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Homesteading in Ford County


The Thomas J. Vanderslice family, with 3 boys, bought a section of land in Ford County in the early 1880's and built homes there. The brothers' well they had dug became a stopping point for travelers along the Santa Fe Trail. They called the area Bloomberg, after their Pennsylvania hometown, and it was later shortened to Bloom.

Even before there were rumors of the railroad coming, Bloom became a busy area serving travelers, cowboys, and homesteaders. In 1888, the Colorado, Kansas and Nebraska Railroad crossed the section just a little bit south of the Vanderslices' home. Homes and businesses were moved to be closer to the rail line. There was a hotel, 3 grocery stores, a post office and a school in 1888.

By 1893, the town was longer an active one because of the effects of the drought. Many of the buildings were moved or torn down. Just two families remained in Bloom after 1893: the S. O. Albright family and the Oscar J. Andrews family. There were also some cattlemen in the area. These cattlemen needed a store, so in 1908, Mr. Albright, an original homesteader, opened a store, and two years later the town had other businesses, including a hotel, a drug store and a lumber yard.

The ethnicity of its settlers is unknown.


Ford County Historical Society. Dodge City and Ford County, Kansas 1870-1920: Pioneer Histories and Stories.
Dodge City, KS, 1996.


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Extended Hours starting Sunday, March 23 until the end of the semester:
Sun:             1:00 pm - 2:00 am
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Friday:         7:30 am - 7:00 pm
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Phone: 785.628.4434
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Mailing Address:
   Forsyth Library
   600 Park Street
   Hays, KS 67601
Physical Address:

   502 South Campus Drive
   Hays, KS 67601-4099