Crawford County, Kansas



Originally the postoffice was called Time, and located half mile north of present McCune. In 1879, the postoffice was moved to a new town and named McCune in honor of Isaac McCune who was the postmaster and its most prominent citizen. The first building erected was by J. Z. Sherfick and later used as a hotel.

Isaac McCune - Founder
- photo date unknown
Hamilton Street (now Main Street) with city well- McCune
- photo late 1880's
Frisco Depot - McCune
- photo 1955
Stewart Funeral Home - McCune
- photo about 1960

More About McCune

"The land upon which this town is situated was entered by Leroy Akers in 1869. The farm soon afterward was sold to Isaac McCune, who was engaged in its cultivation for some years prior to the establishment of the town. The town is situated in the southwestern part of Crawford County, on the Kansas City, Fort Scott & Gulf Railroad, on the divide between the Neosho River and Lightning Creek. In this part, there was a wide and fertile district, measured from a central point by a radius of about fifteen miles, more or less, to Girard on the northeast, Cherokee on the east, Columbus on the southeast, Oswego on the southwest, and Parsons on the west. The country surrounding the place is filled up and well cultivated by thrifty and enterprising farmers. From such circumstances, it was plain to be seen, not only that it was a favorable point for the establishment of a town, but also that the demands of the country required it. In May, 1879, Isaac McCune laid out a town which was named McCune, in honor of its enterprising founder. The survey and plat was made by the railroad civil engineer. The original site comprised sixty acres. Since then, R. N. Canada made an addition of ten acres on the north, C. Crank, made one of ten acres on the west, and Isaac McCune made a third addition of ten acres on the south, making a total area in the town site of ninety acres. The first building erected on the site was a dwelling belonging to J. Z. Sherfic. It was afterward used as a hotel, and now forms a part of the Western Hotel. I. V. McCune built a store house which J. D. Rogers occupied with a stock of general merchandise. This was the second building in the town, and was erected in August, 1879. The next was a store house built by Thomas Stutterd, in which he kept drugs and dry goods. In about two months, it was purchased by Dr. E. P. Davis. In the spirng of 1880, W. W. Gibson erected a building and opened a general store, and later in the fall F. M. McCaslin put up a house, putting in a stock of miscellaneous merchandise. This house is now occupied by Wilson & Son. The next business house established was a grocery, by Davidson & Granthum. For the short period since the starting of the town, it has made surprising progress. In less than four years' time, it has grown to a city with a population of 500, and contains eight general stores, three hardware, two drug, two grocery, two millinery stores, two hotels, one billiard hall, two blacksmith shops, one cabinet shop, three carpenter shops, two lumber yards, two coal yards, two livery stables, one flouring mill, one grain elevator, and nine grain buyers. Pursuant to a petition to the District Court of the Eleventh Judicial District, signed by Isaac McCune, E. L. Ball, and sixty-three others, the town became incorporated as a city of the third class, October 8, 1881. Isaac McCune was elected the first Mayor, and was succeeded by J. L. Ward who was elected in April, 1882. The first City Council was composed of I. V. McCune, R. O. Harris, M. Casey and K. P. Minard.
A post office called Time, was established in this vicinity in 1875. It was kept by W. Welch, about half a mile east of where the city now stands. In 1878, it was moved to the town and was given the same name. At the time of the change of location. J. F. McCune became Postmaster, and has held the position up to this time. When J.F. McCune first became Postmaster, the office consisted of a small box containing fifteen pigeon holes, which he was accustomed to take under his arm and move about, taking up his quarters in stores with such merchants as were agreeable. It soon became necessary to supersede this box with one considerably larger. Both of these pieces of post office furniture are retained in the office, which has been greatly extended, and is now a considerable point for the distribution of mail matter, and in the registry business. The first school in this district was taught in 1869 by Miss Mary Ball. The school building in which it was kept afterward fell within the town limits. The first school after the town was laid out was taught by Daniel Hollinger. The schoolhouse was a small frame building, to which an addition was built in the fall of 1881. The school population numbers about two hundred. The schools comprise three departments under as many teachers.
