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Homesteading in Gove County


The Gove City Improvement Company was organized at Davenport, Iowa. The Company acquired land on Hackberry Creek, 12 miles south of Grainfield. The Gove City town site was laid out in 1885. Like the county, the city was also named for the Union soldier, Grenville Gove.

Gove was off the railroad line, but located in the center of the county. The first building in Gove was a sod structure. The first church services and first school were held in the sod building. The first hotel built was called the Benson house and has served as the County Court House since 1886 when Gove City became the county seat.

Churches were very important to the community. The first church was a Presbyterian Church built about 1888. All denominations used the building. The Methodists built a small church in 1890. Eventually the Methodists purchased the Presbyterian building in 1916. A Pilgrim Holiness Church existed for a time around 1934.

A red brick schoolhouse was built around 1887. The Gove High School was built in 1921 and became the Gove County Historical Museum in 1970.

The Gove City Library was started in 1805 by ladies of the community.

In the early days, Gove had a lumber and coal company and a brick kiln, which furnished the bricks for the Grainfield Opera House. Between 1888 and 1890, Gove had a livery barn/hotel called the Hackberry House, a blacksmith shop, a wagon shop, a harness shop, a hardware store, the Clifford Hotel, the Redwing Hotel, the Brown Hotel, drug store, several doctors, 2 banks, 4 abstractors, a butcher shop, an opera hall, and several ice houses.

The Gove Post Office was established in 1886. The first newspaper in Gove City was the "Gove County Gazette" founded in 1886. It eventually became the "Gove County Republican Gazette".

Gove City continues to celebrate its heritage each year with Gove Old Settlers Day.

The ethnicity of its settlers is unknown.


Gove County Historical Museum
They used the following sources in writing this information.

"History and Heritage of Gove County". Gove County Historical Museum.

Harrington, W. P. "History of Gove County, Kansas".


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   600 Park Street
   Hays, KS 67601
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   502 South Campus Drive
   Hays, KS 67601-4099