Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Fort Harker Now Kanapolis Kansas.

Ellsworth County.
Ellsworth Township Map, 1901.
Spelled Two Ways.
Kanapolis & Kanopolis
On the county map Kanapolis can be found in Township 15-south and Range-8-west.  On the Township map Kanapolis can be found in sections 25 & 36.
Post Office History.
Fort Ellsworth, post office open January 4, 1866 and ran to December 3, 1866, First Postmaster Vincent Osborn name changed to Fort Harker. 
Fort Harker, post office open December 3, 1866 and ran to September 29, 1880, closed and repoened on September 15, 1881 and ran to March 30, 1866, name changed to Kanapolis or Kanoplis. 
Kanapolis or Kanoplis, post office open March 30, 1866 and ran to ?, First Postmaster Newton Billow. 
History of Fort Ellsworth & Fort Harker.
Fort Harker. The original site of this post was on the north bank of the Smoky Hill river, at the crossing of the old Santa Fe stage road, about 4 miles southeast of the present town of Ellsworth, where it was established in Aug., 1864, under the name of Fort Ellsworth. It is said to have been commenced by a detachment of Iowa volunteer troops, who erected the first buildings and garrisoned the place until the fall of 1865, when they were relieved by a portion of the Thirteenth United States infantry. On Nov. 11, 1866, the name was changed to Fort Harker, and in Jan., 1867, a new site was selected, about a mile northeast of the old fort.
For a long time Fort Harker was the shipping point of freight bound for New Mexico. The report of Surgeon B; E. Fryer, of the United States army, in May, 1870, gives a good description of the construction and sanitary condition of the fort at that time, as well as a mention of the cholera visitation of 1867. (See Cholera.) The report says: "Fort Harker is used as a base by troops not belonging to it for operations in the field, and many sick from commands in the vicinity have been sent here at various times for treatment or discharge. The sick-list is often enlarged in this way. There are two out of five men in hospital at the present time who belong to commands which have never been at the post nor attached to it." Fort Harker was abandoned as a military establishment in April, 1872. On Feb. 11, 1876, the Kansas house of representatives adopted a resolution asking Congress to donate the reservation of 10,240 acres (16 square miles) to the state, to be used for educational purposes. The request was not granted, and the reservation was finally opened to settlement by the act of June 15, 1880.
Note. For those of you who would like to learn more about Fort Ellsworth and For Harker take this link.
Business men of Kanapolis Or Kanoplis as of 1901.
Push to enlarge.
Kanapolis Kansas, 1912.

Kanapolis, formerly Fort Harker, an incorporated city of the third class in Ellsworth county, is located on the Union Pacific R. R. 5 miles east of Ellsworth, the county seat. It has a bank, a grain elevator, a weekly newspaper (the Journal), telegraph and express offices, and a money order postoffice with two rural routes. The population, according to the census of 1910, was 577.

During its boom Kanapolis was one of the most extensive "paper" towns ever conceived. It was founded in May, 1886, and printing presses were kept busy night and day for a time by the promoters, getting out advertising for what they claimed was going to be a great city by 1900.

Sky scrapers loomed up in their vision. The site was laid out on a scale suitable for a city of 150,000 people. Four blocks were reserved for a "State House Grounds;" lots sold as high as $1,000. An incident of the legislative war of 1893 was an attempt by the Populists to move the state capital from Topeka to Kanapolis.

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