Kalvesta, Kansas, is an unincorporated community in Finney County. It is also an extinct town, as it no longer has a post office. Its name was derived from the Greek word kalos, meaning “beautiful,” and Vesta, the Roman goddess of the hearth and home.
One of the early-day families was the Maurice Taylors, who arrived in 1885. S. H. DeArmond and family also came to the neighborhood that year, first having come to Dodge City from Ohio. They bought an ox team at Dodge and drove the distance to their claim.
The town was first established three and a half miles northeast of the present town site in 1886.
The Hodgeman County Herald moved to Kalvesta on September 17, 1886, and began at once to advocate the formation of a new county out of the west half of Hodgeman County and part of what is now Garfield Township, making Kalvesta the county seat. It claimed Kalvesta was designated to be one of the best cities in the West. Mr. Bond, the editor, talked about railroads and encouraged various big enterprises for the city. Lots could be bought on Broadway for $200.
Kalvesta was laid out by a town company in 1887, and it had a lumberyard and newspaper within its first few years of existence. However, like several other towns in western Kansas, the railroad plans never came to fruition.
At its peak, the town had several stores, two blacksmith shops, a lumber yard, a coal yard, a drug store, a livery stable, a good school, a fine Sunday school and church services, and the printing office that edited the Kalvesta Herald. It is a good trading point with a large trade territory.
By 1889, or after a year or two of continued drought, people deserted the country.
In 1910, Kalvesta had a country post office, a general store, a tri-weekly stage to Dodge City, 34 miles to the southeast, and a population of 25. At that time, Cimarron, about 18 miles south, was the nearest shipping point.
On April 9, 1934, a Civilian Conservation Corps Camp was established near Kalvesta as part of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal program to generate employment for young men while emphasizing work toward conservation projects across rural America. Camp Kinney was 14 miles northwest of Kalvesta. The company was transferred to Farlington, Kansas, after completing the project at Camp Kinney.
Kalvesta never grew very large but retained a post office until October 3, 1998.
Today, Kalvesta consists of two large grain elevators, a heavy farm implement dealership and a few homes in the area.
The community is served by Cimarron–Ensign USD 102 public school district.
Kalvesta is located in Garfield Township, along Highway K-156, about 20 miles west of Jetmore and 18 miles north-northeast of Cimarron.
Blackmar, Frank W.; Kansas: A Cyclopedia of State History, Vol I; Standard Publishing Company, Chicago, IL 1912.
Fort Hays State University
Oringderff, Barbara. “Kalvesta, Kansas, The Town With No Crossroads.” Kansas Territorial 3, January/February, 1983.