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Kansas Heritage: Clark County

Aimed at preserving the heritage of central and western Kansas

Clark County Map 1899

Clark County map

Prentis, Noble Lovely. "History of Kansas". Winfield, KS: E. P. Greer, 1899

Ashland

The Ashland Town Company was organized on October 6, 1884 in Winfield, Kansas; the seven directors purchased land from Charles Roby which was located in the Bear Creek valley where the Dodge-Supply Trail crossed the Sun City-Meade Trail. It was two miles south of a community called Clark City that had been founded the previous June.

The residents of Clark City struck a deal with the Ashland Town Company which gave three to five residence lots to each person who had land adjoining Ashland. By 1885, Ashland had 2,042 people living in its town.

The ethnicity of its settlers is not known.

Sources

"Ashland, Kansas: The Story of its First 100 Years". <Ashland, KS: Ashland History Book Committee, 1984>.

Englewood

Founded by Colonel C. D. Perry in 1884, Englewood was named after his hometown in Illinois. It was north of Five Mile Creek until 1907 when the town moved south of the creek because of an illegal money-making scheme and the failure to secure good titles to the lots in the old town. The new town soon had a good number of businesses such as hotels, pool halls, a barber shop, a jeweler, and a concrete block factory.

The ethnicity of its settlers is unknown.

Sources

"Ashland, Kansas: The Story of its First 100 Years". <Ashland, KS: Ashland History Book Committee, 1984>.

Homesteading in Clark County

Named Clarke County after Captain Charles F. Clarke of the 6th Kansas Cavalry, the boundaries were created by an act of the Kansas Legislature in February of 1867. In 1873, the county was expanded to include a 6 mile strip off the south side of Ford County. In 1883, the county was added for Ford County by the Kansas Legislature, so that that large cattle interests could be taxed by Ford County. Due to objections from the cattlemen and the settlers, the legislature reestablished Clark County (note spelling of name was changed) on March 7, 1885. A census of the population of the area was taken shortly thereafter, and on May 5, 1885, Clark County was officially organized.

The ethnicity of its settlers is unknown.

Sources

Vallentine, John Franklin, Ph.D. "Lexington, 1884-1984: The History of a Kansas Community". Ashland, KS: Lexington Centennial Committee, 1984.

Lexington

The Aurora Town Company was formed by four men from the Bluff Creek precinct and five men from Ashland in November 1885 with the intention of setting up a new town. Because there was already another town in Kansas that had the name of Aurora, the name of Lexington was picked. The Lexington Town Company officially filed with the Secretary of State on December 3, 1885.

Four landowners deeded 40 acres of land each for the new town, and on February 18, 1886, the official plat was filed by the Lexington Town Company. By June there were ten businesses and a possibility that the railroad would be coming through.

Ben L. Stephens was very prominent in the building of the town of Lexington. His business was the first to be established in the town, and his home, which had been built six months previous on his land claim, was moved to the Lexington town site in early 1886, making it the first building placed on this site.

There were doctors, blacksmiths, a coal dealer, merchants, and farmers that made their home in Lexington. There were also two newspapers - the County Beacon and the Lexington Leader. The Beacon lasted only two months (May 13, 1886-July 16, 1886), and the Leader first published on October 22, 1886, with the last issue being published on March 30, 1888. It is those newspapers that provide much of the information on the town because records of the town cannot be located and are presumed to have been destroyed.

By 1887, the town was in trouble. The railroad did not come and the citizens began to leave. By 1900, most of the lots had reverted back to the county for back taxes, and by 1904 Lexington ceased to be a town, but it did continue to be a community in the years to come.

The ethnicity of its settlers is unknown.

Sources

Vallentine, John Franklin, Ph.D. "Lexington, 1884-1984: The History of a Kansas Community". Ashland, KS: Lexington Centennial Committee, 1984.

Sitka

R. B. Pratt, an early pioneer from Sitka, Alaska, settled in Day Creek Valley east of Ashland in 1884-1885. He named the area Sitka in January 1886.

The C. K. & W. railroad built tracks through Sitka in 1887 which made the town a major supply post for the area.

George Harvey bought the townsite in 1906-1907 and had it platted. By 1920, the town's population had reached 200, but the automobile and a railroad track built near Buffalo, Oklahoma, became the downfall for Sitka. The school closed in 1949 and the post office closed on May 22, 1964.

The ethnicity of its settlers is unknown.

Sources

"Ashland, Kansas: The Story of its First 100 Years". <Ashland, KS: Ashland History Book Committee, 1984>.