The town of Galva was incorporated in 1887, even though it
was the site of a railroad camp in the 1870's. The building
on Second & Main is the only original building left. At one time it had two
stories and even had a skating rink on top. The buildings
on the west side of the 200 block of Main were all replaced
after the fire of 1930 destroyed the entire block.
Galva is the successor of the town of Empire which was located a couple of miles southeast of the current site of Galva. As early as 1823, the junction of the Santa Fe Trail and the California Road served as a regular stop for the wagon trains and travelers heading west. In 1855, Charles Fuller built a "ranch" just west of Turkey Creek which was the first white settlement in the county.
In 1875 Joseph J. Colby constructed the first permanent residence which was the beginning of Empire. Any hope for a prosperous future for Empire was shattered when a branch of the AT&SF railroad was completed September 23, 1879, passing north of Empire through the present site of Galva. It didn't take long for the residents of Empire to move their buildings north to the tracks. By 1880, even the post office was closed. The beginning of Galva meant the end of Empire, a town that ran its whole course of history in under ten years.
- Adapted from a tour guide by the Galva Historical Association
|Visit the Home Page for Kansas
A service of the Kansas State Library
© Copyright 2003