Burr Oak, at present, is the largest and most prosperous town in the county. Situated at the terminus of the Central Branch, on White Rock Creek, ten miles northeast of Mankato. It is pleasantly located and surrounded by as fine a country as can be found in the county.
The first settlers in the town and vicinity were A. W. Mann, F. Gilbert, A. J. and D. H. Godfrey (A. J. Godfrey built the first house on what is now State street), G. Beanblossom, L. N. Tingley, J. M. McCormick and others, who located in the spring of 1870.
The post office was established in 1871. J. M. McCormick, a faithful public officer, has held the position of Postmaster from that time to the present. A. J. Godfrey laid out the town in 1875 on the northwest quarter of the northwest quarter of Section 23, Township 2 south, Range 9 west, being a part of his homestead. The first store was that of J. E. Faidley, the second F. Gilbert, and the third T. B. Carpenter. Rev. Allen Ives, in May 1871, at A. J. Godfrey’s, preached the first sermon. W. H. Kemp taught the first school in the winter of 1873. In 1875, a whirlwind of considerable severity passed over the town, but owing to the scarcity of houses did little damage, merely injuring the few that then marked the town.
Since 1875 Burr Oak has made a more rapid growth than any place in the county. It is larger in population and does more business, owing to the fact that it is the terminus of a railroad and has the trade of a very rich and well-settled district.
The place was organized as a city of the third class in April 1880. It now has a population of 700. The first city officers were: J. K. McLain, Mayor; W. M. Spurlock, Clerk; A. W. Mann, Treasurer; T. B. Carpenter, O. F. Roberts, A. J. Godfrey, George Quigley and Dr. J. E. Hawley, Councilmen.
- J. W. Mann, Mayor
- J. H. Palmer, Clerk
- William Spurlock, Treasurer
- Dr. J. E. Hawley, Mayor
- Thomas Tweedy, Clerk
- W. B. Spears, Treasurer
Source: Jewell County, Cutlers History of Kansas, 1883