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List of Kansas Counties

Corinth | Dispatch | Osborne | Rose Valley

Homesteading in Osborne County


Osborne can lay claim to being the only city in the Solomon River valley to be founded by a colony. On April 10, 1871, under the leadership of Colonel William Bear and Major Henry Markley, a scouting party of 44 men, women, and children rom Berks and Lancaster Counties in Pennsylvania left Lancaster on a train bound for Kansas, where they sought a place to found a new city. "The Pennsylvania Colony," as they were called by the newspapermen of the towns they traveled through, built a strong stockade in the South Fork Solomon River valley in Osborne County and laid out a new town site on May 1, 1871. Colonel Bear suggested that the name of the new town be called Osborne City after Civil War veteran Vincent B. Osborne, and the later surrounding township to be called Penn after Pennsylvania founder William Penn. That September the remaining 250 members of the colony arrived from Pennsylvania and the full colony went about establishing a permanent town.

The Pennsylvania Colony members were of Moravian, Brethren, and German Church of Christ religious denominations. They spoke both German and English and often together in a unique mixture of sound and meaning. German continued to be spoken in the community until World War I when its use was largely discouraged.


Information from Von Rothenberger 


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