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Beersheba | Hanston

Homesteading in Hodgeman County


Marena, located on the northern edge of the present day town of Hanston, was founded by the Shook family. It was one of the contestants for the county seat in 1879. The Hann family gave some land for a town site after the railroad announced it was going to build tracks through the area. This town was to be named Hanston.

The two towns were side by side with a store, a blacksmith shop and a school in Marena, and another store and a lumber yard in Hanston. Amidst the rivalry of the two towns, the post office was named Marena when Kansas had a Republican governor (the Shooks were Republican), and when there was a Democratic governor (the Hanns were Democrats), it was named Hanston. The railroad, not wanting to be involved in the controversy, named the depot Olney. Eventually Hanston absorbed Marena, but the depot remained Olney.

The ethnicity of its settlers is unknown.


Raser, Margaret Haun and Ina Rumford. "A History of Hodgeman County". Hodgeman County Centennial Committee, 1961.


Hours and Contacts

Monday,April 21 Forsyth will close at 10 pm because of no electricity

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