Horace, Kansas – Greeley County Semi-Ghost Town

Horace, Kansas Town View by Kathy Alexander.

Horace, Kansas Town View by Kathy Alexander.

Missouri Pacific Railroad in Horace, Kansas.

Missouri Pacific Railroad in Horace, Kansas.

Horace, Kansas, is a semi-ghost town located in central Greeley County.

Horace was founded in 1886 when the Missouri Pacific Railroad was coming through the area. It was named after Horace Greeley, the editor of the New York Tribune, who encouraged western settlement with the motto “Go West, young man.” A post office was established in Horace on February 10, 1886, and the town grew quickly.

In 1887 Horace was incorporated and when it was time to choose a county seat, Horace was a contender. However, though larger than nearby Tribune, it lost out to Tribune which was located just two miles to the east. However, Horace maintained and by 1888, it had 300 residents, a newspaper, and a bank.

Baptist Church in Horace, Kansas.

Baptist Church in Horace, Kansas.

In the early 1900s, the town boasted a large brick school building, a railroad roundhouse, a YMCA building, a hotel, a grocery store, and a Baptist Church. Unfortunately, it appears that all of these buildings are gone today.

By 1910, Horace had a number of mercantile establishments, telegraph and express offices, a money order office, and a population of 189. It also continued to be a stop along the Missouri Pacific Railroad.

The town had a population in 1958 at 258, but afterward, the numbers decreased. In 1960, it had fallen to just 195 people and its post office closed on December 30, 1965. At some point, its train depot also closed.

In November 2007, voters in rural Greeley County and in Tribune approved a consolidation of the county and the city of Horace. However, Horace citizens decided against consolidation and the City of Horace continues to maintain a separate city council to manage its affairs.

Today, Horace is called home to only about 65 people with no open retail businesses.

 

©Kathy Alexander/Legends of Kansas, January 2022.

Old business building in Horace, Kansas by Kathy Alexander.

Old business building in Horace, Kansas by Kathy Alexander.

Also See:

Ghost Towns & Near Ghosts of Kansas

Ghost Towns Across America

Kansas Ghost Town Photo Galleries

Kansas Towns & Cities

Kansas – The Sunflower State

Sources:

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