Extinct Towns in Trego County, Kansas

Trego County, Kansas homestead.

Trego County, Kansas homestead.

Bluffton Stage Station

Downer Station/Fort Downer

Wilcox & Its One Room School

Town Post Office Dates Additional Information
Banner 1879-1918
Store in Banner, Kansas.

Store in Banner, Kansas.

Banner was located on Section 34, Township 13, Range 25. The community was settled in the late 1870s by farmers, many of them who were old soldiers who homesteaded the land. On December 8, 1879, a post office was established on land owned by L. W. Purinton. E.L. Drake became the first postmaster. The name “Banner” was suggested by J. C. Brown. The mail was delivered twice a week on horseback. In 1910, it was connected with the surrounding towns by telephone and was a trading point for that section of the county. The post office was discontinued on September 30, 1918, when Rural Route 2 was established. Banner used to have a church, school, post office, store, blacksmith shop, and a creamery. It was located about 15 miles southwest of Wakeeney, the county seat, and ten miles south of Collyer, the nearest railroad station.

Bluffton Stage Station NA Bluffton Station in Trego County, Kansas, was a stop on the Butterfield Overland Despatch stage line on the Smoky Hill Trail.
Bosna 1880-1921 Bosna was located on Section 34, Township 13, and Range 24. The heydays of Bosna were from the 1880s to the early 1920s. After the post office was established on May 24, 1880, Frank W. Zeman served as Bosna’s first postmaster. The post office was located in a small house near the Bosna school house. Settlers around Bosna often met at the schoolhouse, and one of the community’s social activities was “box suppers.” The post office closed on August 15, 1921. Today, only a few farmhouses stand as reminders of the Bosna community. It was located on Big Creek, about 12 miles southwest of Wakeeney, the most convenient railroad station.
Buckeye 1886 Buckeye was located somewhere south of the Smoky Hill River. Its post office was only open for two months, from February to April 1886. The postmaster was Thomas W. Miller.
Coyote None Coyote started in 1866 when it served as a terminus for the Union Pacific Railroad. Railroad workers lived in dugouts until the line continued onto Denver, Colorado. Daily stages traveled from Coyote to Denver, and the wagon loads hauled freight to the Colorado and New Mexico mining towns. Ben O. Richards, who arrived in 1870, oversaw the section house before it was moved to Collyer. Ben and his wife also boarded railroad workers for a weekly rate of $2.50. In 1872, a son of Russian Czar Alexander II, Grand Duke Alexis and his hunting expedition escorts, Buffalo Bill Cody, General Philip Sheridan, General George Custer, and Spotted Tail made Coyote their headquarters. Coyote was located west of Collyer.
Cyrus/Williamsville 1879-1880
This place got its start in Ness County and was called Williamsville. A post office opened on June 13, 1879, and closed on March 9, 1880, when the town moved to Trego County. At that time, the name was changed to Cyrus and the first postmaster was James Rogers. The post office continued until it was closed on March 10, 1889.
Downer Station/Fort Downer None A stage station and fort located on the Smoky Hill Trail.
Gibson 1880-1893 The Gibson post office was established on December 30, 1880, with Timothy Armstrong as the first postmaster. The post office closed on August 15, 1893. The town was located north of the Smoky Hill River in the southwest corner of Trego County, close to Gibson School. There were stone quarries in the area.
Kristof 1904 The Kristof Post Office was established on January 22, 1904, and the community was named for George and Anna Kristof, who owned the land where the post office was established. The Kristof’s, lived in Voda, which was then called Colona, and when a better site was found for the post office, the post office changed locations. The order of change was rescinded for the post office on March 9, 1904. It then became known as the Voda Post Office. Frank Bordowsky was the first postmaster until he moved to Czechoslovakia.
Schreader 1878-1881 A post office was established in Schreader on October 10, 1878. It closed three years later on October 31, 1881.
Smytheville 1879 Although its exact location is unknown, Smytheville was near Ogallah. Its post office was only open from March through September 1879.
Stockrange 1900-1908 Stockrange was a small town located in Franklin Township. A post office opened on February 2, 1900. However, it closed on February 29, 1908. Afterward, it received its mail Valley, an inland post office on the Smoky Hill River. It was located 15 miles south of Wakeeney, the county seat, and ten miles north of Ransom, the nearest shipping point. In 1910, its population was 20.
Trego Station/Park’s Fort 1871-1872
This place got its start in 1871 and was called Park’s Fort. Also called Trego Station, it was established to protect railroad workers from Indian attacks. It was named after Thomas Parks who was killed by Indians on June 18, 1867. Two section houses were built, but the “settlement” was mostly a tent encampment. The Union Pacific Railroad established a pumping station there. A post office was established on December 28, 1871, and closed on November 20, 1872. When the railroad moved west, non-railroad workers moved into the section houses. The post office reopened on May 28, 1874. At that time, it was more of a stopping point for the railroad than a settlement since it only had a tank, a well, and a windmill. The name was changed from Park’s Fort to Trego on November 20, 1874. The post office moved to Wakeeney on February 6, 1878. After the WaKeeney post office closed in April 1879, Trego’s post office reopened. It closed again on April 13, 1881. After almost a decade, it reopened on March 22, 1900, only to close for the last time later that year on December 15, 1900. The fort was two miles east of WaKeeney.
Trego Center NA Germans arrived in the area in 1882, but years passed before Trego Center became a settlement in 1904. In 1905, many Volga Germans from Russell County began acquiring land around Trego Center. The settlement was south of WaKeeney.
Tregola 1891-1893 Although a townsite was surveyed, blocked, and platted, Tregola had few settlers. The primary occupants were soldiers who found safety from the Indians in the all-rock buildings. After the post office was established in October 1891, Claus Schermann served as the postmaster. The post office closed in June of 1893.
Valley 1907-1917 Valley was a country post office that opened on June 3, 1907. It was located in Franklin Township on the Smoky Hill River, 20 miles south of Wakeeney, the county seat, and about 12 miles from Ransom, the nearest shipping point. The post office closed on January 15, 1917.
Voda/Colona 1904-1907
When this settlement began, it was a Union Pacific Railroad switch station called Colona. As a settlement developed in the early 1900s, its name became “Voda,” the Czech word for “water.” A post office was established on March 18, 1904. The settlement grew to include a school, a blacksmith shop, a general store, and two grain elevators. Local Czech settlers built the Voda Hall, where dances and meetings were held. Almost as quickly as the settlement grew, its population declined. The post office closed on June 15, 1907. However, it reopened on September 10, 1912. It didn’t last long and closed for the last time on December 15, 1913. It was located about seven miles west of WaKeeney.
Wilcox 1879-1896 Wilcox was a small rural settlement located between WaKeeney and Ness City. Today, the only reminder of this small community is the historic Wilcox School.

©Kathy Alexander/Legends of Kansas, June 2022.

Also See:

Butterfield Overland Despatch

Smoky Hill Trail

Trego County

Trego County Photo Gallery


Blackmar, Frank W.; Kansas: A Cyclopedia of State History, Vol I; Standard Publishing Company, Chicago, IL 1912.
Fort Hays State University
Kansas GenWeb
Wilcox School National Register Nomination