Extinct Towns in Nemaha County, Kansas

Free rural mail delivery in Nemaha County, Kansas.

Free rural mail delivery in Nemaha County, Kansas.

Several settlements in Nemaha County, Kansas were colonized by Easterners, motivated by free-state sentiments. The Pony Express, Central Overland California and Pike’s Peak Express, and the Overland Stage Route operated in the county between 1859 and 1870. Portions of the Oregon and California Trails also passed through the county

Log Creek Pony Express Station after being altered.

Log Creek Pony Express Station.

Baker’s Ford

Central City

Granada

Log Chain

Richmond

More Extinct Towns

Town Post Office Dates Additional Information
Albany 1858-1882 Albany was established at the center of S35 T1S R14E on Elwood and Marysville Territorial Road. It was first populated by families from Castle Creek and Painted Post, New York who named it after the capital of their native state. A post office was established on August 5, 1858, with John Shumway as postmaster. Edwin Miller established a hotel in 1858. It was moved to Sabetha in 1871. By 1860, it had a schoolhouse and a store. The post office closed on July 17-1882. It was located two miles north of Sabetha.
America 1858-1859
America City 1860-1932 This place was established on the Parallel Road from Atchison, Kansas to Denver, Colorado on the Red Vermillion River in Red Vermillion Township. An act, incorporating the town, comprising 380 acres of land, was approved by the Territorial Legislature, on February 14, 1857. It was laid out on June 10, 1858, by Samuel Dickson, president of the town company. Most of the early settlers came from Galesburg, Illinois. A post office was established on June 12, 1860. A store was opened, and in 1861 a Methodist church building was erected. At one point the settlement had a hotel, a store, a schoolhouse, and a Church. In 1910 it reported a population of 30. The post office closed on December 15, 1932. It was located 20 miles south of Seneca and six miles from Havensville.
Ash Point 1858-1870 Ash Point was established in 1857 at the center of S8 T2S R11E on the Fort Leavenworth and Fort Laramie Military Road. This place was also referred to as Laramie Creek Station, Frogtown, and Hickory Point. Residents in the immediate area were Josiah Blancett and John Short. A post office opened on November 4, 1858, with Horace Bemus as postmaster. John O’Laughlin, an important man in town, established “Uncle John’s Grocery” and a hotel. On the banks of Vermillion Creek was the site of a Pony Express Station on the California Trail before 1860. Later it was a stage station on the Overland Stage Route. O’laughlin managed the station operations and was said to have sold whiskey to stage passengers. His building, along with a few area dwellings, constituted the town. Primarily settled by pro-slavery advocates, the community lost favor when Kansas looked as if it would become a Free State. The town continued to serve as a stage stop in the 1860s but its post office closed on April 18, 1870, and was moved to Clear Creek. Afterward, the town faded and the townsite later became a farm.
Baker’s Ford NA Most of the early recorded history of Nemaha County centers around Baker’s Ford. It was located on California Trail at the crossing of the Nemaha River. See article HERE.
Bancroft 1891-1941
Museum in Bancroft, Kansas.

Bancroft Museum

Bancroft was located in Wetmore township on the Missouri Pacific Railroad. A post office was established on March 9, 1891. In 1910, it had banking facilities, express and telegraph offices, a post office with one rural route, and a population of 125. The post office closed on May 31, 1941. This tiny town still has a small museum located in its old depot. It was located 19 miles southeast of Seneca.

