Lincoln Center?

Town's Two Names Persist Even After 65 Long Years

Lincoln County News, March 18, 1937

It was a good stroke of psychology when the founders of this town christened it Lincoln Center, but it was the beginning of 66 years of confusion and difference and opinon and usage.

In the early 1870s every little thing counted toward making or breaking the town as the future county seat of Lincoln County, so the suggestive word Center was appended in the name Lincoln to remind voters in the county seat election that the new town was centrally located and thus admirably situtated to be the county seat.

It worked, so far as the county seat was concerned. The town plat was filed with the register of deeds on May 8, 1871, and the title in big letters in the plat book reads Lincoln Center. In the affidavit of the surveyors, however, it is Lincoln Centre.

In the revised plat of 1880, the town is called Lincoln Center, and when it was incorporated in 1879 it was called Lincoln Center. The official seal of the city says Lincoln Center. All the plats of the additions to the town say Lincoln Center, or occasionally Lincoln Centre, excepting one, which doesn't say.

When the Salina, Lincoln and Western Railway came to Lincoln in the middle '80s, it designated its station as Lincoln Center. The Salina Northern did the same 20 years ago and their successors followed the practice. The telegraph and express offices are called Lincoln Center. If you don't believe it, go somewhere else and try to buy a railroad ticket, send a telegram or ship some freight or express to Lincoln. The agent will tell you in so many words that there no such place. Maybe you mean Lincolnville or Lincoln Center but there is postively no Lincoln in Kansas. Its book says so and the book is right. You can argue till you're black in the face but you'll never convince him. He will look at you skeptically even when you tell him you live in Lincoln.

These being the facts, you may say, why not give up and call it Lincoln Center?

Simply because trhere is just as good authoirty for Lincoln and local usage favors Lincoln a thousand to one

In the first place, the post office department says it is Lincoln and has said so every since there was a post office.

In the second place, the map-makers are unanimous to saying it is Lincoln, although occasionally one which makes a pretense to being thorough puts Lincoln Center in small type and parentheses underneath.

When the first railroad came through the town it called itself the Salina, Lincoln & Western. Other proposed railroads included Lincoln in their names, but never Lincoln Center. Now was the consistent?

To our knowledge, no business firm in the town ever used Lincoln Center in its name, but many have used Lincoln.

In official records, at the courthouse, the use of Lincoln seems to have only slight advantage over Lincoln Center. The tax rolls at the treasurer's office say Lincoln City. In district court papers the two names are used interchangeably, Clerk of Court E.D. Harlow says without question. In conveyaneces of title, Register of Deeds Eugene Kerr says, property is frequently described as being situated in the city of Lincoln and the description has never been questioned. In probate court, Lincoln Center is given the preference as being geographically correct and Judge Artman is trying to get Lincoln Center used in all papers of that court.

That's the situation. After 66 years, Lincoln Center is just as correct, technically, as ever, and Lincoln is just as universally used in everyday speech and writing as ever. Each name has authority enough to keep it alive, and despite confusion and argument this region bounded by Lost creek on the west, the Saline on the south and Yauger creek on the east will continue to be the town with two names.

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