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
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
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
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.
Kingman County, Kansas, And Its People.
(Kingman: Kingman County Historical Society. 1984)
Used by permission
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