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


Lancaster is one of the oldest towns in the county. In the issue of October 16, 1858, of Freedom's Champion, the following advertisement with reference to Lancaster appears:


"Lancaster City is the name of a new town just springing into existence. It is located 10 miles direct west of our city (Atchison) Atchison county, K. T., on the east half of Section 32, Township 5, Range 19, the great military road to Fts. Kearney, Laramie, Bridge, and to Santa Fe, Utah, Washington Territory, Gadson Purchase, California, New Mexico, etc., passes through the town site. Also roads leading from Nebraska City, St. Joseph, Doniphan, and to Grasshopper Falls, Topeka, Lecompton and Lawrence.

"A more beautiful situation for a large and prosperous city could not be found in the Territory, or the Great West. Its site is rolling and dry, climate healthy and salubrious as heart could wish for. The surrounding country cannot be surpassed for its magnificent undulating prairies, being one of the most fertile agricultural regions in the whole country.

"Excellent coal, building stone and timber, within two, and two and a half miles. This town has been under way but little over two months, and notwithstanding the hard times, quite a number of buildings are already erected, among which will be found a large and commodious hotel, a good store, blacksmith and carpenter shops, post office, etc., etc. Arrangements are made for the erection of several more dwelling houses, also for the erection during this month, of a Union church, (the first in the county) and with liberty heretofore unequalled in Kansas, Mr. J. W. Smith, the President of the Company, authorizes us to say that he will give good lots gratis to mechanics, laborers, and others, who will apply for them soon, or who will erect improvements on them in six months, worth $200 or more. This, we think, a good chance for men who want a comfortable home in the best section if our country. The company now offer to sell lots or shares at reasonable rates, and are prepared to make warrantee deeds for the same, having purchased the site and obtained the title for the same of the Government of the United States on the 26th day of June, 1858. Persons wishing to live in an interior town, will do well to visit Lancaster before investing elsewhere."

While this little town did not prove to be all that its promoters expected of it, it continued as a good trading point for many years, and in 1916 remains one of the prosperous communities of the county. In addition to the One bank which it supports, reference to which has already been made, Lancaster, in 1913, has seven stores, a two room public school, three churches, one elevator, one lumber yard, a good hotel and a garage. In 1915 its enterprising citizens built an electric high tensioned line connecting with the Effingham line out of Atchison, to supply the town with electric lights, and its citizens are now enjoying all the benefits of electricity.

About 80,000 bushels of grain, and an average of seventy five cars of - live stock are shipped out of Lancaster annually. Its merchants are enterprising and prosperous, and many comfortable and commodious homes have been built in this little town. It is located in one of the finest agricultural sections of the county, and the surrounding country is in a state of high cultivation, and peopled by prosperous and thrifty farmers.

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