Joseph Dunlap is responsible for incorporating the village in 1878; however, in 1874, he built his home on the former Kaw Reservation lands. Dunlap had risen to prominence as a trader on the Kansa Indian Reservation and the Santa Fe Trail. Before its present name, the settlement was briefly known as Hillsboro. A post office was established in Hillsborough on March 19, 1874 then renamed to Dunlap on April 20, 1874. In 1878, Benjamin "Pap" Singleton chose Dunlap as the site for his second Singleton Colony, a community of freedmen who had migrated from Tennessee, because of land available under the Homestead Act. In the early 1880s, the Presbyterian Church in Dunlap founded the Freedmen's Academy to provide an education to freedmen's families in Kansas. The Academy closed in the mid-1890s. The post office in Dunlap closed on August 12, 1988.
Stories about Dunlap
This is a photograph of the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church in Dunlap, Kansas. Date: 1933 Courtesy: KS Historic Society Item Number: 228676 Call Number: 2013-122 KSHS Identifier: DaRT ID: 228676
DUNLAP – Links to articles regarding the Singleton Colony
When the Chicago, Kansas, and the Nebraska Railroad Company decided to extend the Rock Island System west from Topeka in 1887, developers purchased land and platted the town of Dwight. The town was named after Dwight Rathbone who donated land for the Dwight Methodist Episcopal Church. It was settled about the time the railroad was built and a post office established in March 1887. By the turn of the century Dwight had developed into a trading and shipping point in the northeastern part of the county. By that time, it had a money order post office with two rural routes, express, telegraph and telephone service, three churches, and good public schools.
The town was incorporated in 1905 and in 1910 had a population of almost 300 people. Throughout the years the Presbyterian and Methodist churches played an important part in the life of the community. Today, Dwight continues to be a small town with a population of about 325 people. The Swartz School Museum is located on Main Street. Originally located about 2 ½ miles southwest of Dwight, it was built in 1871.
-- From the Dwight website
This small, unincorporated town in the Southwest comer of Morris County is located at the north edge of the Flint Hills country. In the early 1880s, a few Russian Mennonites stopped for about a year, then went on west. Burdick was really settled by Swedish immigrants in about 1884-87. Being of strong religious faith, Lutheran, Mission Friends, or Methodist, they soon established worship services, first in homes, then built churches. Schools were also an important priority. First called Linsdalc, then changed to Burdick when the Strong City-Superior, Nebraska Railroad was built, the town was reportedly named for an official or his sweetheart, whichever story you choose to believe. Several township schools, East Slope, West Slope, Pretty Prairie, Prairie Star, and Southwest Queen, were all consolidated with the Burdick school.
The citizens of Burdick have always prided themselves on keeping buildings painted and all areas of town well kept, particularly in anticipation of the annual Labor Day Celebration, which began in 1973. Senator Nancy L. Kassebaum Baker, who owns a ranch near Burdick, served as Grand Marshal of the parade in 1983.
From the 1987 Centennial book, “Through the Years”
Getting its start as a station on the Missouri Pacific Railroad in 1884, the town was named for John D. Wilsey, an early pioneer of the area. A post office, named Mildred, had already been established in 1878. However, the name changed to Wilsey in May, 1884. By the turn of the century, the town had evolved into a shipping point for the large agricultural area. Wilsey sported a bank, a weekly newspaper called the Wilsey Warbler, a flour mill, grain elevator, hotel, telegraph and express offices, and a money order post office with two rural routes. In 1910 its population was about 350. The small community maintained well into the 1950s and 60s. However, as the population continued to drop, the Wilsey High School closed and the students attended school in Council Grove in the late 1960s. Today, this small town supports about 180 people. Wilsey is located about 11 miles west of Council Grove.