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Homesteading in Lane County


The townships of White Rock, Wilson and Cheyenne voted to raise a $1600 bond for the Denver, Memphis and Atlantic Railroad Company in February 1887. By May, the railroad was building tracks five mile east of the White Rock store, and eventually the railroad had set up stations in Cheyenne Township (Healy), Wilson Township (Shields), and White Rock Township (Dennis).

Dennis was founded on August 7, 1887, by the president of the Memphis and Denver Town Company, John V. Moffitt. Several days later on the 19th, the name was changed to Pen Dennis due to another town in Kansas already called Dennis. A post office was not established there until the Dupont Post Office east of Pen Dennis was change to Pen Dennis on July 13, 1892. A couple of years later, the name was changed, once more, to Pendennis on August 25, 1894.

The ethnicity of its settlers is unknown.


"A Historical Record of Lane County, Founded June 3, 1886." Dighton, KS: Lane County Historical Society, 1961.

Stanley, Ellen May. "Early Lane County History: 12,000 B.C.-A.D. 1884". Newton, KS: Mennonite Press, 1993.

Stanley, Ellen May. "Early Lane County Development". Newton, KS: Mennonite Press, 1999.


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Extended Hours starting Sunday, March 23 until the end of the semester:
Sun:             1:00 pm - 2:00 am
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Friday:         7:30 am - 7:00 pm
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   Forsyth Library
   600 Park Street
   Hays, KS 67601
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   502 South Campus Drive
   Hays, KS 67601-4099