In 1869, J. Mather Jones of Utica, New York and James A. Whitaker of Chicago, bought the land and founded the town of Arvonia, Kansas. In 1871, nearly 450 residents lived and worked in Arvonia. Today, there are perhaps less than 10. All that remains is a beautiful one room schoolhouse, a church, a few beautifully kept homes, and the town well where the residents used to gather water.
Shortly after its founding, Arvonia businesses included two cheese factories, a sawmill, coal mines, a general store, a chicken hatchery and a hotel. Arvonia was on its way to becoming a bustling community in one of the newest states in the United States. But town survival was a question of access to railroads, and unfortunately for Arvonia the railroads went north to Reading and south to Lebo.
Read more from the Lebo Light.