Crawford County, Kansas



Founded in 1871 as Glenwood. The name was changed to Walnut in 1874 and named so due to the large amount of walnut trees in the area.

More About Walnut
" Walnut is a small town located in the northwestern part of Crawford County at the junction of the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railroad with the Nebraska, Topeka, Iola & Girard Railroad. It is distant from Fort Scott about twenty-seven miles; eight miles from Osage Mission, and about sixteen miles from Girard, the county seat of the county in which it is situated. The town was founded in 1871, by a town company, of which J. Miller, H. Burns, F. Robins, J. Burk, Dr. J. C. Petit and Louis Giddings were members. The land upon which it is situated was taken as a claim by H. Burns, who was furnished with money by the company with which he could obtain legal title to the ground. The original site comprised forty acres, which was laid off into town lots. This being a part of the Osage lands, and the title being in dispute between the M., K. & T. Railroad Company and settlers, but little progress was made by the town. The first house that was erected on the town site was that built by H. Shackelton, and was a little box house which stood at the foot of Main street, and which he used for a store room, dealing in general merchandise. The next building was a grain elevator, built by Jacobs & Burk, and is the one now occupied by Davis & Co. For a time, W. Jacobs used the building for a residence, until the completion of his dwelling house, which was the third building erected in the place. Jacobs, for awhile, used his dwelling for a boarding house, and is the room now occupied by W. McFall with a stock of hardware. S. H. Cover next erected a store and began dealing in general merchandise. Newton & Kelly followed next, with a merchandising establishment consisting of general goods. Newton & Kelly, after running the business for a short time, sold out to a man named Neighbors, who sold to Jones & Gordon, who in turn sold to a man named Joyce. Joyce continued in business about a year, after which the building was unoccupied until it was taken by the present firm of Steadman & Gregory, in 1880. This firm put in a large stock of general merchandise, and have since conducted a successful business. As was before stated, the growth of the town was extremely slow and unpromising during the first few years of its existence. In 1875, the site fell into the hands of Perry & Goff, by purchase. The town at this time began to exhibit greater life. The site was resurveyed, and an addition of forty acres made to it. About a year later, J. Miller made an addition of twenty acres known as "Miller's Addition," and in the fall of 1882, the Robins & Goff and the Burns Additions were made, of thirty and fifteen acres respectively. By this means the site became very much enlarged, having an area of one hundred and forty-five acres. In 1876, the title to the ceded lands was quieted by the judgment of the United States Court, which also settled the fears of settlers in regard to property in this section of the State. By this means the town was made ready for the more lively and substantial growth that has since followed. The N., T., I. & M. Railroad running from Girard to this place was built in 1882, crossing the Missouri Pacific road at this point. The Missouri Pacific, of the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railroad, was built in 1871, thus giving the town the advantages of two lines of railroad. The town at first went by the name of Glenwood, but in 1874 the name was changed to that it now bears. A post office called Walnut was located here in 1870, and was kept by Thomas Jones, in a small box house which stood just off the town site, on the bank of Big Walnut Creek. Soon after the starting of the town, the office was brought into it, and was under the official appointment of Ira Boyle, who has continued to act in the capacity of Postmaster up to the present time. The first school was taught in the town in the winter of 1870-71, by J. Johnston, and was kept in the school building that had been erected during the fall of 1870. This was a small frame house to which an addition was built in 1879, in order to satisfy the increased wants of educational facilities. A new school building was erected in the fall and winter of 1882, and is a two story frame, 30x50 feet, containing four rooms, and cost about $3,000. The bonds of the district were voted to raise this amount. The town contains four church organizations, viz., the Methodist, Presbyterian, Catholic and Baptist. The Methodist congregation was organized in 1869. It was effected in the residence of F. Robins, with a membership of ten, which has since increased to sixty. The first services were held in Robins' residence during bad weather, and when the state of the weather allowed were held in the groves. The church building was erected in 1880, at a cost of $1,500, and is a tastefully constructed one-story frame, finished with a spire and furnished with a bell. The Catholic Church