Kingman County, KS.

 History  of  Murdock

      New Murdock, located in Dale Township, Kingman County, was founded March 17, 1884. This was the same year that the Wichita and Western Railroad (now the Santa Fe Railroad) was built through this area. The town received is name from the Murdock family, founders of "The Wichita Eagle", and to be more exact, in honor of Marsh Murdock.
      It is possible that New Murdock was placed where it is because it was thought that a town was needed four miles west of a town called Oakland, in Vinita Township, which was located near the site later known as Landsdown. It was felt at the same time that a town was needed at the site of Cheney. Oakland died after a short period of existence, as did Landsdown some time later.
      The town was laid out and sold by the Arkansas Valley Town and Land Company as were many other towns in Kansas. The name of the town was changed to Murdock on January 4, 1918, when the other town of Murdock, located in Butler County, closed its postoffice because of a dying town.
      Some of the early families were: Sykes, Mustoes, Hodges, Furrows, Gerings, Youngs, Harners, Colemans, Hansmans, Holders and Powers.
      Some of the businesses in the early days were: a mill established in 1887 by Peter Gering and a steel and plow factory. No dates are known as to when it existed. In 1909, B.T. Robinson came to the community and established a bank. It is still in operation today. It's one of the smaller banks in the state, but it is also one of the strongest.
      The Methodist Church was the first church in the community. It was organized in 1884. The first Methodist Church building was built in 1901. In 1902, it was struck by lightning and burned. The second church was built in 1914 and was completely destroyed by fire in 1974. The third church building was erected in 1974 and still stands, with an active congregation. One of the pastors, E.T. Julian, was known as the "marrying pastor", because he married a large number of the young people in the area. There was also a Christian Church in the town for a period of time, but was closed some time before the 1930's.
      At one time there was in Murdock: a doctor, drug store, two hotels, three grocery stores, a newspaper office, implement dealer, who also sold trucks and automobiles, a lumber yard, bakery, two grain dealers, stockyards, restaurant, barber shop, four filling stations, a depot which also had a telegraph service and railway express, and cream buying stations.
      The businesses in Murdock today consist of: a post office, grocery store, grain buyer, bank, and a computer repair service. All businesses are prospering.
__Submitted by Bayard T. Robinson.

Adapted from:
Kingman County, Kansas, And Its People.
(Kingman: Kingman County Historical Society. 1984)
Used by permission
Explore Murdock & Kingman County
September 25, 2001 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas /

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