forsyth library

Search the Online Catalog

List of Kansas Counties 

Edson | Eustis | Gandy | Goodland | Itasca | Kanorado | Ruleton | Sherman Center | Voltaire

Homesteading in Sherman County

Itasca / Leonard

The town, which was laid out and platted in December 1885, was first named Leonard after Thomas P. Leonard, one of the platters and a member of the Sherman County Land Association. A real estate office, a school, a drugstore, and a livery stable, as well as the Commercial Hotel, were built the following spring.

Getting a post office proved to be a problem because the name of the town was similar to other town names in the state. After trying 3 times during the summer of 1886 to establish a post office and being refused because of the name, the board of trustees met on August 16 decided to change the name from Leonard to Itasca.

Itasca made an unsuccessful bid for the county seat, and when the railroad came into the county late in 1886, the tracks were several miles from the town. Most of the businesses moved to Sherman Center and Eustis that fall, and the Commercial Hotel and the Swigart Building moved to Goodland in 1887. There is nothing that remains today of the town of Itasca.

The ethnicity of its settlers is not known.


Fitzgerald, Daniel. "Faded Dreams: More Ghost Towns of Kansas". University Press of Kansas, 1994.


Hours and Contacts

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