was first organized in Neosho County in 1869, and was effected in the farm residence of John Mudd, by one of the fathers from Osage Mission. In 1870, the place of holding meetings was changed to Walnut, where at that time a small church building was erected. The Presbyterians became organized into a church body by Rev. H. H. Camburn, who has since been pastor. The work of organization took place in the schoolhouse, where the services were subsequently conducted for some time. The church building was erected in 1880. It is a one-story frame structure, and cost about $1,000. The Baptist denomination have a church organization, but they are yet not supplied with a regular church house, the services being conducted in the schoolhouse. The social orders are represented by two lodges - that of the Odd Fellows and the United Workmen - both of which are in a flourishing condition. Journalism is represented by two publications - the Walnut Journal and the Walnut Herald. The Walnut Journal was begun in December, 1881, by E. O. Green. On the 1st of November of the next year, Green sold a half-interest in the concern to W. M. Holeman, who became associate editor and proprietor. The paper is a six-column quarto, independent in politics, and has a circulation of 480 copies. The Walnut Herald is a five-column sheet, published by J. Scurry. The circulation is gratuitous, the only revenues being that obtained from advertisements. The manufacturing industry is represented by a grist and flour mill. This is the Walnut Mills, which was built in 1879 by H. C. Bruner. In February, 1882, the building was sold to McCullough & Hollister, who fitted it up with a full line of new and improved machinery. It contains three run of stone, and has a capacity for grinding 100 bushels of wheat and 300 of corn per day. The principal market for the goods made is in Texas, and the orders received are much in advance to the supply. The mill building is a two-story frame, 24x36 feet, and the power is supplied by a forty-horse power engine. The business interests of the town are represented by three general stores, two hardware, two drug and three grocery stores, one restaurant, two hotels, one millinery and dress making establishment, two meat markets, one cabinet and furniture shop, two lumber and coal yards, three grain elevators, two livery stables, one hay press, two blacksmith and wagon shops, one harness shop, one carpenter shop, one barber shop, one shoe shop, two land offices, etc. Being situated at considerable distances from all important surrounding points, the town has the support of a large country trade. With the surrounding of a fertile agricultural district, the advantages of railroads, etc., it only awaits the further development of the country, when the town will, in proportion, attain considerable size and importance." - History of the State of Kansas, William G. Cutler, 1883 by A. T. Andreas, Chicago, IL
"Walnut is located near the northwestern corner of the county, and has two railroads, the M., K. & T. passing through the town from northeast to southwest; and the Santa Fe from southeast to northwest. The town is surrounded with excellent farming lands, and affords good facilities for trade. It was laid out in 1871. Among the early inhabitants of the town were Fabius Robins, J. Miller, Ira Boyle, H. Burns, H. Shackleton and J. A. Goff. The town was first named Glenwood, but afterward changed to Walnut. It is represented by all classes of business, and is prosperous; and the people are industrious and thriving. Good schools, churches, newspapers, banks and other institutions help to make Walnut a desirable place in which to live." - A Twentiety Century History and Biographical Record of Crawford County, KS, Home Authors, 1905 by Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago, IL
"An incorporated city in Crawford county, is located on Walnut creek and the junction of Atchison, Topeka, & Santa Fe and the Missouri, Kansas & Texas railroads, 15 miles northwest of Girard, the county seat. It has a bank, an opera house, a flour mill, grain elevators, 2 weekly newspapers (the Eagle and the Advance), 2 hotels, a washing machine factory, which is also a sawmill and a manufactory for screen doors, a feed mill, a large number of retail establishments, telegraph and express offices and an international money order post office with five rural routes. The population in 1910 was 639. The town was founded in 1871 by a town company. A post office had been established the year before, with Thomas Jones as the first postmaster. Very little progress was made during the first years on account of a dispute between the people and the railroad over the title to the lands. Prior to 1877 the town was known as Glenwood, but the name was changed by the act of March 3, 1877 to correspond to the name of the post office. The first newspaper, the Walnut Journal was established in 1881." - Kansas - A Cyclopedia of State History, Embracing Events, Institutions, Industries, Counties, Cities, Towns, Prominent Person, Etc., Frank W. Blackmar, editor, copyright 1912.