Fort Hays State University > About FHSU > Academic Divisions > Forsyth Library > Kansas Heritage > Itasca
Edson | Eustis | Gandy | Goodland | Itasca | Kanorado | Ruleton | Sherman Center | Voltaire
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.
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