Ghost Town Wednesday: Ghost Towns of Sherman County, Kansas

GhostTownWednesdayThis county in northwestern Kansas had been home to buffalo-hunting Native Americans and was named for General William Tecumseh Sherman of Civil War fame by the Kansas legislature in 1873.  Cattle and sheep ranches were established in the early 1880’s on land available for little or no cost.

A few towns had already been founded in 1885 and early 1886 as settlers made their way to the area, including a fair number of foreign immigrants from Sweden, Germany and Austria:  Eustis, Sherman Center, Voltaire, Itasca and Gandy.  On September 20, 1886 the county was officially organized and Eustis was named the temporary county seat.  Other towns established in 1887 and 1888 were Goodland, Ruleton and Kanorado (near the Colorado state line, thus the hybrid name).  Here is a brief history of those which quickly became ghost towns.

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  1. 12. Their son, the only child, Thomas Orville Elzer Ronald was born June 5, 1887 at Bradshaw, Nebraska. William then bought a livery barn in Sherman Center, Kansas. His wife stayed in Bradshaw with her folks until October when she and their son joined him in Kansas. In an election Goodland, Kansas won the County Seat away from Sherman Center so business there was ruined. They nearly froze there that winter.He was taken sick with kidney trouble. After much delay they raised enough money to get back to her family in Bradshaw. He never regained his health and died July 7, 1888. His burial is at Bradshaw, Ne.–
    My relative–William B. Ronald
    Dean Thomson

    • Thanks for sharing your family’s history and thanks for stopping by!


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