FARGO SPRINGS AND SPRINGFIELD

Historical marker on US160
North of Liberal, Seward county


The importance of railroads to the early settlement and prosperity of the West is nowhere better illustrated than in the stories of two Seward county towns. Fargo Springs, founded in 1885 about three miles south of here, was the first town established in the county. The next year Springfield was located where this marker stands. In June it was named the temporary county seat but in August, after an election, the government was moved to Fargo Springs. The vote was contested and when recanvassed in 1887 the county seat was returned to Springfield.

Fargo Springs ended its brief existence on 1888. It not only had lost its fight with Springfield, but more disastrously had been bypassed by the rapidly building Chicago, Kansas and Nebraska railway, part of the Rock Island. Springfield in turn failed to get its railroad and in 1892 lost the county seat to Liberal (16 miles south). In 1897 the Springfield and Fargo Springs town- sites were officially vacated.

Two towns withered and died~unhappy proof of the vital need for rail connections in the vast and then underdeveloped Western frontier.

Erected by Kansas Historical Society and State Highway Commission

Marker text sent by Mike LeMasters, Wichita, KS

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May 5, 2002/ Bob Walter / Wichita, Kansas / history@kslib.info

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