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The Empire

That Missouri Pacific Serves

CRAWFORD (23 miles west of Salina)
Crawford, Rice County community on the Missouri Pacific Railroad, got its name from one of its first settlers. It is a shipping point for the farm products of this agricultural area.
DEARING (5 miles west of Coffeyville)
An early settler named Andrews, tenant of a landowner named Lamont, journeyed to neighboring towns and brought back provisions for his neighbors which he distributed from his home on this site. Later the villagers had their mail brought to Andrews' home and when the Missouri Pacific Railroad (then the Denver, Memphis and Atlantic) was built through this part of Montgomery County in about 1887 application was made for a post office. The first name suggested, Lamont, was turned down because of a duplication and the town was called Dearing, in tribute to a neighbor of Andrews.
DELAVAN (61 miles east of Salina)
This agricultural community, originally called "Rex," was the end of the line of the Missouri Pacific Railroad for a long time. In 1886 Henry Kingman came here and bought many acres of prairie land. He had the name of the settlement changed to Delavan, in tribute to his home town, Delavan, Illinois.
During World War II, the government built an air base just north of the town and the Missouri Pacific played a major role in serving this base.
DENSMORE (122 miles west of Concordia)
John T. Densmore, for whom this town was named, arrived in this part of Kansas in 1874 and bought land on which he founded the town on the Solomon River. He was the first postmaster.
With the coming of the Missouri Pacific Railroad in 1881 the town's population increased and it now is the center of activity, serving as the shipping point for the produce of the surrounding country.
DEXTER (74 miles west of Coffeyville)
The town that was named after the founder's pet horse, Dexter, was founded in 1870 by Captain James McDermott, who headed a party of emigrants from Kentucky, who had come to Kansas to take up homesteads on government land.
Back in the Blue Grass State McDermott had owned a harness horse which had attained local fame and of which he was very fond. So, when he was called upon to name the new community, he called it "Dexter" to perpetuate the name of his favorite.
DILLON (32 miles east of Salina)
Hardy pioneers from Tennessee settled along what is now known as Turkey Creek when they arrived in this part of Kansas in about 1862. When the Missouri Pacific Railroad was built through here more Tennessee families arrived and established a small trading post along the railroad. Among them was a family named Dillon, of which there were three brothers, George, Abner and Charles. They were cattle men and farmers who did much to develop the community and when the post office was established it was named Dillon in their honor. The railroad, however, named the station "Swayne" after a baseball player from St. Louis.
Later gypsum was discovered in large quantities and the railroad built a spur track to the mills where stucco was made from the gypsum mined. After the supply of gypsum ran out the community settled down to farming and raising livestock.
In 1932 the Missouri Pacific agent asked that the name of the station be changed to that of the town to avoid confusion, and this was done. Although Dillon is no longer the mining center it once was, it is still a busy town, shipping grain and livestock.
DOWNS (S3 miles west of Concordia)
A junction on the Missouri Pacific's Northern Kansas division, Downs is situated on the north fork of the Solomon River in Osborne County. It was named for Major Downs, superintendent of the Western division of the Missouri Pacific when the town was established in 1879. In 1897 Downs was organized as a city.
Grain, livestock and poultry are principal products of the farming country surrounding Downs. Its local industries include a monument works and produce packing plants.
EDNA (is miles east of Coffeyville)
There is an old saying that "it's always a help to have a father and a greater help to have one with influence." Miss Edna Gregory was an only child back in 1885 and her father was named postmaster at a previously unnamed community. So he called his post office Edna. When
the community was incorporated as a town the name was retained and the following year, when the Missouri Pacific was built through the section, the town moved a half mile so it could be on the railroad. The town was re-incorporated and the name was retained.
Agriculture is the main line of business in the vicinity of this Labette County town, a shipping point for wheat, corn, oats, and livestock.
EDMOND (127 miles west of Concordia)
Traveling salesmen, it seems, were fast-talking even in the horse and buggy days! Back in about 1884, a "smooth" one called Jack Edmond, talked a merchant into naming the town after him! Here's how the story goes: This little Kansas village had only one store in the early days, with a Mr. Weaver as its owner. One day a salesman, Jack Edmond, chided him about his town not having any name.., and offered to give Weaver 40 sacks of flour if he'd name the town after him. The merchant hesitated a moment.., he had wanted to name it "Weaver" after himself, but couldn't, because there was another post office with that name. So he took the 40 sacks of flour.., and named the town "Edmond" after the enterprising salesman!
The Missouri Pacific Railroad was cut through here in 1888... and Weaver's store had to be moved because it was on the right-of-way. However, the new building Weaver occupied still has a store in it today, under a different name. The town is on the Solomon River in Norton County.
EFFINGHAM (17.2 miles west of Atchison)
Plotted by William Osborne who built the first hundred miles of the Central Branch of the Missouri Pacific Railroad, in 1868, Effingham was named for another railroad man, Effingham B. Nichols. It was incorporated in 1890.
The Atchison County Farm Bureau and Soil Conservation offices are located in this northeastern Kansas town where farmers come for advice and to trade. Wheat, corn and oats are the principal crops. A hatchery in the town adds to its income.
EL DORADO (31 miles east of Wichita)
County seat of Butler County, E1 Dorado was incorporated as a city in 1877. Its name is said to have been inspired by the admiring comment on the beauty of the surrounding area by J. Cracklin, member of a party of early settlers. Impressed by what he saw, Cracklin exclaimed "El Dorado," a Spanish word with the general meaning "land of golden opportunity or abundance." When the town was established this descriptive Spanish name was adopted.
