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History of Corwin

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

Corwin

By A. L. Griesinger

The town of Corwin was named for Oscar A. Corwin who owned the west one-half of section 20, township 34, range 9 west. His residence was at the extreme northwest corner. He operated a general store from this location. On August 20, 1883 Mr. Corwin was appointed postmaster. Jess Scantlin, driving a mule cart, carried the mail from Corwin to Hazelton. Mr. Scantlin later married Mr. Corwin's daughter.

In 1886, when the railroad was built one and one-half miles from Corwin, a new Corwin was started at the present site. Mr. Hittle settled at the new Corwin where he built a residence and a store. Mr. Hittle bought prairie chickens from the early settlers for twenty cents each and shipped them to Kansas City and St. Louis.

Jim F. Andrews built a hotel and was the second postmaster. At one time Corwin boasted a race track. The track was built by G. R. Landers at the southwest corner of town.

Dutch Andrews, grandson of J. F. Andrews, gave the following account: "G. R. Landers became a big cattle man and many farmers in the area sold corn to him for 10 cents per bushel. In the blizzard of 1903 all of Lander's cattle froze to death. Facing financial ruin, he boarded a train and was never heard from again. J. F. Andrews and others skinned the cattle and sold their hides for $2.50 apiece."

From the "Kansas cyclopedia" 1912 publication we quote: "Corwin, a village in Blaine township, is a station on the Missouri Pacific Railroad, 17 miles southwest of Anthony, county seat. It has a money order post office, telegraph and express office, telephone connections, hotel, a good local trade and in 1910 reported a population of 125. At one time Corwin had two grocery stores, two blacksmith shops, two hotels, one elevator, two restaurants, two livery barns, a church, a bank, a lumberyard, a two-story school building which included two years of high school and a winning baseball team."

At the present time Corwin has about 20 citizens, a modern Farmer Coop Elevator and office, an old-fashioned grocery store that has been operated by Helen Dennis for the past forty years. There is no church or school.

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