Fort Hays State University > About FHSU > Academic Divisions > Forsyth Library > Kansas Heritage > Norton County
Almena | Calvert | Clayton | Dellvale | Densmore | Devises | Dunkard Colony | Edmund | Lenora | Leota | New Almelo | Norton | Oronoque | Rockwell City
Prentis, Noble Lovely. "History of Kansas". Winfield, KS: E. P. Greer, 1899.
Norton County was first settled by Civil War veterans in the early 1870s and the population was relatively diversified. Most of the early settlers were of Scotch, English, or Irish background and probably at least, second or third generation Americans. Within the next few years German Catholics did settle around New Almelo in the southwestern corner of the county, probably due to the presence of a Catholic church. However, the church had been started by Canadian immigrants, some of whom were of French ancestry. A former New Almelo priest who wrote a brief history of the parish in the early 20th century called it "the French community." Today, though, you would be hard pressed to find any signs of French influence there.
In southeastern Decatur County a sizable number of Czech immigrants settled around Jennings and some lived near the Norton-Decatur county line in the Clayton vicinity. Some attended the Catholic church in New Almelo. On the western border of Phillips County, a number of Dutch settlers settled in and near Prairie View with some living in eastern Norton County. Norton built a large Catholic church, but also boasted Methodist, Lutheran, Christian, and Episcopalian churches offering further evidence of diversity. There were also settlers that were of Irish ancestry who settled in this county. Rockwell City was founded by the Dunkard Brethren.
German Lutherans settled about 10 miles northwest of Norton and organized a church in April 1907. The church is connected with the Missouri Synod of the Lutheran Church.
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