Fort Hays State University > About FHSU > Academic Divisions > Forsyth Library > Kansas Heritage > Barber County
Hardtner | Hazelton | Hebron | Isabel | Kiowa | Lake City | Medicine Lodge | Sharon | Sun City
Prentis, Noble Lovely. "History of Kansas". Winfield, KS: E. P. Greer, 1899.
The first settler, a man named Col. Griffin, lived on a ranch which was located about 1 mile from the present city of Sun City. He came to the area in the winter of 1871-72. A man named E. H. Mosley set up a small trading post in the spring of 1872 in Kiowa. Two other men named Lockwood and Leonard who came to Kiowa with Mr. Mosley began farming in the area. The first store was opened in Kiowa in the spring of 1873 by Gus Hegwer.
In December 1872, Derrick Updegraff settled in Medicine Lodge and was soon followed by several other gentlemen in the spring.
The summer of 1873 saw rapid settlement in the county, and because there were hostile Indians still in the area, stockades were built at Medicine Lodge and Sun City. The last Indian scare was in 1878; a band of Indians led by Little Wolf came through the area on their way north from Oklahoma.
The county was organized on July 7, 1873, despite the fact that there were less than 100 settlers, far less than the 600 settlers that were required for county organization. Unsavory means were used to get 600 signatures.
The county was named for Thomas W. Barber, a member of the 1st Regiment, Kansas Volunteers, who was shot and killed by pro-slavery men. Through an error, the name was misspelled as Barbour and that was the official name from the time the county was established in 1867 until 1883 when it was corrected by an act of the legislature.
Barber County was home to Hebron (New Jerusalem) which was a Jewish colony. Russians, Poles, Rumanians and Hungarians were part of this colony. A Christian colony founded the community of Sharon.
Barber County History Committee. "The Chosen Land: A History of Barber County, Kansas."Dallas, TX: Taylor Publishing Company, 1980.
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