El Dorado, Kansas in 1916
From: History of Butler County, Kansas
BY: Vol. P. Mooney
Standard Publishing Company
Lawrence, Kansas 1916


El Dorado, the principal city and capitol of the "State of Butler," the largest county in Kansas, has a population of about 4,000. It is the geographical center of one of the wealthiest farming and stock raising counties in the West. It is beautifully located on the west bank of the Walnut river and sits like a queen on her throne, overlooking the picturesque and fertile Walnut valley, one of the richest portions of country east of the Rockies, and teeming with rural life and wealth, the result of nearly a half century of the toil, frugality and economy of the people who in all these years have called this "Garden of the West" home.

From a humble beginning, it has grown to be one of the most important points in Kansas from a social and business standpoint. Few cities of its size can show cleaner pages in municipal history, or a more solid, substantial balance in the ledger of the business world. Figures will not lie, nor will the balance sheet of the accountant mislead or deceive. The statements made in these pages are quotations from the records and are founded upon fact. Investigation by the doubter or the honest inquirer will reveal that no city of its size outside the manufacturing districts can show a greater volume of business, in receipts and shipments, trade in mercantile lines, bank deposits, receipts from the sale of cattle, horses, mules, hogs, poultry, eggs, dairy products and alfalfa and prairie hay, than passes through the legitimate channels in this market.

Two systems of railroads, the Santa Fe and Missouri-Pacific, with the McPherson branch, make it a point easily accessible from all directions, and these lines make close connections with trains on other lines from the principal cities north and southeast and west. Two good depots, one a new and strictly modern building, furnish ample accommodation to waiting travelers and have the capacity to care for and handle all of the enormous freight traffic that makes this city its destination.

County roads run in all directions through the country tributary to El Dorado, which ordinarily are kept in fine condition and make traveling on the public highways a pleasure. These roads are under the direct supervision of the county commissioners and a fund is provided ample for keeping them in good condition.

The schools of El Dorado are not only the pride of the city and country, but they, because of the high standard of their management and the success attained, have gained a reputation that is state wide and attracted many outside of the confines of Butler county. The high and grade schools are surpassed by none and have few equals. Besides these very essential features El Dorado has nine churches, a high school, a grade school, two ward schools, and two to be erected at once, in time for next term; a $10,000 Carnegie library, a new $100,000 court house; a movement is on foot to erect a $30,000 jail; more than two miles of new street paving, and the contract is let for forty three blocks more, which is in process of construction.

The city is illuminated with a beautiful white way, and a system of Tungsten street lamps, which are located on all the principal streets. These lights are furnished by current from the service of the Kansas Gas and Electric Company, which supplies light, heat and power to the business and homes of El Dorado. A system of natural gas is furnished by the Wichita Natural Gas Company for heating and lights. One of the most complete and efficient system of water works to be found in the West is owned by El Dorado and under municipal control. There are four banks, four big department stores, two general stores, two shoe stores, two big furniture stores, two undertakers, two large hardware and implement stocks, four large garages, five drug stores, two book stores and news stands, four jewelry stores, three dry cleaning and tailoring establishments, four hotels and seven restaurants and rooming houses, one ice plant, one carriage factory, one steam laundry, two meat markets, five bakeries, five grocery stores, six lumber yards, five blacksmith and wagon shops, two second hand stores, four repair and shoe shops, two daily papers, two weekly papers, three printing establishments, one municipal building, six barber shops, two clothing stores, five supply houses for the oil field, one hospital, eight physicians and practitioners, one photographer, two millinery stores, one opera house, two moving picture theaters, one dairy barn, four livery and feed stables, one alfalfa mill, two fine parks, one branch of the Bell telephone system, two electric shops, three dentists, fifteen attorneys, two abstract offices, twelve real estate and insurance offices, one tinshop, one candy factory, one coal yard and hack line, two delivery systems, one transfer line, one poultry house, one marble and granite works, two elevators and warehouses, two plumbing establishments, sixty producing oil wells in the newly discovered field, and more being brought in daily; four oil companies located with permanent offices in El Dorado, and contractors and builders commensurate with the live, growing town, and one which has the brightest prospects in the universe.

El Dorado is most favorably located, has the most beautiful scenery, and more of it; more stately trees, whose branches meet across the street, and more of them, than any town in the West. It is a city of homes, many of them palatial. Its educational and church privileges and its high social standard make it an ideal community in which to live. It is a clean city, inhabited by a live, energetic class who never knew failure because of a disposition to do things and possessed of a feeling of pride in themselves and neighbors.

This story would not be complete without mention of El Dorado's Commercial Club, which is not only thoroughly organized, but has just completed the furnishing of elegant quarters, where the business interests of the community center and where the stranger looking for business and investment will find a cordial welcome and render every assistance it is possible to give. The members are a lively bunch, and their watchword is "El Dorado."

This El Dorado History is in 4 parts

El Dorado History.

El Dorado in 1870

El Dorado in 1881

El Dorado in 1916

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