Padonia, Kansas – Extinct in Brown County

Missouri Pacific Railroad sign in Padonia, Kansas by H. Killam, 1964.

Missouri Pacific Railroad sign in Padonia, Kansas by H. Killam, 1964.

Padonia, Kansas, is an extinct town in Padonia Township of Brown County. The first settler in the area was E. R. Cornelison, who took a claim on April 3, 1854.

In 1856, John Schmidt built a sawmill on the Walnut River near Padonia, and a substantial dam was erected.

The post office was established on October 20, 1857, and Orville Root was the first postmaster. The town was named in honor of Jessie Padon, who lived in a log hut on the bank of the Walnut River.

The Padonia Town Company built a schoolhouse in 1858.

Samuel Danes was the proprietor of Padonia Flouring Mills in 1876. He had purchased the mill property and put in new machinery. Situated on the west bank of Walnut Creek and it was the only water-power mill in the county. It had two 20-inch wheels, three runs of buhrs, and a capacity for making 30 barrels of flour daily, which he sent to Hiawatha, Hamlin, White Cloud, Falls City, Nebraska, and various other distributing points.

By the early 1880s, Padonia was a station on the Missouri Pacific Railroad, but the town had grown very little and was said to have been “more of a thick settlement of farmhouses.”

Padonia, Kansas silos today by Kathy Alexander.

Padonia, Kansas silos today by Kathy Alexander.

In 1882, E. Chase & Son began an extensive merchandise business with Eddie A. Chase as the general manager. They had a 50×20 foot store room and two floors that were completely filled with general merchandise. They were also extensively engaged in shipping grain and livestock.

In 1910, the community was still located on the Missouri Pacific Railroad. At that time, it had a flour mill, several well-stocked retail establishments, churches and schools, express and telegraph offices, a money order post office, and a population of 104.

Its post office closed on May 5, 1931.

Amazingly, this tiny place that has been extinct for so long still has grain silos, a couple of buildings, and a few area homes.

It is located five miles north of Hiawatha.

©Kathy Alexander/Legends of Kansas, September 2022.

An old business building in Pandonia by Kathy Weiser-Alexander.

An old business building in Padonia by Kathy Alexander.

Also See:

Brown County, Kansas

Brown County Photo Gallery

Extinct Towns of Brown County

Kansas Towns & Cities


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.