- origin of the name of this substantial
industrial town and seat of Barton
County. It stands on the north
bank of the Arkansas at the apex of
the semi-circular "great bend" that
was a landmark on the old Santa Fe
trail. The town established there in
1871 also was a railhead for the
historic Chisholm cattle trail from
Nearby extensive oil and gas fields
in combination with rich farmlands
surrounding the city for miles
explain the solid development and
prosperity of Great Bend, now an
important flour milling, oil refining
and meat packing center.
- GREELEY (74 miles southwest of Kansas City)
Back in 1837 this beautiful spot in
Kansas was an Indian's Paradise.
The Little Pottawatomie Creek was full of fish.., and there were wild
animals and berries everywhere. The Pottawatomie Indians planted
corn and peach trees before they were removed by the Government
to Pottawatomie County.
In 1854 two young white men, Valentine Gerth and Francis Meyer,
came here with an ox-team and a few horses and cattle and pitched
their tents on the present site of Greeley, Kansas, where the old
"Wagon Bridge" was located. They found the deserted tepees and
bark huts and corn patches left by the Indians. Soon other settlers
came and built homes near the river.
In 1855 the townsite was selected and named in honor of Horace
Greeley. However, when the first post office was established in 1857 it
was called "Walker" because the administration was not in favor of
In 1855, too, John Brown, a man then fifty-five years old, started from
Chicago with his family in a heavily loaded wagon for Kansas. He
settled near Osawatomie... and in the years to come became a hero
to all Kansans.
As early as 1856 border ruffians from Missouri preyed on Free State
Settlers in Kansas, burning their cabins and stealing livestock. Finally
the Free-State Cabins were marked and Pottawatomie Guard was
organized. From this time on John Brown and his company guarded
the trails of the Free-State People from Osawatomie to and beyond
Greeley. The settlers loved John Brown. It was just across the creek
here that John Brown wrote his famous Parallels. It was here, too, that
he hid the three negroes he helped escape from Missouri, and carried
them by covered wagon at night to Canada.
In 1879 the St. Louis, Kansas and Arizona Railroad, now the Missouri
Pacific, was built through the town and Greeley began to prosper. A
large oil company and a cooperative association which owns a modern
electric elevator, a feed store, bulk station, grocery store and cold
storage locker are the chief industries here.
- GREENLEAF (41.8 miles east of Concordia)
Two miles south of the present site of this Washington County
community, a small town known as Round Grove was started. However,
when the Central Branch Union Pacific Railroad (now the Missouri
Pacific) laid out the town of Greenleaf, Round Grove was abandoned
and all its residents moved to the new town. The settlement,
incorporated as a city in 1880, was named for A. W. Greenleaf, treasurer of
Hatcheries and an elevator supplement the countryside's production of
stock, poultry and grain.
- GYPSUM (7 miles east of Salina)
Extensive gypsum deposits in this Saline County area gave the creek
and the valley which it traverses the names "Gypsum Creek" and
"Gypsum Valley," respectively. So, it was natural that the valley's
principal town was called "Gypsum City."
An interesting sidelight on the town's founding was that at first the
Missouri Pacific Railroad refused to recognize this early town and, it is
said, "only after some of the men behind Gypsum City went to Chico,
a nearby town, at night and moved the depot to Gypsum City did the
railroad agree to make this a station."
It was incorporated in 1887 and at the time of the World's Fair in
Chicago in 1893 the gypsum mill here shipped about 50 cars a week
of this material to eastern points. Many of the World's Fair buildings
were constructed of this Kansas gypsum.
Gypsum's industries include a flour mill and a sash and door factory.
There are stock and grain farms in the countryside.
- HARDTNER (96 miles southwest of Wichita)
Jacob Achenbach organized a town company and named it Hardtner
in honor of Dr. John Hardtner of Carrollton, Ill., who was the owner