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 List of Kansas Counties

Montefiero | Natrona

Homesteading in Pratt County


Immigrants from Saxony (Germany) began purchasing land in the north-east part of Pratt, County, Kansas, in the middle of the 1870's. Having survived the Franco-Prusian War many wished to leave such conflicts, and upon reaching the West, settled first at Ellsworth, Kansas. The migrating birds feasting near the Cheyenne Bottoms destroyed their crops, so they moved south into Pratt County. Additional families soon followed, and the community organized and centered their lives, their German language, and culture around the St. Paul's Lutheran Church. From the beginning of the settlement the church established a school for their children to maintain their faith and religion. A special building was erected in 1910 to house this parochial school with its full curriculum for grades one through eight. For many years the Catechism, Bible lessons and class lessons were taught in the German language. During World War I, to keep a lower profile, the language teaching was discontinued, and the school closed. Re-opening in 1924, it continued until 1968.

In 1887 two men from Pratt plated the town of Natrona (for a short time re-named Olympia from 1903 to 1914), and the church is located there. The town never developed beyond a few frame buildings. The exact location was "the North-East quarter of Section Seven, Township 27 and Range 12 West of the Sixth P.M., and part of the North-West quarter Section Eight, the said Township" Pratt County, Kansas. The Post Office was withdrawn in 1914.

Pratt County - Church dedication
St. Paul Lutheran Church dedication in 1901  

Pratt County - School
St. Paul Lutheran School

Pratt County - Store
                                 House and Miskimen Store                                    

Pratt County - Natrona depot
Natrona Depot

Pratt County - Natrona
Natrona in 1984

Pratt County - St. Paul Lutheran Church
St. Paul Lutheran Church in 2000


Information from Dorotha Giannangelo 

Pratt County Historical Society Photo Archives


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