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History of Attica

The following history was taken from "The Harper County Story" by Gwendoline & Paul Sanders Copyright 1968, Library of Congress call number 68-54660, The Mennonite Press, Newton, KS

Attica

The Attica Independent, July 7, 1949 by May Williamson

The little city of Attica, Kansas, is located near the central southern border of the state, in Harper County, and is about 17 miles from the Oklahoma state line. Attica likely owes its existence to the fact that the land it occupies was the most convenient point for junction of the two railway lines of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad, with the main line passing through Attica, going southwest and extending through Texas, New Mexico, and up the west coast of the United States. The other is a branch of the main line, which goes west to Medicine Lodge and Belvidere, Kansas.

In the latter part of June, 1884, Colonel W.G. Dickenson General Agent for AThe Arkansas Valley Town Company@ purchased, for the company, the land which now comprises the present site of Attica.

This land was part of what was known as AThe Osage Trust Land.@ The Government held this land in trust for the Osage Tribe and provided by law that settlers might pre-empt it in tracts of 160 acres, paying $1.25 per acre. This money was placed in a fund for the Indians.

Miss Luzine C. Walker pre-empted the quarter section of land on which the main part of Attica now stands, while the west part of Attica the town company purchased from Richard (Dick) Bodkin and his daughter, Mrs. Athelton, who like Moss Walker had pre-empted the land from the government.

The name Attica was originally given to a post office that was located southeast of the present Attica on a farm known to us as the E.L. Thomas farm, but was pre-empted by I.L. Beeson, but the post office was soon moved to the G.H. Harkham farm. When the new town of Attica was started, it was agreed that the Post Office of Attica be moved to the new townsite and the town be called Attica.

Alden Speare made a plat of Attica in 1884, and it was placed on record at the County Seat at Anthony, July 9, 1884. (There is some question as to this date, as there was a survey of the town in July 1885.)

The first business transaction in the new town was said to have been the selling of $1,200.00 worth of lots to C.F. Meigs, of Harper County. The transaction was said to have been made in a buggy on Main Street, two blocks south of the depot.

Attica was a real boom town, for it grew up almost overnight. Within ninety days, the original townsite was sold out and a new addition was put on the market. The limber for the first building was hauled from Harper by an ox team. The building was built by J.E. Hamilton in July, 1884, and was where the Tredenick business building now stands. He established the first grocery and general store in town. Another of the early buildings was a hotel which was known as the National Hotel and was where the Champlin service station now stands.

Click Here for the Town Plat Maps Page

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