History of Plymouth, Kansas
From: History of Emporia and Lyon County Kansas
By: Laura M. French
Emporia Gazette Print
Emporia, Kansas 1929


The first settler on the Plymouth town site was Charles Humphrey, who took a claim there in 1857. The town, nine miles west of Emporia, was laid out in 1858 and platted in 1859. Daniel Holsinger was president of the Town Company and H. W. Fick, secretary. Other members were David McMillan and Ross Thomas. David McMillan was the first postmaster, appointed in 1858. The original village, on the hill north of the Santa Fe station was not moved when, in 1871, the railroad "took the low road."

Many of the residences built in the early sixties still are occupied. John Carter, a North Carolina Friend and a former president of Guilford College in that state, built the first house in Plymouth, and later added to it on the west a large store building. Here he put in a $5,000.00 stock of general merchandise, and for eight years did a flourishing business. Also he was postmaster. The entire structure of eight large rooms since has been used as a dwelling, and for many years has been the home of Mr. and Mrs. Hugh Jackson. Much of the lumber in this building is native walnut.

In the basement of this building, warmed by a huge fireplace and lighted by candles, the first literary society of Plymouth met. The late Malcolm Campbell was its president. Upstairs in the parlor the Friends held religious services. Stage hands used to stop for meals here, and to quench their thirst from the deep well in the well house, adjoining the residence. The late L. M. Harris, of Emporia, in this old house organized the first Sunday School in Plymouth. The big barn on this place - an entire block - was the first schoolhouse in Plymouth, built in 1864.

The first school was taught in the house afterward the home of Mrs. Barbara Campbell and her sons and daughters, across the street from the Carter house. Miss Mary Hammer was the first teacher, and Mrs. Ella Spencer - now Mrs. Brown - was the second. This house was built by Elisha Parker, of lumber hauled from Leavenworth, and was the second house in the town. Miss Jean Campbell, the last of the Campbell family, lived in the old house until her death a few years ago. Mrs. Hugh Jackson is a granddaughter of Mrs. Barbara Campbell. Malcolm Campbell was captain of the Plymouth Militia during the Civil War, and the Jacksons cherish the beautiful flag made by Mrs. Barbara Campbell and members of her family, of fine soft merino for which she sent to Leavenworth. Also, she paid $200.00 for guns for use of the militia and, like the militia, who got no pay for its services, she got no refund from a grateful government for helping out in its need. Malcolm Campbell afterward lived !several years in Chase County, and represented his district in the Kansas Legislature.

"The business district," as the villagers term the Santa Fe station, the O. G. Walker general store, the elevator and garage and filling station, on the railroad and on highway No. 50s, is half a mile from the old town, in which there are probably twenty houses. They love their old houses and their old furniture, and enjoy relating stories of historic interest concerning the town and its founders. In Plymouth village are a well built schoolhouse and a Woodman Hall, and church services are held in the schoolhouse.

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