Exploring Small Kansas Towns

It’s interesting to drive into a small Kansas town for the first time. Is it thriving or just hanging on? Some have lost population and businesses and all that remains are the empty storefronts and scattered residences.

Victorian Rose in Whitewater KS

Main Street in Whitewater, Kansas. Take time to visit small towns across the state to find the old-time character that remains in these little towns. (photo by Virginia Allain)

In following this blog about Gail Lee Martin’s life, you’ve already seen some small towns mentioned like Hamilton, Reading, and Tyro. There are a number of posts on the now the extinct Teterville.

I’m searching out information about Kansas towns that in some way related to my family history. Along the way, I’ve found some other interesting small Kansas towns to feature as well.

A Touching Video about the Decline of Small Towns

My sister wrote about Emporia, Kansas, where our Martin grandparents lived. It’s not as small as Hamilton or Tyro. Emporia is a thriving county seat with a university.

If you like poking around small towns, there are plenty in Kansas to explore. There are also full-scale ghost towns where only shabby, collapsing buildings remain to show that people once lived there. Daniel C. Fitzgerald has a series of books featuring these ghost towns. To see what towns are included in each book, click through to Amazon on the VIEW DETAILS buttons below.

 Ghost Towns of Kansas: Volume One: 34th Anniversary Edition, 1976-2010View Details Faded Dreams: More Ghost Towns of KansasView Details Ghost Towns of Kansas: Volume ThreeView Details Ghost Towns of Kansas: 6View Details

Comments from Friends on Kansas Small Towns

William Leverne Smith – I was a Business School Professor at Emporia State University for 15 years (’94-’09) – went through Reading many times…

Teach – I’m originally from small town Kansas, now living in North Dakota but at long last will be moving back to the Yellow Brick Road soon…and looking forward to the time to poke around some of these great little towns!

Wednesday-Elf – I’ve spent quite a bit of time in Kansas despite the fact that I came from the East Coast (college [K-State], married a Kansas boy, two of my kids were born in Kansas and one now lives in Kansas City), and I’m partial to both small towns and the State of Kansas!

Grannysage – I’ve lived in several Kansas small towns, although I grew up in Michigan. My ex-husband is from Schoenchen which is south of Hays and where my children grew up. We also lived in Stockton which is north of Hays, Salina, and Larned. I also worked in Russell, home of Bob Dole. Right now I am living in Lawrence. There are a lot of historical towns in Kansas, and it is a different lifestyle.

Mary Beth Granger – I visited many small Kansas towns during my career as a regional director for H&R Block. Most of the offices I visited were franchises owned by local people…it was always interesting to get to know the people of Kansas small towns. Thanks for the memories.

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