Crawford County, Kansas



In 1886, the coal camp of Rust was founded where the current Arma is. The camp was 3 blocks wide and 4 blocks long. According to the Girard Press of Nov. 27, 1891, land upon which the J. V. Baysinger farm was located was deeded to the Missouri Pacific Railroad by Mr. William F. Armacost for a new depot. The stop was to be called Armiton. In February of 1891, it was decided to call the new town Rust instead of Armiton, and was platted on 65 acres of land, which became a stop for the Ft. Scott & Southern Railroad. By 1909, the camp of Rust had grown into a small town with 379 residents. It was incorporated on May 18, 1909 as a city of the third class and the name was changed to Arma after Mr. Armacost, whose land the city was platted upon. Mr. Armacost had moved to Crawford County from Bethel, Ohio. The first postoffice was at Clem Brown's store,with John Rodabaugh as postmaster. By 1915, Arma had a population of 1,742. In 1961, Berniece Close Shackelton wrote that her father, William M. Close, had been one of the early settlers of the area, bringing his new bride Clara Volk Close to settle on a farm located a half mile south of Rust and owned by the Western Coal Company. When he saw that the coal mining industry was becoming a booming business, Close sold his farm and moved into the town of Arma becoming a carpenter and contractor, building many houses and buildings in the new town. He later sold his home to the Western Coal Company and moved to Union Center, Kansas. The coal company put down Shaft No. 50 where his home stood.

Arma Main Street
- photo about 1900

More About Arma

"An incorporated town of Crawford county, is a station on the Missouri Pacific RR, 9 miles east of Girard, the county seat, and about 3 miles west of the state line. It is a typical Kansas town, has express and telegraph offices, a flour mill, a lumber yard, several general stores, and in 1901 reported a population of 327."- Kansas - A Cyclopedia of State History, Embracing Events, Institutions, Industries, Counties, Cities, Towns, Prominent Person, Etc., Frank W. Blackmar, editor, copyright 1912.
Related Links:
Arma City Website