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Homesteading in Clark County


The Aurora Town Company was formed by four men from the Bluff Creek precinct and five men from Ashland in November 1885 with the intention of setting up a new town. Because there was already another town in Kansas that had the name of Aurora, the name of Lexington was picked. The Lexington Town Company officially filed with the Secretary of State on December 3, 1885.

Four landowners deeded 40 acres of land each for the new town, and on February 18, 1886, the official plat was filed by the Lexington Town Company. By June there were ten businesses and a possibility that the railroad would be coming through.

Ben L. Stephens was very prominent in the building of the town of Lexington. His business was the first to be established in the town, and his home, which had been built six months previous on his land claim, was moved to the Lexington town site in early 1886, making it the first building placed on this site.

There were doctors, blacksmiths, a coal dealer, merchants, and farmers that made their home in Lexington. There were also two newspapers - the County Beacon and the Lexington Leader. The Beacon lasted only two months (May 13, 1886-July 16, 1886), and the Leader first published on October 22, 1886, with the last issue being published on March 30, 1888. It is those newspapers that provide much of the information on the town because records of the town cannot be located and are presumed to have been destroyed.

By 1887, the town was in trouble. The railroad did not come and the citizens began to leave. By 1900, most of the lots had reverted back to the county for back taxes, and by 1904 Lexington ceased to be a town, but it did continue to be a community in the years to come.

The ethnicity of its settlers is unknown.


Vallentine, John Franklin, Ph.D. "Lexington, 1884-1984: The History of a Kansas Community". Ashland, KS: Lexington Centennial Committee, 1984.

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   Hays, KS 67601
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   Hays, KS 67601-4099