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Home: Regional: U.S. States: Kansas: Osage County

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Posted by: Phil Reaka Date: May 21, 2001 at 06:50:26

This is a thriving little town with a population of about 150. It is pleasantly situated on the level valley lands, south of the Marais des Cygnes River, and west of Coal Creek, on the south half of Section 16, Township 18, Range 14 east. It has three stores, one hotel, one blacksmith and wagon shop, a post-office, two churches and a schoolhouse. Its citizens are intelligent and enterprising. Though small, the village has always been a thriving one. Arvonia was surveyed and plated in 1869, by a company of Welsh people who had formed a colony, with J. Mather Jones as their leader, and formed a settlement at and around the town site. Among the leading men of the colony were J. A. Whitaker, of Chicago, a partner of Jones, John Rees, John Nai Jones, L. Humphrey, Evan Evans, David Lloyd Davis, and Rev. J. M. Barrows. The village soon grew to fully its present size. A few stores were opened, the first being one for the sale of general merchandise by A. Humphrey, and a hardware store by Burton & Johnson. A school was opened in a private house; religious services were held regularly, and a steam saw-mill was erected on the river north of the village. A post-office was established, and A. Humphrey appointed postmaster. Early in the history of the village, a large schoolhouse was erected, and the first term of school taught there by Mrs. Lavina Cottrell.

When the town was started, it was supposed that a railroad would soon be built up the Marais des Cygnes valley, and when this failed, a few of the leaders, who had expected a large town to spring up, became disheartened and left the country. Among these were J. Mather Jones, and J. A. Whitaker, who had invested largely in property, expecting it to rapidly increase in value. The mill was also abandoned. The town is in an excellent location being surrounded by a thrifty class of farmers. Not far from the village are several cheese factories, and a great deal of attention is given to the dairy business. North of the town site a large bridge spans the river.

Churches. There are three church organizations: The Welsh Congregational, Welsh Calvinistic Methodist, and a Congregational Church, composed of Americans. The first two named societies have neat and substantial houses of worship

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