Eureka, the judicial seat and largest town in Greenwood county, is located south and a little west of the center of the county on Fall river and on the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe and the Missouri Pacific railroads. It is 158 miles southwest of Atchison and 109 miles south of Topeka. Eureka has all the modern improvements expected in a city of its size. It is lighted by electricity, has natural gas for lighting, heating and commercial purposes, a fire department and waterworks. Among the business enterprises are a wagon factory, broom factory, flour mill, 4 banks, good hotels and two weekly newspapers. All the leading denominations of churches are represented and the schools are unsurpassed in the state. This is an important grain, live-stock and produce shipping point. There are telegraph and express offices and an international money order postoffice with five rural routes. The population, according to the census of 1910, was 2,333.
Eureka was located in 1857, and the first building was a school house built of short planks hewn from logs. This was a general purpose house and was used for all public purposes. The town site belonged to David Tucker and Levi N. Prather. Mr. Tucker bought out Prather for $160, and in 1867 sold the whole site to the town company for $50. The postoffice was established in 1858, with Edwin Tucker as postmaster. There was no store until after the war, and all goods had to be brought from Kansas City or Atchison with ox teams. The first store was a community affair. James Kenner agreed to keep the store, with the understanding that if it interfered too much with his occupation of farming, he would turn it over to Edwin Tucker at the end of the year. This he did. The store was opened on April 1, 1866. Among the first business and professional men were: Dr. Reynolds, the first physician; McCartney, blacksmith, 1866; Judge Lillie, the first lawyer, 1868; Hawkins, the first carpenter, 1867, and Mr. Akers, who was the first landlord of the company hotel.
The first newspaper was the Eureka Herald, published by S. C. Mead, the initial number of which appeared in Aug., 1866. The first school was taught by Edwin Tucker in 1858. The first bank, which was also the first bank in the county, opened in the summer of 1870. It closed the first of the next year. The Eureka Bank, opened in Nov., 1870, and continued to do a successful business. In 1867 the town was laid out and lots were sold. It was incorporated first in 1870, with the following trustees I. R. Phenis, A. F. Nicholas, L. H. Pratt, Harley Stoddard and C. A. Wakefield. The next year it became a city of the third class with Ira P. Nye as mayor and George H. Lillie as city clerk. Eureka became the county seat and the first term of court was held in May, 1867, but adjourned without transacting any business.Page 599 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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