Berwick 1887-1937 Berwick was a little station on the Chicago and Rock Island Railroad. A post office was established on December 5, 1887. In 1910 it had telegraph and express offices, a money order post office, and a population of 31. The post office closed on January 15, 1937. It was located 18 miles northeast of Seneca and three miles from Sabetha.
Brough/Hayes 1877-1880 This town was first called Hayes when a post office was established on August 17, 1877. Its name was changed to Brough on August 28, 1878. The post office closed on April 28, 1880.
Capioma 1857-1906 Capioma was established in 1856 at the center of S23 T3S R14E, on the Fort Leavenworth and Fort Laramie Military Road. It was named for Kickapoo Indian chief. The town was platted in 1957 and a post office opened on June 5, 1857, with David Magill as postmaster.  A school building was put up the same year. A hotel was opened by Walter Gage in 1859. It was used as a residence as late as 1916. In 1865, William Robinson established a sawmill and blacksmith shop. The post office closed its doors on July 16, 1906. In 1910 its population was 45 and received its mail from Sabetha. It was located 15 miles southeast of Seneca and nine miles south of Sabetha.
Central City 1858-1863 Central City was laid out in 1855, by William Dodge southeast of Baker’s Ford. See article HERE.
Clear Creek 1858-1860
1870-1890
The post office moved from Ash Point to Clear Creek on June 30, 1858. It was located in a farmhouse in Clear Creek Township. The post office closed on September 21, 1860. However, it reopened on April 18, 1870, and continued for two decades before it closed its doors for the last time on December 31, 1899.
Deanville 1871 North of Souther. The post office was only open for two months.
Dorcas 1877-1882 Dorcas was a post office located in a farmhouse. The post office opened on August 20, 1877, and closed on October 27, 1882. It was located near Capioma.
Farmington NA Farmington was established in about 1856 about one mile southwest of Baker’s Ford on the St. Joseph and California Road. It embraced the northwest quarter of Section 26, and the northeast quarter of Section 27, Town 1, Range 12, southwest of old Urbana. The town plat was certified on August 23, 1858, by Barney H. York, the president town company. Thomas Smith and James Parsons succeeded W. W. Moon at the point, where there was a store building, while Rosalvin C. Perham and John E. Perley directed their energies to the building up Farmington. They erected a hotel, store building, and blacksmith shop. The blacksmith shop remained in operation for several years. By the early 1880s, the town had become a pasture. It was located six miles north of Seneca where the California Trail from St. Joseph, and crossed the Nemaha River.
Fidelity 1890-1902
Granada/Pleasant Spring 1856-1906 The small hamlet of Pleasant Spring was located in Granada Township. It was on the Central Overland California and Pike’s Peak Express and the Overland Stage Route between 1859 and 1863. On September 19, 1864, the post office name was changed to Granada. See article HERE.
Kelly 1888-1988 Kelly got its start when the Kansas City, Wichita, and Northwestern Railway was built through the area. A post office was established on June 9, 1888. By 1910, the railroad was operated by the Missouri Pacific Railroad. At that time, the town had banking facilities, telegraph and express offices, a money order office, and a population of 250. In 1901 St. Bede’s Parish in Kelly, Kansas was organized. The next year, a wood frame church was built. Unfortunately, it burned to the ground in 1913. Bigger plans were made for the second church. The German Gothic-inspired limestone building was completed in 1915. Today the beautiful structure, with its 125-foot spire is visible for several miles. It continues to serve a congregation today. Kelly’s post office closed on November 26, 1988. In addition to the church, there are a few scattered homes in the area. Kelly is located in Harrison Township, nine miles southeast of Seneca.
Lexington NA Situated on the Lane Trail, Lexington was a stop on the Underground Railroad that came through the eastern part of the county. It was located three miles south of the present town of Sabetha. 
Lincoln 1861-1868 Lincoln was established in 1860 at the crossing of the South Fork of the Nemaha River at the mouth of Illinois Creek. J. E. Hocker filed a plat for the community in November 1860. It was amed for Abraham Lincoln. A post office was established on March 19, 1861, with Luther B. Jones as the postmaster. Hocker founded two stores, a sawmill, and a blacksmith shop. Because it was primarily settled by pro-slavery advocates, it lost favor and declined. Its post office closed on September 18, 1868.
Log Chain 1864-1868 Log Chain, Kansas, was established in Nemaha County in 1860 as a Pony Express Station. See article HERE.
Neuchatel 1864-1901 Neuchatel was the name given to a post office in Neuchatel Township. The settlers in the immediate vicinity are French and Swiss. A meeting regarding the building of a schoolhouse was held in  March 1863. In May 1863 School District 14 was organized and James Cooper was hired to teach a three months term of school, commencing the end of June. School was first taught in a private home. In the fall, a log schoolhouse was built. A post office opened on August 8, 1864. In 1870, Jules Leroux commenced the publication in this township of the Star of Kansas, an eight-page monthly, printed in the French language and devoted to Communism. In 1871, the school district changed to No.5 serving Nemaha and Pottawatomie Counties and a new stone structure was built. In May 1876, Jules Leroux moved to Fremont County, Iowa, taking his establishment with him. The post office closed on May 15, 1901. However, the school remained open for another 50 years. It still stands today along with Neuchatel village hall. The community was located in the extreme southwest corner of the county, four miles from Onaga in Pottawatomie County.
Ontario 1862-1922 The post office was initially established in Jackson County. It was located on the Northwestern Railroad. The depot was located about a quarter-mile north of the town center.

