Bunker Hill, Russell County, Kansas

The above caption is the name of a small town on the Kansas Pacific Railway, twelve miles west of the east line of the county. The town was first started in the early part of the summer of 1871, by J. B. Corbett and V. Harbaugh, who, at the head of a colony from Ohio, located there and laid out the town. The first house built on the town site was put up by J. C. Warner, which served him for the double purpose of a store and dwelling. he having commenced business with a general stock of goods as soon as the building was completed, which was in 1871. The town started off well and quite a number of houses were put up during the first year of its existence.

Soon after the town was started, a small building was rented for a school, of which Miss Clara Carrier was the first teacher.

At the special election held on September 8, 1872, for county officers, and to complete the organization of the county, more votes having been cast at Bunker Hill than at Russell, the County Commissioners who had been appointed by the Governor, declared the former to be the county-seat, which it became and remained such until it was changed to Russell by a vote of the people, April 23, 1874. The removal of the county seat was a hard blow to the town, by which were dashed all its promising future prospects. Retrogression now took the place of progression, and many who had located there owing to the town being the county seat, left and went to Russell, upon its removal to that point. Since that time the town has made but little advancement.
In 1873 bonds were issued to erect a new schoolhouse, and a very fine stone building, two stories high, and containing three classrooms, was completed that year. In 1878 a very comfortable hotel was built by Andrew Hill, and in 1880, a very fine stone church edifice was erected by the Evangelical English Lutherans.

In 1882, a very substantial and much needed improvement was made by Moore & Sons, in the erection of a good stone flouring-mill at a cost of $18,000. One great disadvantage the town has had to contend against, is the almost utter impossibility to find well-water, that which is used having to be hauled about two miles, the cost being 25 cents a barrel. The place contains, not to exceed 150 inhabitants, but notwithstanding its disadvantages and paucity of population, those engaged in mercantile pursuits transact a good deal of business in the course of the year. The business of the place is confined to three general stores, one drug store, one millinery store, one hardware, one lumberyard, one harness and shoe shop, two blacksmith shops and two elevators.


Source: Russell County, History of the State of Kansas, 1883.

1 thought on “Bunker Hill, Russell County, Kansas”

  1. Love the proper language used in 1883.But the same power struggles still go on today in our “modern” society. We need to preserve more local domestic opportunities for making a prosperous future for our country America!

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