In July, 1881, D. A. Burton started a paper called the McCune Standard. It subsequently came into the hands of his son. J. A. Burton, who, after running it a short time, sold out to W. W. Liggett, in the fall of 1882. Liggett, out of the material, presses, etc., of the Standard office, brought out a six-column folio paper, called the McCune Times, the first issue being made September 9, 1882. W. W. Ligget, editor and proprietor of the McCune Times, was born in Greene County, Ohio, February, 1857. When he was yet of tender age, his parents moved to Livingston County, Ill., from where they moved to Warren County, that State. He attended school at Monmouth, Ill., finishing his education at Mount Ayr, Ringgold County, Iowa. For some two or three years following this, he was engaged in learning the printer's trade. In 1878, he went to Kansas City, and was engaged upon the Times, Journal, Star and Mail. He became foreman on the Kansas City Indicator, which position he held up to February, 1882. After this he came to Girard, then went to Walnut, where he worked at this trade until August, at which time he came to McCune, bought the McCune Standard office and began the publication of the McCune Times, in which he is now engaged. The Presbyterian Church was organized in 1879, with seven members, by Rev. Mr. Hill, of Kansas City. The organization took place in the schoolhouse, in which services were held until the church house was built. The house was built in 1880, and dedicated in 1881. Rev. Mr. Thayer was the first regular pastor. There is a Methodist Episcopal congregation here and also a Methodist organization. The former has a church building which was erected in 1882, but the latter is without a house of worship. The Christian congregation was organized in 1881 and the church was built in 1882. The United Presbyterians and Baptists have flourishing organizations, but neither is supplied with a church building. McCune Lodge No. 193, I. O. O. F., was instituted October 24, 1881, by D. G. M. A. P. Riddle, assisted by a number from lodges in various surrounding towns. The following were elected as officers: J. A. Gasey, Noble Grand; G. T. McCaslin, Vice Grand; S. L. Minard, Recording Secretary; J. T. Smith, Permanent Secretary; C. E. Metcalf, Treasurer. McCune Lodge No. 70, A. O. U. W., was organized in February, 1882, with twenty-six members. The only manufacturing establishment in the town is the McCune flouring mills. This mill was built in May, 1882, by the firm of Carter & Allen. Subsequently, Carter sold out to a man named Galyon, and the firm became Allen & Galyon. The mill contains three run of stone and turns out an excellent brand of goods.
This organization was formed in 1882, and is composed of Isaac McCune, I. K. Vance and Jonathan Rigney. The object of the company was to prospect for coal in the vicinity of the town. In the summber of 1882, a prospect shaft was sunk to a depth of four hundred feet, which passed through five veins of coal of varying thickness. A vein five feet thick was reached at a depth of about three hundred and fifty feet. The shaft was sunk within the limits of the town, showing that beneath it lies a wealth of this mineral. The design of the company is to develop this interest in the immediate future, and thus the city will receive another great impetus to her progress. The surroundings of this young city are fovorable, and its prospects of growth in the future are to an extent certain. The country around is rich in the growth of agricultural products of all kinds, and McCune is thus rendered an important shipping point. During the year 1882, there were shipped from this station twenty-eight cars of oats, eighty-eight of wheat, ninety-one of corn, eighteen of castor-beans, five of flax seed, twenty-eight of hogs, and two of cattle. The men of the town are live and energetic, and an extensive and prosperous business is sustained."- History of the State of Kansas, William G. Cutler, 1883 by A. T. Andreas, Chicago, IL
"Four miles west of Monmouth is the city of McCune. The town was laid out in 1879, by Isaac McCune, and is located on the Frisco railroad. The first building erected was a dwelling, by J. Z. Sherfick, and was afterward used as a hotel. I. V. McCune built a store building, which was occupied by J. D. Rogers with a stock of general merchandise. At the time McCune was laid out a postoffice was kept by W. Welch, and was named "Time." This was about half a mile north of the townsite, and was moved into town, and J. F. McCune, appointed postmaster. The name was soon changed to McCune. Miss Mary Ball taught the first school, followed by Daniel Hollinger, who has for several years been growing oranges in Florida. McCune has had a substantial growth, and is now one of the best towns in the county. Churches, schools, newspapers, banks, in short, all classes of business are well represented, and the town is a busy, thriving, prosperous place." - A Twentiety Century History and Biographical Record of Crawford County, KS, Home Authors, 1905 by Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, IL
"An incorporated city of the third class in Crawford county, is located 16 miles southwest of Girard, the county seat, and is on the St. Louis & San Francisco RR. It has two banks, a weekly newspaper (the McCune Herald), a high school, the leading church denominations, telegraph and express offices, and an international money order post office with six rural routes. The population according to the 1910 census was 736. McCune was laid out in 1879 by Isaac McCune, who owned and had been farming the land. He built the first store, which was opened by J.D. Rogers. The post office, which was called Time prior to founding the town, was changed to McCune and Mr. McCune was made the postmaster in 1878. The town was incorporated as a city of the third class in Oct., 1881. The following were the first officers: Mayor; Isaac McCune; councilmen, I.V. McCune, R.O. Harris, M. Casey, and K.P. Minard. The first newspaper, the McCune standard, was established in that year by D.A. Burton. By 1882 the town had made considerable progress, having 500 inhabitants and a dozen stores." - Kansas - A Cyclopedia of State History, Embracing Events, Institutions, Industries, Counties, Cities, Towns, Prominent Person, Etc., Frank W. Blackmar, editor, copyright 1912.

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Map of McCune, "The Official State Atlas of Kansas, " L. H. Everts & Co., Philadelphia, PA, 1887