Uniontown, Kansas

Main Street in Uniontown, Kansas, by Kathy Alexander.

Main Street in Uniontown, Kansas, by Kathy Alexander.

Uniontown, Kansas, one of the early settlements of Bourbon County, is situated in the Marmaton River Valley. As of the 2020 census, the population of the city was 293.

When this community started in the 1850s, it was first called Turkey Creek. A post office was established on February 12, 1858, with William Holt as the first postmaster. It was about two miles east of the present town at that time. The first school in the township was taught by William Kirby in 1860. In 1862, the town was moved to its present site, and K.C. Kirby became the postmaster. The first dwelling was built in 1863 by L. P. Foster, the second by Francis Ramsey, and the third by B. F. Gumm. In 1864, a store was opened by Dr. John E. Grant and A. J. Mounce. A schoolhouse was erected just off the townsite the same year. John Hartman, the first blacksmith, opened his shop in October 1864.

In early 1865, a town company was formed consisting of Aleph Goff, President; B. F. Gumm, Secretary; K. C. Kirby, W. W. Wright, George P. Eaves, John W. Wells, Robert W. Wells, Nelson Griswold, L. P. Foster, James Wright, and John P. Guttry. The town company purchased 20 acres of John L. Guttry for a townsite, and preparations for the building up of a town were made. In the spring, the Grant-Mounce store was purchased by L. P. Foster. It stood a little to the southwest of the town site. The first building on the town site was erected for a store by K. C. Kirby in 1866; the second by L. P. Foster in 1867; the third was a hotel by B F. Gumm in 1868; the fourth by James Patterson in 1870. The first physician in the vicinity was Dr. R. Anderson, who entered the township in 1866 and Uniontown in 1867.

Afterward, the Gumm Hotel was remodeled, improved, and renamed the Howard House. H. A. Hill opened the first hardware store in the town.

Uniontown, Kansas

Election day in Uniontown in the early 1900s. Photo courtesy City of Uniontown. Color by LOA.

The first lawyer was Columbus Sprague in 1878.

A new two-story frame school building was erected in 1871 for $2,000.

The same year, the two and a half stories high Uniontown Mill was erected in the spring by L. P. Foster & H. Smith. It contained two runs of buhrs, with a capacity of 125 bushels of wheat per day and a 35 horsepower engine.

On March 10, 1873, the town and post office name was changed from Turkey Creek to Uniontown in honor of the early settlers’ loyalty to the Union in the Civil War.

Missouri Pacific Railroad Depot in Uniontown, Kansas about 1900.

Missouri Pacific Railroad Depot in Uniontown, Kansas, about 1900.

In 1878, a Methodist Church was organized with 40 members. A neat-frame church building was erected in 1880 for about $2,000.

In 1880, the St. Louis, Fort Scott & Wichita Railroad came through the town. Soon, there were five general stores, a drug store, a hardware store, a furniture and agricultural implement dealer, two blacksmiths, a wagon shop, two hotels, a lumber yard, a livery stable, and a population of about 300.

In the n next decade, the town grew to a population of 344 in 1890.

In 1910, Uniontown was on the Missouri Pacific Railroad and was a banking point for a considerable district. At that time, it had several general stores, a hardware and implement house, a wagon shop, a lumber yard, a livery stable, and a population of 300.

Old business building in Uniontown, Kansas by Kathy Alexander.

Old business building in Uniontown, Kansas, by Kathy Alexander.

Uniontown’s population peaked in 1980 at 371. Afterward, it gradually fell.

It is located 15 miles west of Fort Scott, Kanas.

©Kathy Alexander/Legends of Kansas, October 2023.

Also See:

Bourbon County Photo Gallery

Everyplace in Kansas

Fort Scott, Kansas

Old gas station in Uniontown, Kansas by Kathy Alexander.

Old gas station in Uniontown, Kansas, by Kathy Alexander.

Kansas Destinations


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.