Kingman County, KS.

 History  of  Waterloo


 
      In 1875 and 1876 only a few settlers had arrived in the area later known as Galesburg Township. By the end of 1878 there was little land that was unoccupied.
      About 1880 a small village was beginning to develop on the east bank of Smoots Creek. Waterloo developed as a way-station where the Wichita to Kingman and Medicine Lodge, and Hutchinson to Kingman and Medicine lodge trails met. A group of promotcrs formed a Town Company and on July 7, 1879 the first plat of Waterloo was filed at the Register of Deeds office in Kingman. According to records, the site on which Waterloo is located was deeded as follows: August 22, 1878 from the United States Government to E.W. Moreland, then to J.C. Endicott, and on July 11, 1881 J.C. Endicott sold fifty acres to the Waterloo Town Company.
      According to the record of the Secretary of State Corporation Records, the charter was as follows: The certificate of incorporation states the purpose of the corporation was to purchase the townsite, and to build and maintain a town for the purpose of business and trade. The five directors appointed were: John Bromley, Stanford, Kansas; A.S. Lightwaiter, Stanford Kansas; S.D. Mustoe, Stanford, Kansas; L.D. Biddle, Stanford, Kansas. This was witncssed by James Holloday, Justice of the Peace.
      Many shares were sold in 1881 and 1882. The receipt book prices the shares at ten dollars, but according to the records most were sold for two and one-half dollars per share. The total receipts amounted to around five hundred dollars.
      Every small town tried to promote a railroad. Stocks were sold for the Hutchinson, Waterloo and Southwestern. This venture proved futile. The Kingman Citizen, January 16, 1880 states, "the corporation is busted by thunder."
      The first post office was called Stanford. It was established March 5, 1878. This was a pony express station located in the dugout of Simon F. Utley. This location is now the home of Paul Meng. The name of thc post office was changed to "Waterloo", and was in existence until June 30, 1912.
      The February 27, 1885 issue of the Kingman Courier lists Waterloo as a thriving little town having one hotel, three general merchandise stores, post office, blacksmith shop, wagon shop, livery stable, and a small broom factory. Mr. Hugh McBride raised twenty acres of broom corn, which supplied the small broom factory. There was also a barber shop, a jewelry and shoe store, and a creamery.
      A grove of trees, north of the ball diamond, still stands today as a living memorial to John W. Riggs, nurseryman. He came to Galesburg Township in 1885. He cxperimented with trees from different ams: Tree lilacs from Japan, Eucomia from Manchuria; Chinese pistachio and junipers; Royal Engish Oak from England; different pines from France; buckeyes and mulberries from Ohio; Alligator cedar which is a native of Arizona; Bald Cypress, hackbery, sugar maples and various kinds of oaks. Mr. Riggs worked with the United States Department of Agriculture.
      The Waterloo Community was served by three church denominations for many years. The Lebanon Methodist was closed in 1929, the Pleasant Valley Cumberland Presbyterian was closed in April of 1959, and the St. Louis Catholic Church still serves its members.
      A school district was formed in 1878. Prior to 1883, when the school house was built, school was held in the home of the patrons for a fee of three dollars a month. The school board being responsible for any damage done to the owner s property.
      The St. Louis Catholic School opened in 1901 and was closed in 1966. The Waterloo Public School was closed in the 1970's.
      Waterloo never reached the pinnacle of success hoped for by its early inhabitants. The Cannonball road passed it by, one mile to the south, the railroad went through Murdock, and by a narrow margin of votes, Kingman became the County seat instead of Waterloo.
      Waterloo: 1984: It is still located at the old site. Highway #17 passes one half mile to the east, and a four lane Highway #54 passes a half mile to the south. It contains only the Catholic Church and Ha!l, nine homes, a ball diamond, an oil well, and a cemetery close by.
__Excerpts from Irene Bergkamps Book

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

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