Smith County

       of Gaylord

Gaylord, Kansas


In the early 1870's a group of Mitchell and Cloud county men organized a townsite company, secured a section of government land, and the original village of Gaylord came into existence. It was named in honor of C.E. Gaylord, a member of the company. The section for some reason reverted back to the government and was all homesteaded by settlers except 80 acres. which comprised the original townsite. The village made quite a pretentious growth and on July 7, 1886, the county commissioners, after considering a petition signed by more than 50 percent of the qualified voters, issued a proclamation making Gaylord an incorporated city.

Gaylord has the unique distinction of being the first city in the United States to elect a full city government of women. The mayor, council, police judge and city clerk were all women.

In 1879 a survey was made for a railroad and in September of that year the quiet, prairies heard for the first time the screech of the steam whistle. The railroad extended on westward in l880 making Gaylord a shipping center and people came from as far as fifty miles to get their supplies.

At one time four flour mills and one woolen mill successfully operated with power furnished by the waters of the Solomon river. Mr. Harvey D. Pratt gained fame as a miller and he designed and built the Community Park dam. A portion of this dam is still in existence today and provides a glimpse into the past.

In it's glory days, Gaylord could boast of many businesses including The Gaylord Roller Mills, which advertised to have the best flour that could be bought and The Gaylord Furniture Store who advertised "embalming and preserving the body a specialty."

The years have brought many changes to the "little city" but the spirit of cooperation and caring for each other still exists. Today our little village continues to provide many services and comforts for our community. A grocery store, post office, bank, gas station, grain elevator, lumber yard, construction companies, beauty shop and cafe and other Agriculture related businesses, as well as two churches makes for a complete and comfortable lifestyle.


Gaylord PRIDE
(785) 697-2215
Gaylord, KS 67638

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July 8, 1998 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / towns@kslib.info

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