Homesteaders and farmers settled in the area after the Civil War. The town began to develop when the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railroad began running the 37 miles from Junction City to Council Grove through the Wreford area in 1870. H.C. McCarty, a Civil War veteran, opened a general store in a two-story building set in a grove of trees near the crossroads. The McCarty family lived in the upper story of the store. A post office was established on the upper story of the store on November 23, 1882. McCarthy named the community “Wreford” after his brother, who had died in the war.
As the community developed, a stockyard, grain elevator, weighing scale, icehouse, and a small depot were built along the tracks near the store. A telephone exchange was kept in the upper story of the store. Farmers brought crops and cattle to be loaded on the trains for market.
The floods of 1903 almost inundated Wreford, but it held on for the next several years. In 1910, Wreford had general stores, a post office, and a population of 73. The village achieved its peak population during the World War I years. On April 15, 1918, its post office closed.
In the late 1920s, the railroad depot was closed, and the mailbag was thrown off to the side of the track as the train passed through. If a passenger wanted to ride the train, he had to get in the middle of the track and flag it down.
In the 1950s, a move to close the stockyards involved changing the town’s name from Wreford to Brant, but this designation was unpopular and short-lived. Eventually, McCarty’s store closed and was torn down.
The town was five miles south of Junction City.
Blackmar, Frank W.; Kansas: A Cyclopedia of State History, Vol I; Standard Publishing Company, Chicago, IL 1912.
Geary County Historical Society