Peabody is a city in Marion County, Kansas. Its population was 1,384 at the 2000 census. The city holds an annual fishing tournement and always has a rousing Fourth of July celebration. The downtown section of Peabody is on the National Register of Historic places. Peabody is also home to the Peabody Printing Museum. Peabody is located along Highway 50 about halfway between Cottonwood Falls and Hutchinson.


An Early History of Peabody

by William G. Cutler (1883)
The first settlement made in Peabody Township was in the autumn of 1870, the pioneers coming in advance of the railroad, and living several weeks in tents. A colony from Wisconsin consisting of J. E. Cone, W. C. Nye, C. D. Bradley, F. H. Hopkins and M. Birdsall had filed for record February 15, 1871, a plat of a town named Coneburg, located on the east half of the northwest quarter and the northeast quarter of Section 4, Town 22, Range 3. In June, 1871, the town of Peabody as platted and filed, was located on the south half of Section 4, Town 22, Range 3. S. N. Robinson was President of the town company; R. K. Taber, Secretary.

April 27, 1872, Coneburg practically became North Peabody. A revised plat of Peabody was made July 5, 1875 and a supplemental plat of North Peabody was made April 27, 1878. May 10, 1879, there was still a location made on the southwest quarter of Section 34, Town 21, Range 3. Peabody, as it now exists, is located on Doyle Creek, Spring Creek running irregularly through it. F. H. Hopkins, Esq. was appointed Postmaster in February, 1871, and until about the first of July he carried the mail to and from the post office at Florence. At that time regular trains began running on the road and the town gained a new impetus. B. Pinkney is the Postmaster at Peabody.

The city was named in honor of F. H. Peabody, of Boston, formerly President of the Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad Company, who erected a fine library building on a commanding square of ground, Block 84, located on the corner of Walnut and Division avenue, donated by the city for that purpose. It is kept open every afternoon and evening, a lady librarian -- Mrs. Kincaid -- having the management of the same. New books are constantly added to the library and the reading room well supplied with newspapers and periodicals.

The city authorities for 1882 are as follows: Mayor, F. C. Bush; Councilmen, G. W. Neal, C. Hanlenbeck, F. B. McKercher, A. K. Stewart, and D. J. Roberts; Police Judge, J. M. Holcomb; City Attorney, G. W. Camp, Clerk, G. W. Camp; Treasurer, F. H. Kollock, Marshal, E. S. Crisfield.

Prof. L. M. Knowles, on of the State's best educators, has charge of the school as Principal, and there are four other teachers. A large stone structure was built in 1872 for school purposes, but the school increasing then very rapidly, a large frame building was erected just north of it in 1879.

Peabody has a Quartette Band, a Cornet Band, a Lotus Club, a Post of the Grand Army of the Republic, organized July 10, 1882, Knights of Honor, Odd fellows and Masonic organizations. It has a Co-operative Temperance Union, organized July 10, 1882; R. L. Cochran, President. Frank McKircher is the station agent; J. M. Amborn has the nursery west of the city; the Marion County Agricultural Society have located their fair grounds here. There are twenty acres, very well arranged for such a purpose. There is a neat half mile track very near circular in form.

Incorporated in 1879, the town as made rapid strides since it became an organized city of the third class. As a market place, it has an advantage of having western as well as eastern outlets. Butter, eggs, poultry and baled hay, find their way day by day to the mining towns of Colorado and New Mexico, and the half score of elevators and the cattle yards point as evidences of the extensive grain and stock shipments to the East.

Churches, Societies, The Press, Etc.
In January, 1871, the people of the burg assembled themselves together for worship of the Lord, and in 1882, there are Baptist, Christian, Lutheran, Methodist Episcopal and United Presbyterian societies here, with their church organizations.

The Presbyterian Church was organized in 1872. It has a membership of about 120. Rev. E. D. Walker is pastor; G. P. Vandenberg, Sunday School Superintendent. They have a frame church building, valued at $3,000. The Methodist Episcopal Church has upwards of 100 members. They built a good frame house in 1874, at a cost of $3,000. Rev. Thomas Auders is their pastor; Dr. L. E. Disney, Superintendent of their Sunday School. The Baptist Church erected a neat frame building, costing about $2,000, in 1873. George W. Shute is their Sunday School Superintendent containing about eighty members, erected a building in 1878. It was named St. Paul's Church and cost about $3,500. The Christian Church contains about fifty members. Their house of worship, erected in 1881, cost about $2,500. Rev. Alexander Ellet is their pastor.

