History of Rago
Early in 1883, Rago Trading Post was established
two miles east and four miles south of the present
location of Rago. September 1883 the town moved
four miles north. A post office was established with
Mr. James Baker, first postmaster.
In 1886, the new town of Rago was platted 2½
miles west on 240 acres of ground owned by Mr.
Tibbets. Several buildings, homes, City Hall, and a
blacksmith shop were built. A town well was dug.
In 1887,post offices of Old Rago, Trento and Pitt
were moved to Rago. David Strattan, postmaster at
Pitt, moved his grocery store to Rago and became
As Rago had become an important shipping
point, the railroad company built a depot and
stockyards. Other businesses were: Albright and
Bentson Grain and Livestock; Lattin Bros. Livestock;
W. Richmond, blacksmith; M.L. Roberts
Coal & Lumber; E.A. Anderson, restaurant; J.
Ewing, mason and contractor; David Strattan Groceries;
H..S. and C.R. Trading Post; Thomas, Notary;
Thomas and Son General Store; Rago Hotel; and
Livery Stable. The school house, Dist.#12 was
moved into Rago, and the G.A.R. Post was organized.
One of the earliest businesses in Rago was a
salt mine, located west of the present town on a
portion of land that George Furry owned later. It
was abandoned in 1900. Various indentations still
remain in West Rago like caves settlers used for
safety and food storage.
It was thought, if the
& Southern Railroad was built, it would be an ideal
location for a townsite. Hopes were blasted when the railroad
missed the town by half a mile to the east. About
1900, the town again moved a half mile east to its
The 1904 Rago Business Directory included:
Lipper Bros. General Merchandise, Coal and Grain;
Stewart General Merchandise; John Macomher
Groceries, Confections, and Notions; T. Milliard,
Blacksmith; Rago Hotel, J. Gracies, Proprietor; a
The Methodist Church, built in 1911, was dedicated
in 1912. Rev. D.L. Jones was pastor.
Businesses during 20's and 30's were: Jay Williams
Garage; Loren and Burris Felts Grocery
(formerly Harry Stewart General Store); Homer
Witt Cream Station; John Wilson Recreation Parlor,
which sold sandwiches, soft drinks and beer.
Filling stations were: The Blackwells, Wilbur Trollope,
Fred Fink, and Zenos Welch. Fred Fink used
part of the Filling Station for a Dance Hall.
During early 50's, the Grieving Sisters from
Kinsman ran a grocery store on South Main.
In the late 30's, B.T. Youngs built a filling station,
with living quarters, on the east side of North Main.
It was sold to the George Furrys, who also ran a cafe
several years. Other operators were: Thompson Oil
Co.; Frank Robinsons; the Wolf Sisters, who added
a beer joint. The building burned a few years later.
George Furry had training stables in Rago, which
attracted owners with horses from many stables.
Mrs. Furry, an artist, sold many paintings.
The Methodist Church closed in 1940, and a
Nondenominational Church, Rago Community
Church, operated from 1940-1950.
In 1947-48, the Rago Ball Club was organized.
Paul Stucky and Milo Sitts were managers. They
were State Softball Champions in 1965. Rago still
has an active ball club.
Ultch Lumber Company operated for many years
but closed in early 50's. Roscoe Herring bought the
lumber company building and had a thriving Appliance
and Grocery Store for several years. The Rago
Elevator burned in 1965, but was rebuilt. It's now
Garvey Elevator. Managers have been: Roscoe Herring,
Guy Welch, Bob May, Kenneth Cross and Ray
The school was closed in the 60's and the depot in
Some of the postmasters have been: R. Lippar,
William Young, John Macomber, Bertha Taylor,
Ollie Blazier, and LaVon Parsons. Some rural
carriers have been: Charles Freels, Gale Reida, and
Present day Rago consists of: a few residences;
Post Office; Elevator; Town Hail; Steven's Oil Co.,
Centel Electrical Station; May Hart's Beauty
Shop; the Ball Diamond; and abandoned Community Church.
Kingman County, Kansas, And Its People.
(Kingman: Kingman County Historical Society. 1984)
Used by permission
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John & Susan Howell