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List of Kansas Counties

Achilles | Atwood | Blakeman | Herndon | Ludell | McDonald

Homesteading in Rawlins County


The Burlington and Missouri Railroad built tracks to the north of Atwood in 1886-1887, and the tracks continued along the creek to the junction of the Middle and North Beaver Creeks which was five miles west of Atwood. At that junction was to be the new town site called Blakeman. The B & M Railroad purposely set the tracks that way because they wanted their new town site to be the county seat. An idea was put forth by the railroad to move the entire town of Atwood to Blakeman in 1886, but it was rejected by the citizens of Atwood. The Lincoln Land Company, a subsidiary of the railroad, platted the land which become the town of Blakeman. A huge depot was built in Blakeman, and several buildings were moved from Atwood to Blakeman.

The railroad then began the campaign to move the county seat to Blakeman from Atwood. The town filed a petition that called for an election to relocate the county seat to Blakeman, but the county commissioners refused to do so because the required three-fifths of the registered voters had not signed the petition. The case was appealed to the Kansas Supreme Court by the B & M Railroad and Blakeman residents, but the court ruled in favor of the county commissioners. The controversy continued for some time until people tired of it and the Nebraska corporations (Lincoln Land Company and the B & M Railroad) gave up the cause in the early 1900's. Many of the buildings had been moved to Atwood, and in 1910, the Lincoln Land Company sold the town to W. E. Thompson who plowed the ground under and used it for farm land.

The ethnicity of its settlers is unknown.


Hayden, Ruth Kelley. "The Time That Was: The Courageous Acts and Accounts of Rawlins County, Kansas, 1875-1915". H.F.Davis Memorial Library, Colby Community College, Colby, KS, 1973.

"History of Rawlins County, Kansas". Rawlins County Genealogical Society, 1988.

Fitzgerald, Daniel. "Faded Dreams: More Ghost Towns of Kansas". University Press of Kansas, 1994.

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