Gove County Kansas on the Net   Park,

Founded 1868
Population: 150
Elevation: 2750 feet
Latitude: 39° 6' 45" N
Longitude: 100° 21' 30" W
ZIP code: 67751
Area Code: 785


        As you drive along I-70 from either the east or west, it is the steeple standing proudly on the horizon that serves as a landmark for Park and its beautiful "Cathedral of the West" Catholic Church. Park is the oldest town in Gove, [GO], County.  First, the town was called Buffalo, then it was known as Buffalo Park, and now we just say Park to denote the town that lies along I-70 5 miles east of Grainfield and about 10 miles west of Quinter.  This community is noted for its Pennsylvania Dutch and Volga-German heritage. 

        Buffalo Station was the first railroad station along the Union Pacific in Gove County in the Spring of 1868.  Perhaps the town gets its name because during the summer buffalo and antelope were always visible from atop the station's 120 foot tall wooden water tank.  The buffalo herds were depleted as settlers harvested the animals for their bones and hauled the bones to Buffalo Station.

        The Pennsylvania Dutch settled in, and the first Post Office was located in Buffalo in 1878.  Buffalo became a trading center for settlers from miles around because the railroad stopped there to leave supplies and freight. 

        Cattle were driven from Texas to Buffalo Park so that they could be shipped by rail or driven on to Nebraska and to the Northwest Territories.  Cattle drives continued until 1883.

        In 1894 Peter Schamber, a Volga-German from the Ellis-Rush counties areas, was appointed section foreman for the Union Pacific located at Buffalo Park.  He became acquainted with the few Catholics in area and wanted to secure the services of the Church for these people.  The only services available were the Capuchin Fathers who travel from Ellsworth to Wallace and would stop during the week to say Mass and administer the Sacraments.  Schamber was active in starting a Catholic Church in Park and encouraged his friends from the counties of Ellis and Rush to settle in Park.  This immigration began as early as 1900 and continued until 1924.  Also some Germans from southern Russia who had settled in Texas, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and the Dakotas, as well as some directly from Russia, migrated to Buffalo Park to make new homes.  These people spoke many dialects and were a religious, hard-working, thrifty people. 

        During 1899 and the spring of 1900 the first Catholic Church was built.  In 1909 the Church was extended and a steeple added.  Also a Sisters' Home was built in 1909 to provide living quarters for the Sisters who taught at the district school.  The new brick Church was built in 1921 and 1922.  In 1972 the Church was completely redecorated, repaired, and carpeted for the Diamond Jubilee of the Park Parish and the Golden Jubilee of the church building.  At this time the Sacred Heart Church of Park was named "The Cathedral of the West".

        Today, the West Cemetery is important to those doing family histories. 


Churches   Sacred Heart Catholic Church   (785) 673-4684 / P.O.  Box 78,
Parish Hall   (785) 673-4297
Dining   Park Avenue Bar and Grill   (785) 673-4848 / P.O.  Box 123,
F.D.I.C.(Food, Drink, & Interesting Conversation Club)   (785) 673-4717 / Hwy.  40,
Business   Billinger Repair Shop   (785) 673-4239 / P.O.  Box 57 Tractor and truck repair
Dick's Insurance Agency   (785) 673-4315
Park Oil Co.  and Service Station   (785) 673-5541
Goetz Trucking   (785) 673-4336
The Tack Shop-Upholstery   (785) 673-4361,
Kinderknecht Hog Farm   (785) 673-4844,
Donna's Homemade Noodles   (785) 673-4790
Kinderknecht Crafts and Ceramics   (785) 673-4844
Ed Werth, Hand-crafted woods   (785) 673-4257
Midwest Coop   (785) 673-5545
Heinrich's Feeds, Inc.
Government   City Clerk   (785) 673-4315
City Hall   (785) 673-4873
Post Office   (785) 673-4349 / 4th & Elm
  Ambulance   754-2100
  Fire   673-4899
  Sheriff   938-2250

Information Supplied by Janice Criswell

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September 27, 1999 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas /

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