Ontario, Kansas Depot, 1908.

Ontario, Kansas Depot, 1908.

Ontario, Kansas School.

Ontario, Kansas School.

Pacific City NA Pacific City was established in 1856 at the center of Section 14, Town 3, Range 13. A good well on a high hill inspired Orrin Gage to build a hotel. It was once a place of high expectations. Primarily settled by pro-slavery advocates, the community lost favor when Kansas looked as if it would become a Free State. The settlement didn’t make it and soon became a farm. Gage’s hotel was torn down in 1902.
Plymouth NA Plymouth got its start in September 1856 when James Redpath and 300 free state settlers joined Preston B. Plumb and approximately 30 men at this point in September 1856. It was located on Lane’s Trail in the southeast corner of S15 T13 R15E, on Pony Creek six miles northeast of present-day Sabetha.
Powhatan 1857-1867 Powhatan was established in 1856 at the center of S32 T5S R15E about three miles northeast of Wetmore. A post office was established on July 17, 1857, with Russell Newell as postmaster. The post office was closed and relocated to Wetmore on December 18, 1867. Twenty years later, in 1887, another town with the same name was established about ten miles to the northeast when the Rock Island Railroad was constructed. A road connected Kennekuk and Powhattan along the south edge of the Kickapoo Reserve.
Price 1895-1906 Located four miles west of Sabetha, a post office opened in Price on July 15, 1895. It never grew very large. It was a station on the St. Joseph & Grand Island Railroad. The post office closed on August 13, 1906. In 1910, it had a population of just 30.
Richmond 1855-1859 Richmond, Kansas in Nemaha County was settled in 1854 by Cyrus Dolman. It was located on the Fort Leavenworth-Fort Kearny Military Road at the crossing of the South Fork of the Nemaha River. See Article HERE.
St. Benedict 1883-1902 St. Benedict was an unincorporated community in Nemaha County, Kansas. A post office opened on September 10, 1883. The beautiful St. Mary’s Church was built in 1893. The post office closed on December 31, 1902. The church still provides services today and several homes remain in the area. It is located three miles north of Seneca.
Silver Spring 1872-1875
Sother 1871-1878 Souther was for a time the terminus of the Central Branch Railroad. A section house was built, and a store was opened by J. R. Pickett. It was named for Honorable Thomas Sother and was about four miles northwest of Wetmore.
Swift 1890-1895
Swifton 1896-1898
Taylor 1885-1890
Tyler’s 1864-?? Tyler’s was established in about 1860. It was located at the crossing of Grasshopper Creek two miles southwest of present-day Fairview. A post office opened in 1864 with John Tyler as postmaster.
Urbana/Moorestown 1855 Also referred to as Moorestown, the settlement started in 1854 by W.W. Moon at Baker’s Ford, on the South Fork of the Nemaha River. A post office was established on March 3, 1855, with John Jett as postmaster. W. W. Moore and Walter Beeles built a toll bridge and felled a large tree at the ford to force the use of their bridge. High water carried the tree downstream and destroyed their bridge. The post office was only in operation for a few months. It closed on June 19, 1855.
Wheatland NA A paper town located at the geographical center of the county.
Woodlawn 1881-1906 During the summer of 1881, W. L. Challis selected a fine, natural site, in Capioma Township. He then erected a four-story mill with a stone basement, in which he placed a 100 horsepower engine and four sets of burrs. This mill, placed in the charge of J. W. Burt as manager, at once became so popular, that a settlement grew up around it. A store building was erected, in which was placed a stock of general merchandise, by W. N. Taylor. A post office was established with Paul Challis as postmaster on May 3, 1881. It was also used as a government office. A drug store was opened by Dr. J. B. West, and a hotel with nine rooms was available to the traveling public by Albert Yost. The second floor of Taylor’s Store Building was fitted with a public auditorium called Woodlawn Hall. The post office closed on July 16, 1906. It was located about an equal distance from Wetmore and from Sabetha.

©Kathy Alexander/Legends of Kansas, June 2022.

Also See:

Frontier Trails of Kansas

Kansas Destinations

Nemaha County, Kansas

Nemaha County Photo Gallery

Sources:

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.
Kansas Post Office History
Kansas Heritage
Seneca Courier-Democrat