Hatfield, Kansas – Extinct in Finney County

Finney County, Kansas Map by L.H. Everts & Co., 1887.

Finney County, Kansas Map by L.H. Everts & Co., 1887.

Hatfield, Kansas, is an extinct town in Finney County. The community was first called Whitson when it was established.

Aaron F. Whitson came to what was then Sequoyah County in 1884 with his children John and Barbara and homesteaded three quarter sections northwest of Garden City. He later became a well-known author with a number of published books.

On February 8, 1886, a post office called Whitson was established. It was one of the smallest post offices in the United States, as it occupied only a portion of a home kitchen with a few pigeonhole boxes.

A year later, John W. Gregory, who became editor of the Garden City Sentinel and was probate judge, had the town of Hatfield surveyed and laid out, and the town’s name was changed from Whitson to Hatfield on August 20, 1887.

J. N. Reeves and his family lived four miles east of Hatfield. Mrs. Reeves taught school in all the adjoining districts, teaching a term in later years among the deserted ruins of Hatfield. Mr. Reeves was a member of the board of education while his wife taught. Several children came from without the district, but within the district, the school consisted only of the Reeves children.

At its peak, it had a store, operated by Thompson and Crawford, a claim house occupied by Reverend Godley; a town hall, the Antelope Hotel with 11 rooms; and a few houses. The Hatfield News was published from 1887 to 1889, the issues ceasing with the editor’s death.

The post office closed on May 31, 1892.

The fall of Hatfield was due, in part, to the uprising of Terryton to the northeast.

It was 15 miles northwest of Garden City on the proposed line of the Denver, Garden City, and Southeast Railroad and on the line of the Cannon Ball Stage and U.S. mail route to Leoti.

©Kathy Alexander/Legends of Kansas, September 2023.

Also See:

Every Place in Kansas

Extinct Towns of Finney County

Finney County, Kansas

Finney County Photo Gallery

Source – Blanchard, Leola Howard; The Conquest of Southwest Kansas, Wichita Eagle Press, 1931.