History, Tales, and Destinations in the Land of Ahs


Rush County Museums and Historic Sites

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rush County Historical Museum, La Crosse, KansasMuseums:




Bison Community Museum - Exhibits items and information on Bison's early history. Located in the Community Building on Main Street.


La Crosse:


Kansas Barbed Wire Museum - Barbed wire  was an important commodity in the early days of Kansas. The museum is devoted solely to the history and legend of this part of American history often referred to as the “Devils Rope”. Located at 120 W. 1st Street, La Cross Kansas.

Nekoma Bank Museum - The historic Nekoma, Kansas bank was moved to La Crosse, Kansas and is dedicated to the history of banking in rural America. Located at 202 West 1st Street, La Crosse, Kansas.

Post Rock Museum - Housed in the 1883 homestead of Dan Haley, the native stone building exhibits information related to the quarry of native stone by early Kansas pioneers.  Located at 202 W. 1st Street in La Crosse, Kansas.


Rush County Historical Museum - Housed in the former Timken Santa Fe Depot, collections include artifacts and antiques related to the pioneer life of early settlers in Rush County, Kansas. Located at 202 W. 1st Street in La Crosse, Kansas.




McCracken Historical Museum - Housed in the old city jail, the museum offers exhibits of items related to the history of McCracken, Kansas as well as information about the movie "Paper Moon" which was filmed in the area. Located on Main Street in McCracken, Kansas.


Historic Sites:




Lone Star School - Built as the German Methodist Episcopal Church and school, construction began in 1878 with hand-hewn native stone.  It was the first German speaking Methodist Church in Rush County. The building was used as a church and school until the congregation built a new church one mile north in 1890. It was then sold to the the school district and classes were held until 1947 when the district merged with Bison. Currently furnishings and memorabilia are being collected in an effort to restore the interior of the school to its former appearance. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it is located 1 1/4 miles west of BisonBison on Avenue M. 

La Crosse:


Rush County Courthouse - Built in 1888, the beautiful Romanesque style building, constructed of brick with native stone accents, building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  Prominent features of the building include a circular tower on the southeast corner, a square tower on the northeast, native stone arches over the entrances and stained glass dormers. Located at 715 Elm Street.




 St. Joseph's Church, Liebenthal, kansasLiebenthal:  


St. Joseph's Kirche - The first Catholic church was built in Liebenthal in 1878 but by the early 1900s, a larger church building was needed. From 1902 until 1905, the members of the parish worked to complete the present native stone church, utilizing over two thousand loads of stone that were were dug from nearby hills. The stained glass windows were made by an Austrian/German artist. Twice, fire destroyed all of the wood sections and the roof of the cathedral. St. Josephs Kirche stands as one of the most beautiful churches on the Kansas plains.  Located near the church are the rectory and parocial school, both constructed of native stone quarried near the community. In 1997, following restructuring of the Liebenthal, McCracken, and Timken churches, Mass was no longer held on a regular basis. However, today, masses have been rescheduled for Saturday nights.




Hampton Cemetery - The community of Hampton, located along the Fort Hays - Fort Dodge Trail, was situated five miles east of McCracken. The community no longer exists; however, area citizens have worked to restore the cemetery.


St. Mary's Church - Built in 1926, this beautiful ornate dark brick building with stone arches and trim was built on the same site as an earlier church, from which much of the original stone was used. In 1997, following restructuring of the Liebenthal, McCracken, and Timken churches, Mass was no longer held on a regular basis in McCracken. Members of the parish formed the Saint Mary's McCracken Heritage Association in effort to preserve the beautiful building. Currently the building is used for special occasions and services. Located on Ash Street at the north edge of town.

Historical Markers:


Fort Hays - Fort Dodge Trail - Established in 1867, the Fort Hays - Fort Dodge Trail, which passed near this spot, was first used by the military and some civilian traffic in 1868. The following year Alexander Harvey, a former member of the Sixth Cavalry, built a trading post on the trail on the north bank of Walnut Creek near here, and provided a place to ford the creek. The marker and a rest area are located on K-96 on the west edge of Alexander.


La Crosse:


Howard R. Barnard (1863-1948), Pioneer Educator - Howard R. Barnard established Entre Nous "College" in northwest Rush County in 1906. He built a 2-story building, hired teachers, and provided school buses, using for funds a sizable inheritance which he received from the east. This was one of the first schools to offer visual education, free transportation, and physical training. By 1913 his funds were depleted, and the school was closed. He taught in the public schools of Rush County, often going hungry to buy more books, and in 1923 became Librarian in the LaCrosse Rural High School. At his death on December 9, 1948, his large collection of books was left to "the school children of Rush County." The Barnard Library, named in his honor, located is located 4 blocks north and 1 block west of this point and displays items pertaining to his devoted life to this county. The marker is located in City Park in La Crosse.



Compiled and edited by Kathy Weiser/Legends of Kansas, updated March, 2017.


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