Fort Hays State University > About FHSU > Academic Divisions > Forsyth Library > Kansas Heritage > Denmark
List of Kansas Counties
Two brothers, Peter and Lorenz Christiansen and their families, the Eskiled Lauritzen family, and Otto Petersen, all from Schleswig-Holstein, Europe, arrived in Lincoln County in February 1869. They were joined in March by a couple of gentlemen from Switzerland, George Viechelle and Fred Meigerhoff. They founded a Danish colony they named Denmark.
The following spring, in May, the three families and Otto Petersen were attacked by a band of Sioux Indians who killed most of the members of the Lauritzen family and Mr. Petersen. The Christiansen families managed to hold off the Indians by firing a single repeating rifle, and the Sioux then attacked the Viechelles and Mr. Meigerhoff. Mrs. Viechelle was kidnapped and both of the men were killed. She was rescued the following April in Colorado from Chief Tall Bull.
The Christiansen family fled to Junction City where they resided until the Indian threat was was over. They returned to Denmark on January 2, 1871, with several Scandinavian friends from Junction City. The settlement grew when more Scandinavian families arrived in April, and a post office was established on May 2, 1872.
The people were of the Lutheran faith and had been meeting in the schoolhouse until the church was finally finished in 1879. They began building the church in 1875, but the work progress was very slow and was even stopped at one point. It was consecrated in the Danish Synod of the Lutheran Church, and services were conducted in the Danish language until 1920.
The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad came through in 1915 which triggered a boom time which reached its peak in the early 1920's. The depression, along with a severe drought, caused businesses to close and families to leave to go elsewhere. The post office was discontinued on January 31, 1954.
Fitzgerald, Daniel. "Ghost Towns of Kansas." Vol. 3. Daniel Fitzgerald, 1982.
Find Articles & Databases
Find Other Resources
Find Research Guides by Subject
Search Digital Collections
Search Government Documents
Our Services to You
March 2014 Calendar
Spring Forward Sunday, Mar. 9th
Women's History Month Display
Copyright © 2009-2013 Fort Hays State University • 600 Park Street, Hays, Kansas 67601–4099 • 785–628–FHSU (3478) Contact Webmaster with any questions or comments concerning this Web site.