Flint Hills north of Tuttle Creek Lake
Carnahan Creek School 1867
Nicodemus is located in Graham County, KS named for the Biblical figure Nicodemus. A National Historical Site Nicodemus is the only remaining western town established by African-American following the Civil War. Founded in 1877 by a group of former slaves from Kentucky, the town prospered and supported a hotel, two stores, school, and three churches.
The town made an effort to attract a railroad route thru Nicodemus, but none of the railroads brought their tracts to the town. The failed attempt to attract a railroad marked the end of growth for the small town.
After being named a National Historical Landmark the community has seen some improvements, a water tower, paved streets and some housing units.
The Emancipation Celebration, has been renamed Homecoming and it is celebrated annually as a gathering of old residents to celebrate their roots and community. Current population is approximately 20.
First Baptist Church – 1907
District 1 Nicodemus School – 1918
Just south of the school is the home of:
Ola Wilson Home – School Teacher
African Methodist Episcopal Church – 1885
St. Francis Hotel
Two story stuccoed portion the hotel was built in 1881. Originally was cut limestone. Also served as the post office, the first school and a stage coach stop.
Township Hall – 1939
Main Street Nicodemus
Today marks the one year passing of my precious mother. It’s so hard to lose the one who loves you the most. Thanks for always being there for us and thanks for loving us Mom.
Love and Miss you Mom †
While traveling along the back roads not too far from where my mother grew up, I saw a little building, abandoned but still proudly standing on the prairie, it was an old schoolhouse. I never knew where she went to grade school, but I knew the name of the school was Victory.
District 56 was organized in 1872. Twenty seven students attended the first three month school term. The school was moved from the original location as more students lived in the western part of the district.
In 1877, District 56 was known as Liberty School. They were competing in a spelling bee with four other schools and the only two remaining students, both from District 56 didn’t have to compete against each other, their school became known as Victory School.
Undated photo of Victory School from private collection
The school board voted in 1882 to move the school house once again. Not everyone on the board was in favor of the location. A group of patrons decided to move the school a mile west to the side of the district that they thought was more populated. At night they hitched four yoke of oxen to the building, then notified the opposition that they were going to move it. By the time the sheriff from Abilene arrived in the middle of the night, the school had been set on its new foundation.
April 29, 1949 the board of Victory school decided to close the school. My Aunt was one of the 5 students attending the final school term at Victory.
Students of Victory School Dickinson County, KS
My mom is second from the left, her little sister is the first one on the right.
Undated photo from private collection
Some information on Victory School was taken from a booklet composed for the Victory School Reunion
Lincoln County is one of my FAVORITE places. It was such a beautiful day, calm day after all the wind we’ve had. I wished you were with us.
Since the grasses haven’t started growing I saw numerous root cellars/storm caves. NO, I didn’t crawl into any of them!!!
All that is left of this home, is a window in the milo stubble.
Ash Grove, KS at one time had a grocery store, lumber yard, blacksmith, hardware store, hotel, church and school.
Limestone arch bridge at Ash Grove
Yard art? or just poor parking?
The wooden frame building was the Pottersburg Church. It was moved to Ash Grove in 1925.
The church bell is still in the bell tower.
Ash Grove school closed in 1966. Can you hear the school bell ringing?
To the south of Ash Grove was the site of Pottersburg.
A woman died near Spillman Creek and was buried in the cemetery. A local man later bought this stone for her.
Continuing south is a place that I came across years ago while exploring with my Mom and Aunt. It is the only place that I have seen that has limestone clothesline post still standing, I was so happy when I came across it again. It is absolutely in the middle of no where. Can’t imagine how awesome it would be living there.
I always loved hanging clothes on the clothesline.
Limestone Double Arch Bridge, no longer used but they preserved it when they re-routed Highway 18.
Herrington City Lake on a cold snowy day. I saw a couple of eagles, but couldn’t get a good picture of them.
Cedar Point, KS
I liked the old bicycle by the door.
Cedar Point is located in Chase County, KS Population 28
Drinkwater & Schriver Mill This mill has been purchased and is currently being renovated.
