In January of 1903 Hugh H. Hammond owned the Harper
County land southwest of Norwich where Highway 2 crosses
the county line. He "Caused the same to be platted and laid
off into town lots, streets, alleys.., and I name the town into
which it is platted 'Hamner'... and the plot of ground
marked school for the purpose of a public school forever
and the ground marked 'Park'... for a public park for the
use and benefit of the inhabitants of said town forever." This
was to be another town on the Kansas City, Mexico, and
Orient railway which was constructed in 1902.
The Orient did make a sidetrack and then built a big brown
wooden depot, toolhouse, a section foreman house,
bunkhouse, and stockyards. A water tower was erected on
down the tracks on the Chickaskia River from which the
locomotives filled their boilers. Each morning a gasoline
engine was used to fill this tank with water from the river. But
one morning just after it was filled, it collapsed.
Station agents and/or section foremen included a Mr.
Baty, Presley Nation, and Lawrence L. Oyler. It was in May
of 1923 that the depot burned. The section crew was moved
and soon the buildings were sold. Tom Wineinger bought the
tool building for a shed on his farm.
From the first, wheat and cattle were brought to Hamner to
be shipped out by rail. Henry Callison moved to the farm just
east of Hamner in 1910. Since he had scales, farmers would
weigh their wagon loads of wheat there and then it would be
scooped into the train cars. It was in April, 1927, that W. A.
Titus purchased lots and the Kansas Milling Co. of Wichita
built an elevator. Mr. Callison ran the elevator with the help
of his daughters Ruth, Ora, and Helen in the office for many
years. He retired and moved to Winfield in 1943. Clarence
was manager and then Pat Land ran it, with the help of his
children Gloria, Wanda, Don, and Keith, until it burned
down in 1947. The elevator office and scales were soon sold.
The Harper County records show that it was in January of
1934 that the county commissioners ordered the "Vacation"
of the Hamner townsite with the exception of the lots on
which the elevator was standing. By this time the Orient had
been sold to the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway which
owned this branch line until the tracks were taken up from
Viola to Harper in the late 1960's. When the Hamner whistle
signs were removed, Hamner was no more.
__Submitted by Ruth A. Wineinger and Donnie Land
Norwich, Kansas 1885-1985
A centennial history of Norwich
Used by permission
Visit the Home Page for Kansas
A service of the Kansas State Library
© Copyright 2002
John & Susan Howell