The peaceful little hamlet of Ames is located on the Central Branch railroad, three miles southwest of Clyde, and in the center of a marvelously beautiful agricultural country that is unsurpassed in productiveness.
The town took on an existence in the spring time of 1883, although the original townsite of Shirley had been laid out in March, 1878. The first residence in the town was built by O.B. Thompson, who was also among the first to embark in business there. The first store was conducted by George Clark, followed closely by Thomas & Sharad; William Frederick, blacksmith; Chester Thomas, general merchandise; George Dersey (now of Clyde), groceries and Mr. Blackmar, grain buyer. Others followed in quick succession and Ames became a town of considerable importance, all lines of business being represented. The eastern capitalist, W.P. Rice, did much to boom Ames, built two large stores and a commodious hall, but the town has diminished in population, but continues and always will - to be a good trading point, for it is the location of one of the most extensive elevators west of the Mississippi river. It has a capacity of fourteen thousand bushels. It was built by E.B. Purcell and is now owned by the Baker, Greenleaf Company. Roach Brothers also have an elevator in Ames. In 1872, the First Union church of Ames, a neat frame building, was erected,
S.H. Hooper is the leading merchant and only general store in the town at present. He carries a large and well selected stock of goods, and draws trade from the greater part of the community surrounding the village. Ames once had a bank incorporated under the name of Ames State Bank, in September, 1885, with W.D. Rice, president, O.F. Page, vice-president, W.F. Cowell, secretary, and E.K. Streeter, cashier.
George Clark was the first postmaster and when the first election was held on March 6, 1886, he was elected mayor. Mr. Clark died the summer following, August 15, 1886.
Ames has been visited by destructive conflagrations. One occurred April 27, 1886, when eight building's were consumed, along with the entire lumber yards of the B.L. and M. Lumber Company. On May 9, 1902, the large mercantile house of Wood & Hill and the Chicago Lumber Company's yards were destroyed by fire. Many old residents and many of the original settlers continue to live on their homesteads in the vicinity of Ames, which is in close proximity to the historical Elm creek settlement, among whom are the Czapanskiys, Quincy Honey, Mrs. Ernestine Walno, Fullers, Charles Goring, William Hayes, James Buckley, Joseph and Christ Bachand, Mrs. Henrietta Somerfield, Mrs. La Bonte, Edmond Buckley, William Garnet, I. James, Peter Hebert, Fred Lachenmier, Moses Marshall, Edward Cyr, Lewis Chartier, Morrisette (ex-sheriff), Dan Shores, the Rasmussens and many others, all of whom have fine farms, desirable homes and are among the progressive farmers of the county.
Ames is situated on the south side of the Republican river, and during seasonable years is almost hidden by the walls of growing corn and is one of the best markets in the country.
William Czapanskiy Lyman Otis Fuller Moses Marshall
The town of Rice is a small village, situated on the Central Branch railroad, the first station east of Concordia. Its business enterprises consist of a store, an extensive elevator, a neat little house of worship and a school building. The town is too near Concordia to ever be more than a railroad station with a trade from the immediate neighborhood. The farmers in the vicinity of Rice are all well-to-do and much of the town is occupied by farmers, whose estates adjoin the townsite.
The station of Lawrenceburg is on the Union Pacific railroad, about midway between Concordia and Clyde, in the prosperous Salt creek valley. The town was named for L.D. Lawrence, who was accidentally killed October 17, 1885. As the train was approaching the depot Mr. Lawrence tried to cross the track and was run down by the approaching engine. His skull was fractured by being thrown violently from the track and his body mangled. He was an elderly man of about sixty years, and was very deaf. He settled in Lawrence township in 1869.
The town of Minersville, a village of floating population, varies according to the seasons. It is a coal-mining town on the northern edge of the county in the northeastern part of Sibley township. Much of the coal consumed in Concordia and the adjacent country comes from Minersville.
Yuma is a small station, five miles west of Concordia, where the Republican valley branch leaves the Missouri Pacific railway.
The village of Hollis is located at the intersection of the Union Pacific and Burlington & Missouri Pacific railways. It consists of a store, a good school building, which is said to be the best preserved house in the county. The pupils take a pride in the neat and well cared for interior, seldom found in any town.
Hollis is situated in the midst of a fine agricultural district. It was first known as Christie, so called in honor of its founder, W.J. Christie, who owned the town-site.
Prior to the days of the railroads, there were postoffices established in various parts of the county, but the numerous towns, coupled with the rural delivery service, has banished the country office. There was Redstone, in Lawrence township, Nelson, in Nelson township, Sulphur Springs and Heber, in Aurora township, Malta, in Oakland township, Carmel, in Colfax township, Warren, Halfway and Welcome in Summit.
Transcribed from E.F. Hollibaugh's Biographical history of Cloud County, Kansas biographies of representative citizens. Illustrated with portraits of prominent people, cuts of homes, stock, etc. [n.p., 1903] 919p. illus., ports. 28 cm.
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