Imperial, Kansas – Extinct in Finney County

Garfield County, Kansas by L.H. Everts & Co., 1887.

Garfield County, Kansas by L.H. Everts & Co., 1887.

Imperial, Kansas, is an extinct town in Finney County. It was initially established in Garfield County, which was later dissolved.

One of the first settlers in the area was Daniel S. Carl, who arrived in March 1887. When he came to the area, he found a settler in almost every quarter. Therefore, from necessity, he filed a claim upon a hill, later known as Imperial. He pre-empted the northeast quarter of section 4, and as soon as he could lay up a sod house, he was joined by his wife, two sons, and a baby daughter.

In 1886, C.V. Chalfont moved to Garfield County and lived near Imperial for many years. He built one of the best farm improvements in this region and was one of the first farmers to make diversified farming a success.

During the summer of 1887, the Imperial neighborhood sought a place to hold meetings and Sunday School. They decided to use the new stable built by Daniel Carl. Built of sod,  it was 16 feet wide and 40 feet long, covered with boards. Soon, the neighborhood people, without regard to religious belief, met here for service under the leadership of the pioneer pastor, Reverend Turney.

In the meantime, Carl worked various jobs to maintain his family, which was increased in a few years by the advent of twin daughters and another son. Plum. They and the Chalfont family, neighbors for a time, were the only people who had the nerve and foresight to remain in that region and face the continued drought and hardships.

A post office was established on May 8, 1888. In 1889, it was housed in Carl’s home.

Carl and his wife helped organize school district No. 4, Imperial School, commonly known as Carl’s District. When nearly all the settlers left that section, Mr. Carl and his wife served on the school board to comply with the law and keep up the school.

In 1910, Imperial was described as a country post office with a population of 20.

Until 1917, this district used a makeshift schoolhouse, and the Carl home served as the place of public meetings. But after many years, Mrs. Carl’s ambition to have a good schoolhouse was realized. It was built on her tree claim and offered a convenient and comfortable place for church and public gatherings in the neighborhood. The couple also replaced their sod home with a large frame structure, which continued to house the post office.

Imperial’s post office closed on March 31, 1932.

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

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

It was located in Garfield Township, 23 miles northeast of Garden City and 19 miles southwest of Dighton, in Lane County, the nearest railroad station.

©Kathy Alexander/Legends of Kansas, September 2023.

Also See:

Every Place in Kansas

Finney County, Kansas

Kansas Counties

Santa Fe Trail Across Kansas


Blackmar, Frank W.; Kansas: A Cyclopedia of State History, Vol I; Standard Publishing Company, Chicago, IL 1912.
Blanchard, Leola Howard; The Conquest of Southwest Kansas, Wichita Eagle Press, 1931.