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Springs | Liberal
The first town in Seward County, Fargo Springs was named for C. H. Fargo, owner of a boot and shoe house in Chicago. Mr. Fargo owned land in the area of Seward County. There were several springs southwest of the town, hence the name Fargo Springs. It was also known as the "Springs". The town site was surveyed on May 20, 1885 by the Southwestern Land and Town Company.
Seward County's first election was held on August 5, 1886 for the county seat. Fargo Springs won over Springfield, a town 3 miles north of the "Springs". Springfield's citizens were bitter about the loss, and another election was held in November 1887 which was once again won by Fargo Springs. Like other county seat wars in Western Kansas, this one went to the Kansas Supreme Court 10 months later; the court ruled in favor of Springfield. (See Springfield for a more detailed story.)
Eventually it came down to the railroad deciding the fate of these two bitter rivals. The Kansas Southern Railroad (later known as the Rock Island) had originally planned to build their tracks westward and either town could have become an important railroad town. Instead, the railroad built the tracks southwest to Liberal, probably because of the county seat war.
Fargo Springs was abandoned about a year after the railroad made its decision.
The ethnicity of its settlers is unknown.
Seward County Historical Society, Inc. "Seward County Kansas". Liberal, KS: K. C. Printers, 1979.
Fitzgerald, Daniel. "Ghost Towns of Kansas". Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1988.
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