Ransomville, Kansas, an extinct town in Franklin County, was a coal mining camp located in the southwestern part of the county.
In 1880, J.H. Ransom examined the quality of coal at this point, and after comparing it with coal at Fort Scott and Carbondale, he leased 40 acres from E. M. Bartholow and sunk a shaft. Afterward, he purchased 320 acres and established a store. When a post office was established on February 1, 1881, he was appointed postmaster, and the town was named for him.
In the early 1880s, the town consisted of about 35 small frame cottages occupied by miners, a store, the post office, and a school. It was situated on the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad.
By 1886, Ransom had opened at least five shafts, each 50 feet deep, yielding about 1000 tons of coal a month. His coal production was more than all other mines in the county combined. Sixty men were employed.
In 1910, Ransomville had a money order post office, telegraph and express facilities, a public school, and a population of 125.
James H. Ransom died in September 1914, and the mines closed the same year. The post office closed on June 30, 1915.
Today the old townsite is a farm located about two miles northeast of Williamsburg at the intersection of U.S. 50 highway and Hamilton Road.
©Kathy Alexander/Legends of Kansas, July 2022.
Extinct Towns of Franklin County
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.
Franklin County History
Franklin County History Club