To SVHA

Osborne County Historical Marker

THE MOUNT AYR COMMUNITY & POST OFFICE

To Osborne County
Friends Church at Mt Ayr.  Photo by Susan Howell
Mt. Ayr Friends Church
 
THE MOUNT AYR COMMUNITY & POST OFFICE
 
      THE FRIENDS AGRICULTURAL COMMUNITY OF MOUNT AYR STARTED IN 1872 WITH ZIMRI GREGORY CLAIMING A HOMESTEAD IN THE LITTLE MEDICINE CREEK VALLEY. WITHIN A FEW YEARS FAMILIES WITH SURNAMES SUCH AS EDWARDS, GREGORY, HACKNEY, BALES, WINSLOW, FRAZER, GREGORY, MENDENHALL, AND STANFIELD ALSO TOOK HOMESTEADS IN THE AREA, MANY COMING FROM HENRY COUNTY, IOWA.
 
      DURING THE 1870S THE MOUNT AYR SCHOOL, DISTRICT #40, AND THE MOUNT AYR FRIENDS CHURCH WERE BOTH ESTABLISHED. A POST OFFICE WAS ESTABLISHED ON 9 JANUARY 1874 IN THE DUGOUT OF JOSIAH WINSLOW, THE FIRST POSTMASTER, EARNING HIM A SALARY OF $12 A YEAR. THE PREFERRED NAME WAS MT. PLEASANT, AFTER THE TOWN IN IOWA. THAT WAS ALREADY BEING USED IN KANSAS, SO THE NAME OF SALEM WAS PROPOSED. THAT NAME TOO WAS ALREADY BEING USED, SO THE NAME OF MOUNT AYR WAS SELECTED AND ACCEPTED. IN 1875 OMAR GREGORY PUT UP A SMALL STOCK OF GOODS IN HIS DUGOUT AND IN 1878 BECAME POSTMASTER. HE MAINTAINED THIS FRONTIER STORE UNTIL 1882, WHEN JOSIAH WINSLOW WAS AGAIN NAMED POSTMASTER. IN 1883 JOSEPH MENDENHALL WAS APPOINTED POSTMASTER. THE POST OFFICE WAS CLOSED 30 SEPTEMBER 1895. ON 18 JANUARY 1900 THE MOUNT AYR POST OFFICE WAS OPENED FOR ONLY A BRIEF TIME WITH JOSIAH WINSLOW AS POSTMASTER BEFORE BEING PERMANENTLY CLOSED ON 30 APRIL 1902.
 
      FOR OVER 125 YEARS FIRE, FLOODS, AND TORNADOES HAVE TESTED THE COMMUNITY’S SPIRIT. BUT MOUNT AYR CONTINUES TO ENDURE AND CONTRIBUTE TO THE HISTORY AND CULTURE OF BOTH OSBORNE COUNTY AND NORTHERN KANSAS.
 
ERECTED 2001 BY OSBORNE COUNTY TOURISM, INC. FUNDING PROVIDED BY OSBORNE COUNTY TRANSIENT GUEST TAX BOARD AND THE KANSAS DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE & HOUSING
 
Cemetery at Mt Ayr.  Photo by Susan Howell
 
1892 picture of church.
View of Church circa 1892
 
 
Osborne County small diamond Osborne County Historical Markers small diamond Kansas History

June 23, 2003 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

Blue Skyways Visit the Home Page for Kansas
A service of the Kansas State Library
  Kansas on the Net