E1 Dorado is situated in an area of extensive oil fields, stone quarries and walnut timberlands. Livestock, grain and alfalfa are principal agricultural products of its trade territory. It is a shipping point for cattle, grain and oil, and operates refineries and manufacturing plants producing oil field tools and supplies and crushed rock.
ELMO (27 miles east of Salina)
A prospering Dickinson County farming community, Elmo ships wheat, dairy products and beef cattle via the Missouri Pacific Railroad. Originally located two miles west of the present site and called "Banner City," it was moved to its present location and its name changed in later years. No information is available as to the origin of either name.
ELYRIA (56 miles northwest of El Dorado)
A grain storage and shipping point on the El Dorado-McPherson branch of the Missouri Pacific, Elyria was named for the Ohio city of the same name. The selection is said to have been made by an influential early settler, A. G. Smith.
EUREKA (64 miles east of Wichita)
The generally accepted story of the origin of the name of this Greenwood County community is that in 1857 a wagon train crossing to new adventure in the west had long been without water. Late in the evening the creak of wheels was interrupted with the cry that water had been found. It was from a large spring that is still flowing. The party drank its fill, loaded all available containers, watered the animals and went on greatly refreshed.
In 1868, when it came time to choose a name for the new town at the same spot, someone remembered the early account. They recalled too the historic exclamation of the ancient Greek scientist-philosopher, Archimedes. Eureka–"We have found it," was suggested and adopted as the appropriate name.
Eureka now is an important shipping point for the products of the surrounding area – oil, grain and livestock.
EVEREST (21 miles northwest of Atchison)
An outgrowth of the first railroad, the Missouri Pacific, Everest was founded in 1882. Early settlers paid tribute to a courageous army officer, Colonel Everest, in naming the town.
This Brown County town has grain elevators and a creamery to take care of the produce from nearby farms where the principal crops are corn, wheat and oats.
FALUN (16 miles west of Salina)
Pioneering Swedes settled in this area in Kansas back when it was undeveloped prairie land. It was natural that when it came time to give their village a name they selected "Falun," the name of a Swedish village in their homeland. The descendants of these early Swedish settlers still live here today and till the soil for a good living.
FORT LEAVENWORTH (19 miles southeast of Atchison)
Here is one of the oldest and most historic military posts in the West, named for Col. Henry H. Leavenworth who established the post in 1827. Malaria and cholera epidemics were among the trials the fort had to survive during its early years. The first post office in Kansas territory was established at Fort Leavenworth in 1828 and from its stockade departed many of the Holliday wagon trains headed for the southwestern territory that is now the state of New Mexico. Later on outfits for California and the gold rush set forth from Fort Leavenworth which was one of the jumping-off places for the California and Oregon trails.
In later years Fort Leavenworth became one of the most important military posts in the country. Within its 8,000-acre reservation were confined the Command and General Staff school which was second highest of the Army's post graduate colleges and one which had to be attended
by all officers who were in line for promotion to flag status. The fort also houses an interesting transportation museum – a collection of covered wagons and other vehicles used to conquer the vast spaces of the west before the "Iron Horse" made the task easier.
Also within the reservation is one of the Army's penitentiaries, the Disciplinary Barracks in which military criminals are confined.
FORT SCOTT (158 miles east of Wichita)
The county seat of Bourbon County owes its creation to the military authorities who in 1842 selected the site as headquarters for troops of the First Dragoons/It was named for General Winfield Scott. Situated in what was originally territory of the great Cherokee Indian nation, the fort was a strategic military base from which to push westward the frontier for the white man. In the period preceding the War Between the States it was a vital point in the pro-slavery and free state guerilla warfare. Some of the old barracks constructed of hewn walnut timbers are still standing.
Now a substantial transportation and industrial center Fort Scott manufactures condensed milk, overalls, cement, flour, milled lumber, foundry and shale products. There are coal mines and stone quarries in the vicinity while grain and hay are the principal agricultural products of the Fort Scott territory.
The Gunn City Park, one of several recreational facilities, has two lakes and a campsite and there is good fishing in the I20-acre Rock Creek Lake three miles west of the city.
FRANKFORT (78 miles west of Atchison)
An attractive town nestling in the Vermillion Valley in the southeastern part of Marshall County, Frankfort was settled in the late '50's and incorporated as a third class city in 1875.
Although there are many conflicting reports as to the reason for the naming of the town the most logical one is that one of the early settlers of the community, Jacob Weisbach, came from Frankfort, Germany, and gave his new home the name of his old one.
Frankfort is located at the junction of the Northern Kansas division of the Missouri Pacific and Union Pacific Railroads and is the shipping point for farm and dairy products and livestock.
FREDONIA (64 miles northwest of Coffeyville)
The county seat of Wilson County and the home of ex-Governor Ben Paulin of Kansas, Fredonia was named following a heated session of the town company. Arthur Heath, a native of Fredonia, New York, won the arguments in the session and the town became "Fredonia."
Industries here include cement, brick, bank note printing and poultry packing plants, a linseed oil mill, refinery and creamery. Stock, grain and poultry are produced in the surrounding area.
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The book The Empire That Missouri Pacific Serves was published in the fifties by the Missouri Pacific and contains permission to reprint all or any portion.
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