Bogue, located in Graham County off K 18 and US 24 in northwestern Kansas, was
established in 1888 as a railroad town. Bogue gets its name from its founder, Virgil Gay Bogue, a civil engineer working with the Union Pacific Railroad.
View Railroads in Graham County
Rumors of the coming railroad first inspired people to resettle this town nestled along the South Solomon River. The railroad was completed in 1888, and the traditional
depot was one of the first buildings constructed in the brand new town. Pioneer families endured a life of hardship and sacrifice in building Bogue, but, after three
months, there were 103 individuals and 38 buildings making up the community. The same mental and spiritual toughness can still be found in its people today.
Webster Reservoir State Park and Wildlife Area, less than a half hour's drive from Bogue, features great fishing for channel cat, striped bass, wipers, black bass, crappie,
and other species. In addition, there are boating, hiking and picnic areas, as well as public hunting and camping facilities. The area is famous for its colorful ring-necked pheasants, wild turkeys, mule and white tail deer, and a variety of other small game.
View Google Map location of Bogue, KS
by Alan LeSage
VIRGIL Gay Bogue, born in New York in 1846, became a civil engineer after graduating with honors from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1868. After working in South
America on the difficult railway construction then in progress, he returned to the United States in 1880 and helped direct all engineering operations on the Pacific slope for the Northern Pacific Railway. He left that corporation in 1886 to become chief engineer of
the Union Pacific system, which was making extensive improvements on its various lines and opening up new branches in the far West. He held this position for five years and it was during his time with the Union Pacific Railroad that he founded the town of Bogue.
In 1886, when rumors of a railroad to be built through Graham County intensified, Nate Minor began actively working to get the railroad started. During the winter of 1887, the
survey was completed and in the spring of 1888 construction began on the railroad, which ran from Salina to Oakley. The surveyed land ran directly through two pieces of Nate’s land, so he started a little town called Fagan. Nate thought the Railroad Company would
give him a depot, but Nate and Mr. Bogue could not agree on the price of the right of way. Therefore Mr. Bogue bought section 17 and took the depot one and one-half miles east. On August 28, 1888, the L & C Railroad Company platted Bogue, named after its founder.
On August 30, 1888, an article from The Graham County Democrat stated, “The company owns the entire section of land there, and the understanding was for it to be the division
town. Eight side tracks are to be put in and a twelve stall round house erected at once.” On February 7, 1889, the Bogue Signal stated, “The U.P.R.R. Co. knows a good thing when it sees it. It has reserved six lots in Block 49 in the city of Bogue on which it
intends to erect a large building in the spring. It is thought the company will move its headquarters from Omaha to this place and that the building is for that purpose.”
Because the railroad put the depot here, Bogue flourished and Fagan died. The last of the railroad tracks were removed one hundred and ten years later in 1998.
Just as the railroad brought aspirations of a bright future, so did cheese almost 80 years later. The successful grand opening of the new $250,000 Bogue Cheese Plant was held
on Saturday, July 17, 1965.
It was estimated that over 2000 people visited Bogue for the big day of festivities. A free barbecued beef dinner was prepared and served to more than 1500 guests in the
Township Hall basement by the local citizens. Free drawings, plant tours, free treats for the kids, dancing, and baseball were enjoyed throughout the day.
The opening ceremonies began with Mayor Archie Alexander giving the welcome by saying, “We want to welcome all you fine people to Bogue. We have no key to the city, as this is
a friendly town that needs no key to open its doors wide to all.”
Thomas B. Gardner, of Johnson County, Kansas, and president of Bogue Cheese, said, “It is amazing the way the Bogue people have gotten behind the new plant. The plant has the
latest in equipment and with the tremendous enthusiasm shown by the people of the area, it can't fail to be successful.”
Bogue was a very enterprising community that went to work and turned a dream into a reality. It was hoped that this plant would cause enterprising farmers to go back into
dairying and provide the large, steady stream of milk necessary for the plant to become a success.
The first Bogue Cheese was made at the new plant on Thursday, July 15, just two days before the grand opening. Fifteen years later it closed its doors in the fall of 1980 due
to the lack of milk. Bogue was proud of this cheese company and the annual Bogue Cheese-A-Rama will always be remembered as a highlight for the community.