Fort Hays State University > About FHSU > Academic Divisions > Forsyth Library > Kansas Heritage > Harlan
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The town of Harlan started out as a post office with the name of Thompson on January 23, 1872, and the name was changed to Harlan on September 11, 1877 after a town site was laid out. It was probably an outgrowth of the Dresden and Eagle Rapids post offices, both of which were discontinued. It once had an institution of higher learning called Gould College which was under the auspices of the United Brethren Church.
The ethnicity of its settlers is unknown.
Pletcher, Vera Edith Crosby. "A History of Smith County, Kansas to 1960". Masters thesis, Kansas State University, 1960.
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