooigle Maps.

The old school still stands in Herkimer, Kansas, courtesy of Google Maps.

©Kathy Alexander/Legends of Kansas, updated November 2023.

Also See:

Kansas History

Marshall County, Kansas

Marshall County Photo Gallery

Places & Destinations


Blackmar, Frank W.; Kansas: A Cyclopedia of State History, Vol I; Standard Publishing Company, Chicago, IL 1912.
Forter, Emma Elizabeth Calderhead; History of Marshall County, Kansas: Its People, Industries, and Institutions; B.F. Bowen, 1917.
Immanuel Church