Knights of Pythias -- J. H. Lyon, P. G. C. assisted by Knight John Burns, organized Tuesday, November 14, 1882. The members are R. S. Riehl, S. B. Chilcote, S. A. Stauffer, A. Hyman, F. Medlam, C. D. Rogers, H. B. Robertson, H. C. Rushmon, H. Rolfs, Guy Johnston, J. C. King, G. C. Nold, Thomas O. Meara, F. B. Landon, Henry Storch, Charles E. Thomas, R. A. Enffy, W. F. Richardson, H. S. Minor. Officers -- H. B. Robertson, P. C.; Guy Johnston, C. C.; C. D. Rogers, V. C.; F. B. Landon, K. of R. and S.; H. C. Bushmore, M. of F.; Thomas O'Meara, M. of E.; F. Melam, M. at A.; J. C. King, I. G.; H. Minor, O. G.

Newspaper History -- J. P. Church, on May 1, 1873, issued the first number of the PeabodyGazette.In December, 1873, the Atchison Globe office, where the Gazette had been printed, having ceased to be, the Gazette was suspended until April, 1874. The Shaft, a twenty-eight-column paper had been established by W. H. Morgan in August, 1871. In April, 1874, he also put material in Peabody to establish the Gazette, continuing the publication of the Shaft. The Gazette, having been under the management of Church & Morgan, Mr. Morgan retired from it in November, 1874, selling to Mr. Church. For a period of about three years, several changes had been made in the proprietorship and W. H. Walker taking the helm in September, 1877, running it until January, 1880, when H. D. Morgan became associated with him.

Henderson & Briggs obtained the office in March, and in September Mr. Briggs retired from the firm, leaving Mr. Henderson sole owner. Mr. W. H. Morgan, in 1875, sold the Osage City Shaft to I. P. Campbell, who enlarged it to a six column quarto, and changed its name to the Free Press. Mr. Morgan, in 1876, re-purchased the office and continued its publication in 1878 enlarging it to a fifty-six column paper. In April, 1881, he sold the Free Press to J. V. Admire. In December, 1880, he had bought of Mr. Henderson the Peabody Gazette and after selling the Free Press, he moved to Peabody and made that place his home. Enlarged the Gazette until it is, in 1882, a fifty-six column paper. He is still its publisher and he makes it a credit to himself, to the city in which he lives and to the great southwest. A. B. Knowlton started the Peabody Post in 1882, and published No. 22, the last number, August 24. He sold it to Mr. Morgan, of the Gazette, who merged it into the Gazette Both papers were Republican in their politics.

Peabody has three hotels, two banks, four drug stores, seven general stores, one flour and feed store, two barber shops, four real estate, insurance and loan agencies, two meat markets, four blacksmith and wagon shops, two grocery establishments, one foundry and machine shop, one carriage and paint shop, three millinery establishments, one livery stable, two dealers in books, periodicals and stationary, six carpenters, and builders, one auctioneer, one photographer, one dentist, three physicians, one merchant tailor, two boot and shoe makers, one mason and contractor, three lumber dealers, two coal dealers, one house painter, and paper-hanger, one jeweler, one gunsmith, one furniture dealer and undertaker, one veterinary surgeon, one poultry yard proprietor. The Peabody Flouring Mills is one of the best, and it is tributary to a great wheat-raising region, the Russian settlers making wheat a special crop.

Peabody is located at 38°10'8N, 97°6'26W (38.168793, -97.107171). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.2 km² (1.2 mi²), all land.

As of the census of 2000, there were 1,384 people, 531 households, and 346 families residing in the city. The population density was 434.4/km² (1,124.7/mi²). There were 602 housing units at an average density of 189.0/km² (489.2/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 95.81% White, 1.52% African American, 0.43% Native American, 0.36% from other races, and 1.88% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.82% of the population.

There were 531 households out of which 30.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.9% were married couples living together, 7.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.7% were non-families. 31.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.37 and the average family size was 3.01.

In the city the population was spread out with 24.6% under the age of 18, 5.3% from 18 to 24, 24.4% from 25 to 44, 24.0% from 45 to 64, and 21.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females there were 93.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.9 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $29,792, and the median income for a family was $37,250. Males had a median income of $28,750 versus $19,028 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,493. About 6.3% of families and 14.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.6% of those under age 18 and 17.6% of those age 65 or over.

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