Fort Hays State University > About FHSU > Academic Divisions > Forsyth Library > Kansas Heritage > Hugoton
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H. B. Kelly and John Hughes of McPherson selected a town site in what was known as Seward County in May 1881. They formed a town company after they returned to McPherson County, and it took another four years before claims were proven on the town site. It was July 1, 1885 that the first shanties were put together. The town was named Hugo for author Victor Hugo, but because there was already a Hugo, Colorado, the name was changed to Hugoton. It was selected as the temporary county seat on September 2, 1886. There was a bitter and violent county seat war that resulted in several deaths, including five men who were killed execution-style in Oklahoma. Hugoton was named the permanent county seat in 1887.
The ethnicity of its settlers is unknown.
Thomson, Edith Campbell. "History of Stevens County Kansas." Edith Campbell Thomson, 1967.
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