Monday, July 2, 2018

The Great Sage

Newcomb J. Ireland headed west from Atchison in 1857. After inspecting the site along the Red Vermillion River and found it suitable for a town, Ireland returned to Atchison and persuaded 13 families to pack up their belongings and move to the new townsite. America City was founded to be a prominent "sister city" to Atchison and those 13 families provided the seeds.

America City was fifty miles from Atchison along the Parallel Road, an overland road for travelers and stage freights headed west. When the counties were organized, America City was right on the Nemaha-Pottawatomie county line. In the beginning, America City was a prosperous community. The town was laid out shortly after being settled and settlers built a schoolhouse, grocery store, and church that same year. A post office opened the following year.

The downturn came to America City in the 1870s when the Kansas Central Railroad laid tracks north in Corning and south in Havensville. The Parallel Road ceased to exist and all freight began using the railroad. By 1880, the population was still around 100 and still had several businesses including three general stores, a hotel, and physician. Surrounding cities and the locals were still positive about America City's place in history but the population continued to drop. It was less than 30 in 1910 and in 1932 the post office closed. Combined with the Great Depression, America City could no longer last.
short blurb about America City from the Havensville Review, January 1902
Today, aside from the cemetery, all that remains of America City is a schoolhouse that has been converted into a barn and church that was converted into a house. Both stand abandoned.
Gate to the America City Cemetery.
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That's a mighty small office Veeblefester has today. A third is taken up by him and the chair, another third by the desk and the last third by the sacks of money. There's barely enough room for speech bubbles which is why only half of the conversation has them.

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