Location of Harper County, KS

  Hamner, Kansas

      In January of 1903 Hugh H. Hammond owned the Harper County land southwest of Norwich where Highway 2 crosses the county line. He "Caused the same to be platted and laid off into town lots, streets, alleys.., and I name the town into which it is platted 'Hamner'... and the plot of ground marked school for the purpose of a public school forever and the ground marked 'Park'... for a public park for the use and benefit of the inhabitants of said town forever." This was to be another town on the Kansas City, Mexico, and Orient railway which was constructed in 1902.
      The Orient did make a sidetrack and then built a big brown wooden depot, toolhouse, a section foreman house, bunkhouse, and stockyards. A water tower was erected on down the tracks on the Chickaskia River from which the locomotives filled their boilers. Each morning a gasoline engine was used to fill this tank with water from the river. But one morning just after it was filled, it collapsed.
      Station agents and/or section foremen included a Mr. Baty, Presley Nation, and Lawrence L. Oyler. It was in May of 1923 that the depot burned. The section crew was moved and soon the buildings were sold. Tom Wineinger bought the tool building for a shed on his farm.
      From the first, wheat and cattle were brought to Hamner to be shipped out by rail. Henry Callison moved to the farm just east of Hamner in 1910. Since he had scales, farmers would weigh their wagon loads of wheat there and then it would be scooped into the train cars. It was in April, 1927, that W. A. Titus purchased lots and the Kansas Milling Co. of Wichita built an elevator. Mr. Callison ran the elevator with the help of his daughters Ruth, Ora, and Helen in the office for many years. He retired and moved to Winfield in 1943. Clarence was manager and then Pat Land ran it, with the help of his children Gloria, Wanda, Don, and Keith, until it burned down in 1947. The elevator office and scales were soon sold.
      The Harper County records show that it was in January of 1934 that the county commissioners ordered the "Vacation" of the Hamner townsite with the exception of the lots on which the elevator was standing. By this time the Orient had been sold to the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway which owned this branch line until the tracks were taken up from Viola to Harper in the late 1960's. When the Hamner whistle signs were removed, Hamner was no more.
__Submitted by Ruth A. Wineinger and Donnie Land

Adapted from Norwich, Kansas 1885-1985
A centennial history of Norwich
Used by permission

December 29, 2002 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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