Dead Towns

Kansas has more than 6,000 dead towns. Here are a few of them I traveled to as a Hutchinson News journalist.

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  • By HAROLD CAMPBELL Kansas Agland
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DUNLAP — Benjamin “Pap” Singleton, who was born a slave in 1809 in Nashville, Tenn., considered himself a latter-day Moses.

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YAGGY - In the distance, two tall white homes still stand, just as magnificent as they ever were.

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SANTA FE - Even the Santa Fe Railroad bypassed Santa Fe.

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Editor's note: This story published in October 2010.

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SHIELDS – From the photograph, a lively town was celebrating the summer of 1925 with an annual picnic.

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HAYS – In span of six months, Rome rose and fell.

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BELVIDERE - The last rays of the day's sun flicker off the little church with the peeling white paint - giving enough light to show off a dusty upright piano that rests inside against a window.

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ACRES - It's not hard to imagine children from a century ago, sifting through the barren prairie grasses to the little one-room school atop the hill.

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WHERRY - Growing up in the 1960s, Jim Arwood watched as this ghost town disappeared completely, not only from its location off a rural country road in Rice County, but also from the map and most people's memory.

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Earlier this year I got a nice note from Tom O'Grady, of Ireland, who reminisced about traveling America's back roads from California to New York in 1988.

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DUBUQUE - Even though a ghost town, faith is still alive in Dubuque, Kansas.

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AETNA - Bleached white from the sun, the buffalo skulls rests on the fence of the old cemetery here that is marked with just a few dozen gravestones.

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Curiosity led me to Pendennis.

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Publication Date: November 14, 2010

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FREDERICK – There is no mayor, no city council and no budget. And no one, it seems, knows what to do about Frederick, Kansas.

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HITSCHMANN – Time after time, Pete Krier admits, Mother Nature has taken him back to square one.

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Often after my dead town stories are published, I get tidbits from people who had relatives in a particular town. 

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CORWIN -- From the scale house on a mid-June day, Calvin Guyle peered out the dusty window, looking for customers.

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Frederick is on life support.