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Homesteading in Barber County


This town was started as a trading post for the buffalo hunter and the Indians in 1874. It was originally located about four miles northwest of the present town site. W. E. Campbell, a trail driver living in Wichita, established a ranch on land that was part of the Cherokee Strip claimed by both Kansas and Oklahoma. The controversy was settled after a treaty in 1866. The lands were put up for sale by the government, and Dr. John Hardtner of Illinois purchased a large portion of the strip in Barber County. Mr. Campbell began ranching the land and purchased some of it in 1884.

After hearing rumors that the railroad was going to build through Old Kiowa, Mr. Campbell went to Topeka to make a deal to have the railroad built through a new town site located on the west end of his ranch, about 5 miles from Old Kiowa. The New Kiowa Town Company was established on August 2, 1884, and it purchased about 5,000 acres from the west end of Mr. Campbell's ranch with the town site called New Kiowa placed on the western most edge.

By August of the next year, there were 1,000 residents, and on August 6, the first train stopped in New Kiowa.

A petition was presented to the District Court asking to change the name of New Kiowa to Kiowa on September 15, 1890. The post office and the railroad already had the names of Kiowa. The judge ordered the name change from New Kiowa to Kiowa.

Carry Nation's first smashed saloon in 1900 was in Kiowa.

The ethnicity of its settlers is unknown.


Barber County History Committee. "The Chosen Land: A History of Barber County, Kansas."
Dallas, TX: Taylor Publishing Company, 1980.

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