On October 8, 1884, President Grover Cleveland signed the document which entitled Francis St. Peter to one hundred and sixty acres of land on the western edge of Rooks County for the consideration of $4.00. By 1880 most of the government land had been "taken up". Francis St. Peter had hauled ammunition during the Civil War and like so many other veterans was lured to seek the free land made available by the Homestead Act. The purpose of the Homestead Act was to promote
speedy settlement of the public lands as a means of producing revenue which was badly needed by the Union. Senator Samuel C. Pomroy of Kansas promoted the idea that the government should not derive a revenue from the sale of the land, anymore than from the sale of the air or the sunshine.
Almost immediately other Canadian French Catholic people followed. They came by way of Illinois, then to Concordia, Aurora and St. Joseph and on further to the west looking for cheap land and a new home. The first settlers arrived in covered wagons drawn by oxen. Among the first arrivals were the names of: Ezra and Joe St. Peter, Peter Simoneau, A.D. Manny, Dave Plante, Leon Hebert, Charles Noel, Stenis Morin, Joe Kerouac, Frank Beamu, Daniel Dussault, Adolph Sennesac, Ambrose Desbien, Archie Saindon, Mitchell Morel and Henry Berland. The first grains harvested were hauled by oxen to Ellis or Logan. The community became so solidly French in character that it was referred to as the Acadia of the West. It has retained much of its original tradition to this day. The first church services were held in the home of Ezra St. Peter in 1887. Mr. St. Peter then donated three acres for a cemetery and two acres for a church to the east of his home. The new community was first known as St. Petersville. However, the first post office located about two miles to the north east was named Ainsworth.
When the Union Pacific railroad passed nearby, the first small frame church was moved to the site of the present church. The post office moved also, to the railroad station. It was at this time that the new town became known as Damar.
City of Damar
Damar, KS 67632
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City of Damar