forsyth library

Search the Online Catalog

List of Kansas Counties

Coolidge | Kendall | Syracuse



Homesteading in Hamilton County


The Santa Fe Railroad had a division point located in Old Granada and they moved it to Coolidge in 1881. The town began to grow, and by the following year, Coolidge had houses and stores that were being built. 1886 and 1887 saw the town grow rapidly with a population of 1800. There were 3 lumber yards, 3 dry goods businesses, 5 eating places, 7 grocery stores, and even an opera house that burned down shortly after it was completed. There were also several newspapers that kept track of the news of the area. Two large merchandising firms, Otero and Sellers and Chick Brown and Company, were both located in Coolidge.

After an election for the county seat in April 1886, in which Syracuse claimed it won, it was determined that Syracuse used fraudulent names including the names of people from Shawnee County, Kansas and Mills County, Iowa. On May 31, 1887 an election was held and Coolidge received the majority of votes with the endorsement of the citizens of Kendall.

Kendall was still the temporary seat as the Kansas Supreme Court continued to hear cases on the county seat war through February 1888. In April, 1888 the court determined that no town had been legally chosen the county seat, so Kendall remained as the temporary county seat. Another election was held June 20, 1888, and Coolidge was the winner; however, in July the U.S. Land Office issued a document proclaiming Syracuse as the permanent county seat. Records and office equipment were moved from Coolidge to Syracuse on November 16, 1888.

A roundhouse that could hold 27 engines and a Harvey House were in place by 1886, which is when the city was incorporated.

Syracuse became the home of the railroad division in 1902, and by 1910, the population of Coolidge was less than 250.

The ethnicity of its settlers is unknown.


"Hamilton County, History". Syracuse, KS: Hamilton County Historical Society, 1979.

Fitzgerald, Daniel. "Ghost Towns of Kansas." Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 1988.


Hours and Contacts

Spring Hours:
Sun:             1:00 pm - 2:00 am
Mon-Thurs: 7:30 am - 2:00 am
Friday:         7:30 am - 7:00 pm
Sat:            10:00 am - 5:00 pm

For current month(s) and detailed information, please select desired month under announcements (below).

Phone: 785.628.4434
Fax: 785.628.4096
Contacts Directory
Mailing Address:
   Forsyth Library
   600 Park Street
   Hays, KS 67601
Physical Address:

   502 South Campus Drive
   Hays, KS 67601-4099