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Homesteading in Kingman County


A man from Reno County, J. H. Fical, moved his house from there to the north side of the Ninnescah River in Kingman County. Sherman was the name of the town that was started at that site, and it was later changed to Kingman. The town was laid out in 1874 by J. H. Fical and his brother. The Sherman Hotel was built in 1874, and a store, a school and some houses were also built in that time frame.

By 1878, a town had been started on the south side of the river, and many Kingman residents and the post had moved there. Rivalry between the two towns prompted many hard feelings, but after about a year of dealing with the unfavorable conditions, buildings were moved back to the north side.

The first railroad came through in June 1884. After rock salt was discovered in 1887, the town grew to accommodate the new residents of the boom-town.

There was a period of hard times because of weather (drought) and an invasion of grasshoppers. The people hung in there during these times, and the situation became much better in the early 1900's. Kingman is the county seat.

The ethnicity of its settlers is unknown.


"Kingman County History: Kingman County, Kansas and Its People." Kingman, KS: Kingman County Historical Society, 1984.


Hours and Contacts

Monday,April 21 Forsyth will close at 10 pm because of no electricity

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