Cherryvale, one of the four important towns of Montgomery county, is located near the east line, 12 miles northeast of Independence, the county seat. It is a railroad center, being the point where the main line of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe R. R. diverges, one line running south and the other southwest, and where the St. Louis & San Francisco diverges both lines running eastward. Cherryvale is a manufacturing town. It has a large zinc smelter which handles most of the zinc that comes from the world famous Joplin-Galena district, 6 brick and tile plants, iron works, glass plant, implement factory, oil refinery, foundry, machine shops, shovel factory, grain elevators, flour mills, planing mills, creamery, ice and cold storage plant, etc. The city also has 2 daily and weekly newspapers (the Republican and the Journal), a well equipped fire department, an electric light and power plant, churches, lodges and schools, and good banking facilities. Cherryvale is connected with Independence and with Coffeyville by an electric interurban railway. It is supplied with telegraph and express offices and has an international money order postoffice with 6 rural routes. The population in 1910 was 4,304.
The town was laid out in 1871 by the Kansas City, Lawrence & Southern Kansas Railway company. The first building was the Grand Hotel erected by a Mr. Darr. The first store was opened by C. A. Clotfelter and J. P. Baldwin. A number of business enterprises had been established by 1873, when the town was swept by fire. The buildings were later replaced by brick structures, but the growth of the town was slow until 1879, when a large increase in the railroad mileage in this section of the country opened up the avenue of trade. The first church organization was effected in 1871 and the first school was taught in 1873 by Miss Mary Greenfield.
Cherryvale was incorporated as a city of the third class in 1880. The first election was held in April of that year and the following officers chosen; mayor, C. C. Kincaid; police judge, A. Wood; councilmen, A. Buch, J. M. Richardson, Frank Bellchamber, J. A. Handley and A. V. McCormick. At the first meeting of the council, the following officers were appointed: treasurer, A. Palp; clerk, M. F. Wood; marshal, J. C. Cunningham; street commissioner, B. F. Hinds.
In 1889 bonds to the amount of $5,000 were voted for use in prospecting for coal. Gas was found instead of coal and later oil was discovered. There are at present 31 gas wells in the vicinity from which the total output is 160,000,000 cubic feet of gas per day, the largest well producing 11,000,000 cubic feet. It is said to be the largest gas well in the state. Cherryvale has a live commercial club, which is doing a great deal to promote the general prosperity of the town.Pages 322-323 from volume I of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed May 2002 by Carolyn Ward.
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