Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Kansas Ghost Towns - Butler County

Description Kansas Atlas 1885
I thought it might be interesting to list all the ghost towns of Butler County, Kansas. Butler County was founded in 1855, part of the Kansas Territory, which was created the year before. The name honors Andrew Pickens Butler (1796–1857), senator from South Carolina, and one of the authors of the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854. The settlement of Butler County was slowed by the Civil War and the Indian title to large areas of eastern Kansas.

Detail Kansas Atlas 1885
The above detail is from Edwards 1885 map of Kansas revealing the towns, counties, and railroads. A quick glance reveals familiar and unfamiliar names. So, I begin by examining familiar routes from Wichita east. The road due east of Wichita to Beaumont on the eastern edge of Butler County lists the following places: can't read, Andover, Haverhill, Leon, Keighly, and Beaumont. To the north of Leon are the place names Cave Springs and Quito. To the south of Lorena is another unreadable name. To the south of Haverhill appears to be the place name Sunnyside.

This route generally follows Kellogg Avenue leaving Wichita and then becomes Highway 400 through Butler County. Since Highway 400 is a newer road, the old route may shift north and south from the newer Highway 400. As one drives east, remnants of the older highway (as well as the abandoned Frisco rail line) still exist. One spot in particular is the crossing of the Frisco Railroad just east of Leon. Another remnant of the old highway exists on the left side of the turn off to Beaumont. Then, leaving Beaumont, one sees on the south side of the road a long stretch of the old highway descending down the eastern slope of the Flint Hills in Greenwood County.

Lorena is placed halfway between Andover and Augusta. It pops up on a Kansas locator search as being at Central and Indianola roads. It was probably a stop on the St. Louis and San Francisco Railroad (Frisco).

All that remains of Quito as a place name is the cemetery bearing that name. The cemetery is at same location on the map.

Rand McNally map from Mooney's History of Butler County, 1916

Detail of Mooney's Rand McNally map
Several of the place names have disappeared, including Quito, but Lorena is still there. Notice the place name Indianola 3 miles north of Lorena. Indianola gets a mention as a discontinued post office in the Kansas Cyclopedia, 1912.

More to follow.

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