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