Another Lark Inn property in Cottonwood Falls. This is Fox Hollow, as with all their properties, a wonderful place to stay!! Comfortable 2 bedroom cottage, within walking distance to downtown Cottonwood. We ate at Ad Astra Food and Drink, and also at the Grand Central Hotel, so good!!
A trip to this area wouldn’t be complete without a stop at Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve.
Lower Fox Creek School
I always love spending time in the Flint Hills. I stayed at another property owned by Lark Inn, as usual it was a very comfortable and certainly enjoyed our stay.
Lark Inn on Main, Cottonwood Falls, KS
On the way home I had planned on hiking at the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, but the weather had changed and I wasn’t prepared for the cooler temperatures! I did explore around the Lower Fox Creek School
There was a time in Kansas history, when a one room school house was built in almost every township, approximately 3 miles apart. They stood on an acre of ground donated by a farmer and built with public funds. Low enrollment and consolidation forced the closing of Kansas’ one room school houses in the 1950’s and 60’s.
The Bichet School District 34 was built in 1896. Along with the one room school house, are two outhouses and a stone cave, all constructed of native limestone. Two students were attending the Bichet School when it closed in 1946. The school served the French settlement 4 miles east of Florence, KS. The Bichet School District 34 is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
A post office was established April 1860 at Bazaar, Kansas, in July of 1876 the post office was renamed Mary (in honor of the postmaster’s wife) then changed back to Bazaar 2 years later. On March 31, 1931 TWA Flight 599 crashed southwest of town, killing all 8 on board, including Notre Dame football coach Knute Rockne. There is a memorial along the Kansas Turnpike and also at the crash site, which is on private land. With the arrival of the railroad, Bazaar became a major shipping point for cattle. The school that as built along what is now Highway 177 closed when it consolidated with Cottonwood Falls, and it now serves as a community center.
Matfield Green, KS is named after Matfield, England. A post office was established here in 1867 it closed in 1995. Around the turn of the 19th century this was a town of 350 residents. There was a bank, grocery store, livery and blacksmith, hardware store, flour mill, lumber yard, hotel and schools. 2010 census is 47. Matfield Green is located in the beautiful Flints Hills and there are 2 ranches nearby on the Nation Register of Historical Places, the Crocker Ranch and Pioneer Bluffs Ranch.
In March of 1874 a post office was established in Hillsborough, the next month it was renamed Dunlap after Joseph Dunlap, an Indian agent for the Kaw tribe.
Benjamin “Pap” Singleton chose Dunlap for his second Singleton Colony, as home for freedmen who had come from Tennessee because of available land under the Homestead Act. Hundreds of Exodusters arrived in Dunlap. The Presbyterian Church founded the Freedman Academy of KS to provide education to the settlers, however the school closed it’s door in the 1890’s.
Population in 1910 was over 300, during this time there was a blacksmith shop, hardware, grocery store, ice cream parlor, flour mill, butter and cheese factors, restaurant, bank, hotel, and numerous churches.
When the exodusters first arrived the white community resented them and they had separate schools, churches and cemeteries. However by 1930, the white and blacks were no longer segregated and lived together peacefully in the beautiful Neosho River Valley.
Dunlap is currently home to approximately 30 people.
Native stone sidewalk along Main Street
White Cemetery Dunlap, KS
Black Cemetery about 1 mile north of the white cemetery
Many of the headstones were native stones with no inscription on them
On a road that is seldom traveled I came across this monument. A beautiful tribute to a freedman who homestead this land. Here is a link about Mr. Davis and his monument to his family.
Massive native stone cornerpost
The ground is so rocky that they drilled holes in the rocks to set the posts.
Burns is located in Marion County, KS It was originally named St. Francis, but they realized that name was already taken so they changed the name to be the same as a nearby Burns train station. The Burns Union School was built in 1904, the high school closed in 1965, the grade school and junior high closed in 1997. The population of Burns is 228. There are numerous business including churches and the Burns Cafe and Bakery which is open Friday and Saturday.