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Homesteading in Gove County


Grainfield was platted in June 1879 as a station for the Kansas Pacific railroad. The Post Office was established May 10, 1879. In 1880 Grainfield had a hotel, a Post Office, a newspaper, a depot, a express and telegraph office, 2 lumber yards, a livery stable, stores of various kinds and a public well.

Charles Johnson was the first resident of the town site of Grainfield. A colony of Holland Dutch settled near the town site in 1878. The first newspaper in Gove County was "The Grainfield Republican" first printed in 1880. It went out of business within a short time and was replaced in 1885 by the "Grainfield Cap Sheaf". In a short time, Grainfield boasted 3 hotels: the New City hotel, the Keystone hotel and the Occidental hotel, which was the largest of the three. The first grade school building was built in 1887.

Churches were, of course, of great importance. The Methodist Episcopal Church was chartered in 1887. The Methodists met in a small frame building, which was shared with the Congregationalists. The Catholic Church was built in 1910.

A group of businessmen from Gove and Grainfield formed and founded the Gove County Telephone Company.

In 1916, Grainfield was known as the "Tree City". Grainfield was especially known for the Opera House, which still stands on Main Street and is presently being renovated. The Opera House brought people to town after its construction in 1887. People came for shows and entertainment. The huge banquet room/auditorium was also used for County Graduation ceremonies.

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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Extended Hours starting Sunday, March 23 until the end of the semester:
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   600 Park Street
   Hays, KS 67601
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   502 South Campus Drive
   Hays, KS 67601-4099