Toronto was laid out in 1869 by the Toronto Town Company, of which Enoch Reeves was President and Matthew Miller Secretary. As first laid out, it occupied a quarter section, one-half mile from the western line of the county, and four and one-half miles from the southern boundary. The first building on the town site (the district school) was some years older than the town, having been located at an early day. The first structure built after the laying-out of the town was a frame house of small size owned by William P. Dennis, and used both for store and residence purposes. This building stood on Washington street until the spring of 1882, when it was moved back and part of it added to the meat market of G. W. Johnston. The next building erected, also a store, was the property of S. R. Kellogg, and yet forms a part of his store building. A hotel was built in 1870 by S. P. Miller, and operated by various parties until 1882. The first professional man to reside in Toronto was Dr. A. H. Mann, who came in 1871, and is still in practice. A doctor without a drug store at his back would be an anomaly, and soon after Dr. Mann's settlement W. L. Lockard added a line of drugs to the general stock of the store. The first store carrying drugs only was built in 1879 by C. H. Starrett, who still occupies it. The second hotel in the town was opened by A. W. Fletcher, in the residence built by W. L. Lockard in 1871. The house soon passed into the hands of N. B. Rouse, who now runs it.
The growth of Toronto, lying as it did in the extreme southwest of the county, with no railway as a feeder and no hopes of becoming the county seat, was very slow. In November, 1881, nearly twelve years after the founding of the town, it had but two stores and eight or ten dwellings. With the advent of the railway came a fresh tide of life, and before the close of 1882 more than eighty new buildings had been erected.
Toronto Post Office was established on July 1, 1870, with S. R. Kellogg as Postmaster. This was upon the inauguration of the Humboldt stage mail route and the discontinuance of that from LeRoy. Upon the old route had been, a short distance north of Toronto, the post office of Pleasant Grove, established in 1858. Here Albert H. Reeves, J. W. Brown and Edwin Kellogg had successively held the not onerous duties of Postmaster. The Toronto office was held by S. R. Kellogg until 1876, when it passed to F. W. Carroll, and later to C. F. Webb, who held it until February, 1882, when it again was conferred upon S. R. Kellogg, the present official. The post office in Toronto has always been on the corner occupied by the store of S. R. Kellogg.
As has already been said, the educational history of Toronto reaches back of its existence as a town. Soon after the organization of the town company, the old schoolhouse which stood on the west line of the town site near the present railway depot was moved to the public square and enlarged. In 1882, the new schoolhouse was built at a cost of $3,000. This is a capacious two-story building of four rooms, and can seat over 200 scholars. At the present time the school has an attendance of 150, and employs two teachers--Mr. A. J. Jones and Miss Josie Byington. This educational force will soon be increased. Looking at her facilities of a few years ago, the town may well feel proud of her advancement.
The industries now represented in the town briefly capitulated, will serve to show something of its value. They are: General stores, six; groceries, one; drug stores, one; hardware, one; hotels, two; physicians, two; real estate, two; meat markets, one; furniture, one; harness shops, two; millinery, two; restaurant, one; livery stables, two; lumber yards, two. Besides these are the mill and other industries more particularly described. No one looking over this statement and recalling the vegetarian state of the town a year ago, can fail to see that the place has a substantial future before it.
Toronto, the second largest town in Woodson county, is located on the Verdigris river at the junction of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe and the Missouri Pacific railroads in Toronto township, in the southwest part of the count}', 14 miles from Yates Center, the county seat. It is an incorporated city of the third class, has all lines of mercantile interests, good schools and churches, banking facilities, a weekly newspaper (the Republican), and a fraternal monthly. The town is supplied with telegraph and express offices and an international money order post office with four rural routes. The population in 1910 was 627.