Elmer, Kansas elevator still stands

Reno County's Sego - nothing but a graveyard.Sego Graveyard

Old building at lerado.



Reno County had nearly 75 ghost towns that dotted the landscape. Here are just a few of them reported on in the publication "Early Ghost Towns, Post Offices and Hamlets in Reno County, Kansas" by Bert Newton. Avery (Highland Park) - Once called Highland Park, the town had a store and blacksmith shop. It also had a post office from 1885 to 1901. It was located 20 miles northwest of Hutchinson on Peace Creek.

Baxterville - It had a steam plow, mason, plasterer, shoemaker and preacher.

Bland - It had a store. The post office was in operation from 1900 to 1905. There were at least 95 people being supplied mail at one time.

Bone Springs - The town was southwest of Arlington. The post office opened in 1874 and closed in 1902, according to the historical society. There was also a school.

Buffalo - Around 1873, the town had a store, a doctor, small drugstore, livery and a post office, although the Kansas State Historical Society doesn't show a post office with the name Buffalo. There also was a wind-powered flour and grist mill and a dressmaker.

Christopher - First having Pony as a suggested name, the town's post office ran from 1882 to 1892.

Dean - The post office was established in 1881 and closed in1886.

Desire - The post office opened in 1877 and closed in 1878.

Germantown - Four miles east and two miles north of Yoder, it was said to have one of the best schools in Reno County. Locals also attended church. There was a carpenter, blacksmith and a hide dealer, as well as a ball club.

Huntsville - It had a post office from 1878 to 1905. It also had a store, a Methodist church, dance hall, pool hall, blacksmith, hotel, doctor and two country stores. There also was a school.

Jordan Springs - Located about two miles west and one mile south of Langdon, or 30 miles southwest of Hutchinson, Jordan Springs had a school, a store and a beauty shop. The post office opened in 1875 and closed in 1887.

Kent - In 1882, at least 25 people were living in Kent, located seven miles east of Hutchinson. It had a school and the railroad went close by it. The post office opened in 1882, closed in 1901 and reopened in 1902, only to close again in 1904.

Leonville - The short-lived town had a post office in 1873, but it closed less than six months later. The town was six miles west of Partridge.

Leslie - Located 1.5 miles east of present-day Medora, the town had a post office that opened in 1874 and closed for three months in 1880. After it reopened, it closed in 1887.

Loda Center - This town was between Lerado and Pretty Prairie, at the intersection of Pretty Prairie Road and Hodge Road. It had a school with an enrollment of 34 in the early 1900s.

Marietta - The post office opened in 1878 and closed in 1887.

Mona - This town, a German Mennonite settlement, was on the Ninnescah River about five miles west of Ost, or St. Joe. The post office opened in 1879 and closed in 1901.

Mount Liberty - It was located on the south side of the Arkansas River, four miles northeast of Yoder. The post office opened in 1873. There also were two general stores and a school. There also were two other schools, Laurel and Olive, in the area. The post office closed in 1886.

Myton - This town was 25 miles northwest of Hutchinson on Peace Creek. There also was a school in the area.

New Boston - In 1879, a family looking for a suitable place to live bought land at the site of this town. Soon, there were eight homes on the south side of the section. But the families who lived there became discouraged and moved away. The town was 18 miles west of Hutchinson.

New Haven - The town's name was actually spelled New Heaven on its application for a post office. The town, three miles west and five miles north of Ost, or St. Joe, got its post office in 1877. It closed in 1887.

New London - The town was part of Rice County until the county line changed and it became part of Reno County. The post office opened in 1873 and closed in 1881.

Noblesville - It was founded in April 1930 by N.M. Begeman, who ran a filling station and grocery store. The Noblesville station, often still called the Huntsville Station, was converted into a private dwelling.

Og - Ten miles west of Castleton, it was named for a biblical giant who lived during the time of Moses. The post office opened in 1880 and closed in 1882.

Olcott - Six miles southwest of Lerado, the town was once called Dresden when it was in Kingman County, but when the Reno County boundary moved south, Dresden became part of Reno County and its name was changed to Olcott. The post office opened in 1887 and closed in 1903. It reopened again in 1904 and closed in 1907.

The population in 1910 was 53. It was an important stop for the Missouri Pacific Railroad, because it was a coal and water station for the old steam locomotives. It had a depot, telegraph and express office, hotel, grocery store, Methodist church, grain elevator and a school. It even had a newspaper at one time, called the Weekly Press.

Ost - The town, typically known as St. Joe today, still has St. Joseph's Catholic Church. Back in the 1870s and 1880s, the town had a blacksmith, a barber and nearly 150 people.

Purity - It was located 22 miles south of Hutchinson, or about eight miles from Castleton. Locals talked a local couple into starting a country store and a post office. Neighbors hauled lumber to build the store free of charge. The name chosen for the post office was Therry Grove, but it was rejected. A local woman then chose the name Purity. The store opened in 1879 and the post office opened in 1880. There also was a blacksmith shop and a gristmill. An 1883 edition of The Hutchinson News stated, "Purity is booming." However, the post office closed in 1893.

Red Rock - This town was two miles southwest of present-day Plevna. It didn't have a post office, but it had an active Grange.

Riverside - Riverside was platted on the bank of the north fork of the Ninnescah River, one mile east of the old town of Arlington, by a young Julian E. Eaton in the early 1880s. He was sure the Rock Island would go through his town. He had streets named Parade, Ninnescah, Look Out Avenue and Highland Avenue. The town died, and Eaton went to Arlington, where he became the first mayor of the town at age 23.

Riverton - The post office opened in 1875 and closed in 1890.

Yaggy (Salem, Bath, Fruit Valley) - Situated on the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad, it was known as Salem when it was settled in 1872 and as Bath, Fruit Valley and Yaggy later. It is believed that the Santa Fe Railroad changed the name to Bath following a bad train wreck in the area on Oct. 2, 1882. The mail train ran onto a sidetrack at Salem, waiting for the Cannon Ball to pass, but the switch was incorrectly turned and, with the Cannon Ball "tearing along at the rate of forty miles an hour," crashed into the mail train. The town later became Fruit Valley and, by 1900, it was called Yaggy.

According to an Oct. 30, 1988, story in The News, Levi Walter Yaggy, a Chicago publisher, came to the area in 1884 to hunt geese. On his way back, he and his hunting friends saw a man digging for water about five miles northwest of Hutchinson. He asked how far down it would take to hit water and the man said 8 feet. Yaggy's hunting partners went back to Chicago and Yaggy purchased 1,500 acres of land and planted 400 acres of catalpa tress and 80,000 apple trees before returning to Chicago. Son Edward Yaggy came to the area in 1897 for a three-month stay, while his father was in Europe. He stayed 40 years.

In 1915, Yaggy sold 210,000 bushels of apples and added cowpeas, potatoes and sweet potatoes to the offerings. Yaggy Station soon became the largest shipping point for fruit between the Missouri River and California. A drought in 1930 killed the apple trees. They weren't replanted, with the farm instead growing more traditional crops.

Yaggy is near Willowbrook.