History of Arrington, Kansas
From: History of Atchison County, Kansas
BY: Sheffield Ingalls
Standard Publishing Company
Lawrence, Kansas 1916


Arrington is located on the Union Pacific railroad in the southwest part of the county. This town was platted August 20, 1884, and its original promoters were R. A. Van Winkle, D. S. Henecke, John Ballinger, D. D. High, D. A. Benjamin, J. M. Roberson, Michael Baker, J. S. Hopkins, Ira Tabor and George W. Drake. Its streets are numbered one to four, and its cross streets are called Fountain avenue, Delaware street and Forest avenue. Arrington has three general stores, one elevator and a bank. During good crop years, as high as 125 cars of grain and live stock are shipped from its station, and its stores do a good business, rendering fine service to the surrounding territory.

At one time prior to 1890 medicinal springs were located at Arrington and it was quite a resort during the summer months for people living in northeastern Kansas. The town has a good hotel, and in addition to its merchandise establishments it supports a physician and several churches.

For many years a mill was conducted on the Delaware river upon which Arrington is located, operated by water power. This mill was built by John Reider in 1867, who also operated it both as a sawmill and as a grain mill. In 1874 W. H. Stockton joined Mr. Reider, and these two men built a two story frame mill, but they operated it only one day, as it was mysteriously burned the following night. Shortly thereafter Mr. Reider, undismayed and undiscouraged, associated with himself Albert Ingler, and remembering his previous disastrous experience with fire. Mr. Resider built a stone mill. This firm conducted a successful business for a number of years, drawing patronage for a distance of sixty miles, but in 1879, Mr. Ingler met an untimely dearth, by drowning as he was crossing the river, a few feet below where the Arrington bridge stands. Mr. Reider sold his interest to D. S. Heneks, who ran the mill until 1906, when John W. Young became its owner. He subsequently turned it over to George W. Stone, since which time it has been in possession of various owners, and in 1916 is owned by Burt McCulley. It has not been operated since 1908, and stands in nuns.

A history of Arrington would be incomplete without the mention of the name of Ransom A. Van Winkle, who was the first settler in Kapioma township, and the founder of the town. Captain Van Winkle was born November 25, 1818, in Wayne county, Kentucky. He was a Hollander by descent, and at one time his great grandfather, Michael Van Winkle, owned an interest in 13,000 acres of land within twelve miles of New York City, which was sold just prior to the Revolutionary war, for twenty five cents an acre. Van Winkle received the rudiments of his education in a Kentucky log schoolhouse, but was for two years a cadet at West Point and received a good education. He was married twice and had a varied experience in business, at one time owning a large interest in coal lands in Kentucky. He removed to St. Joseph, Mo., in 1849, and in September, 1855, came to Kansas and built the first claim cabin on the Grasshopper, or what is now the Delaware river, above Valley Falls, in Kapioma township. He also built the first steam sawmill; sawed the first lumber, and built the first frame house, and taught the first school in Kapioma township, and was the first postmaster at Arrington. He always took an active part in politics in the county and was a stanch Republican. He was a prominent Free State man in the early struggle in Kansas and contributed liberally to the cause and worked hard in its behalf. He was a justice of the peace in Papioma township for fourteen years; postmaster five years; trustee of Kapioma township eight years; a member of the legislature in 1861 and 1862 and county commissioner of Atchison county for six years. He was patriarchal in appearance and wads a conspicuous figure for many years in Republican conventions in Atchison county.

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