Page 95, transcribed by Carolyn Ward from History of Allen and Woodson Counties, Kansas: embellished with portraits of well known people of these counties, with biographies of our representative citizens, cuts of public buildings and a map of each county / Edited and Compiled by L. Wallace Duncan and Chas. F. Scott. Iola Registers, Printers and Binders, Iola, Kan.: 1901; 894 p., [36] leaves of plates: ill., ports.; includes index.



Gas City

In the summer of 1898 Mr. E. K. Taylor, who owned a tract of land on the line of the Missouri Pacific Railroad, sunk a well and developed a large flow of gas. He sold forty acres of the land to the Cherokee-Lanyon Spelter Company and twenty acres to the Prime Western Spelter Company. These companies at once began the erection of zinc smelters. Mr. Taylor then had the remainder of the tract laid out into town lots, naming the place Gas City and filing the official plat October 27, 1898.

The town has grown rapidly and several hundred people now make it their home. It has a postoffice, and is connected with Iola by telephone. The Missouri Pacific suburban train service also puts it in close touch with Iola, and it is on the line of the electric street railway which is projected as this chapter is written and will doubtless be in operation when this volume appears.



The building of the Fort Scott Wichita and Western (now the Missouri Pacific) railway was responsible for the birth of the town of LaHarpe, the plat of which was filed in 1881. J. C. Reeder was the first station agent, and he was succeeded by C. H. Hackney.

The first businesss[sic] house in the village was built by Hackney & Sons, who engaged in the business of buying grain.

For many years the growth of the town was very slow, and until 1898 it remained a mere hamlet, with a post-office and a few small stores.

The discovery of gas, however, gave a splendid impetus to the town, and since then it has grown rapidly under the stimulus of the great zinc smelters of the Lanyon Zinc Company. By the spring of 1899 the increase in population was such as to warrant incorporation as a city of the third class, and the first officers elected were the following: S. S. Forney, mayor; C. H. Hackney, G. G. Fox, J. E. Stansbury, F. M. Davis, L. H. Daggett, councilmen; S. Malcom, treasurer; E. L. Runyan, clerk; J. Q. Roberts, attorney; E. C. Moore, police judge; Lee Chew, Marshal.

In 1898 a new school building was built, a commodious structure replacing the small district building, and excellent schools are maintained.

The first church building was erected by the Methodist Episcopal denomination in 1885. In 1890 the Presbyterian church was erected, and in 1901 the Protestant Methodist church building was completed. All three societies are reasonably strong.

LaHarpe is situated near the geographical center of Allen county, is apparently right over the strongest gas pressure in the state, is surrounded by a rich agricultural country, and her citizens feel that there is a bright future in store for their town. Why not?

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