Fort Hays State University > About FHSU > Academic Divisions > Forsyth Library > Kansas Heritage > Hebron
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Founded by six Russian Jews in 1884, Hebron was located 20 to 25 miles southwest of Medicine Lodge. Sponsored by the Montefiore Agricultural Aid Society, it was called "New Jerusalem" by its Gentile neighbors.
By 1885, there were 30 families consisting of 150 people. By 1886, there were 80 families consisting of 300 people. At its peak in 1886-1887, Hebron encompassed an area of 35 to 40 square miles.
Russians, Poles, Rumanians and Hungarians were part of this colony. The Montefiore Agricultural Aid Society began another colony in 1886 for the Rumanian refugees. It was called Gilead and was located about 10 miles southwest of Hebron in Comanche County.
However, after going through extreme weather conditions such as blizzards, tornados and drought during the years of 1886 and 1887, families began moving away from both of these colonies. By 1891, there were no longer any Jewish colonists in Hebron and Gilead. There were a few who had moved to nearby towns, but most ended up going back east in the United States.
Jewish Colonies in Kansas set up by Agricultural Aid SocietiesBeersheba (Hodgeman) | Gilead (Comanche) | Hebron (Barber) | Lasker (Ford) | Leeser (Finney) | Montefiore (Pratt) | Touro (Kearny)
Douglas, Donald M. "Forgotten Zions: Jewish Agricultural Colonies in Kansas in the 1880's." Kansas History 16 (Summer 1993): 108-119.
Harris, Lloyd David. "Sod Jerusalems: Jewish Agricultural Communities in Frontier Kansas". Masters Thesis, University of Oklahoma, 1984.
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