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List of Kansas Counties

Brewster | Colby | Gem | Halford | Levant | Menlo | Mingo | Otterbourne | Rexford

Homesteading in Thomas County

Menlo / Zillah

In 1888 the town of Zillah was created in Thomas County to help support the Union Pacific Railroad that had just laid track within the county. In 1889 the government changed Zillah to Menlo due to a new post office that had just opened there. From 1890 to 1910 the people of Menlo built many useful buildings. In 1890 a new school was built. After 1890 the people of Menlo then built a general store, an implement building, and a broom factory. Other businesses included the Shellabarger Grain Co., the Farmer's Cooperative Creamery, the Robinson Grain Company, a doctor's office, a drug store, a lumberyard, and a hardware store.

Menlo continued to grow as a settlement after 1910, but the Great Depression of the 1930's caused many businesses to close. Menlo never recovered from the Great Depression, and the population of Menlo decreased over the years.

The ethnicity of its settlers is unknown.

Thomas County - Main Street of Menlo 
Downtown Menlo in 1910

Thomas County - Menlo Schoolhouse
Classroom at Menlo schoolhouse in 1910

Thomas County - Menlo State Bank
Menlo State Bank 


Photos from unknown source

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


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Extended Hours starting Sunday, March 23 until the end of the semester:
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   Hays, KS 67601-4099