Fort Hays State University > About FHSU > Academic Divisions > Forsyth Library > Kansas Heritage > Windthorst
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In 1872, a group was formed in Cincinnati, Ohio, to look at places that would offer them better opportunities. The group, which consisted of tailors, blacksmiths, and carpenters, as well as other laborers, was called the German Catholic Aurora Homestead Association. They corresponded with a priest from Newton, Kansas, who then worked with a land agent from the Santa Fe railroad to find some land for the association.
The land that was chosen was 10 miles southwest of Offerle, Kansas. The deal was made in 1877 and a town was mapped out with the locations of the school, church and cemetery. There was also a possibility that the railroad would build a branch line from Offerle to the new town, which was called Windthorst. The line was never built, and as a result, the town of Windthorst never materialized with a business district. However, a community was formed around the church, school and parish hall. The first church was built in 1879, and in 1913, the present-day church was built.
Ford County Historical Society. Dodge City and Ford County, Kansas 1870-1920: Pioneer Histories and Stories.Dodge City, KS, 1996.
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