There are degrees of perfection, among the best afforded by this earth, there is that which is most desirable. Kansas is and has reason to be proud of each and every one of her 105 counties, but Graham, she is distinctly the most desirable among the best.
She is the haven for the ambitious homeless of the overcrowded East; the Eutopia for the man of small capital who desires and independent business life; the Mecca for the man of energy and intelligence.
Graham county was organized under the administration of John P. St. John in the year 1880 with about twenty-five hundred inhabitants, and was given the name of Graham in honor of Capt. John Graham, a valiant Kansas soldier who was killed at Chickamauga in 1863.
The first commissioners of the county were John Inlow, O.G. Nevins and A.E. Moses. The present commissioners are J.E. King, A.W. McVey and John Stanfil.
This favored spot is 30 miles square, containing 900 squares miles or 3600 quarter sections, and is the fourth county east of Colorado line and the second county south of the Nebraska line. The 100th meridian passes nearly through its center. Located as it is in the foot hills of the Rockies, the altitude is conducive to robust development, being on an average 2700 feet above sea level.
The little band of "Pilgrim Fathers" who pioneered the county has grown to 7200 of which number 1500 are householders. In spite of the many hardships and disadvantages to be overcome, the success of the pioneers has been marked and Graham county can point with pride to her 7200 thrifty prosperous happy people, with scarcely a pauper among the number; these few of infirm mind.
Graham is especially favored as a western county, by being well watered. The South Fork of the Solomon river with 20 tributaries traverses the county centrally, while the north fork of the same river almost touches the north line. Bow Creek furnished water to the north part of the county and the Saline river crosses the southwest corner of the county with twelve tributaries, watering the southern part. Many of these streams are fed by springs that are accessible throughout the year to the immense herds that feed on the prairie.
There are few counties where the water well is more uniform in taste and purity than in Graham. The vast sheet of water which underlies this section of Western Kansas is fed from the Rockies and can be found at a depth of from 30 to 175 feet, at an average of 60 feet.
The soil is a rich loam of a prevailing depth of 1 to 3 feet, under cultivation, produces immense crops of cereals and grains and Graham county's hay and alfalfa output rivals that of any of her sister counties. It would be unfair to Graham County to fail to mention her abundance of buffalo grass, which feeds her vast herds the year around. An inexhaustible supply of building stone, lime stone and brick clay can be found throughout the county.
The outlet from this vast agricultural and stock regions is the Union Pacific Railroad, which crosses the central part of the county from east to west, the Missouri Pacific, which is accessible to the north part of the county and the main line of the Union Pacific to the southern part.
Though Graham county boasts no large towns she is especially favored with a goodly number of trading points, and there is scarcely a place in the county that is not within 5 miles of some Post Office and general store, where all the necessities of life can be obtained.
Hill City, the county seat, is a lively town of 1000 people, is in the central part of the county and is on the Union Pacific RailRoad as are Penokee, Morland and Bogue.
Other training points are Nicodemus, Leland, Happy, Hoganville, Gradan, Scio, Togo, St. Peters, St. John, Roosevelt, and Blackburn, with Studley on the west and Damar on the east county line. Within a few miles of the county are Wakeeney, Edmond, Lenora, Densmore, and Logan, each a railroad point.
This happy land of peace and plenty needs no encomium of ours and we do not say this in a boastful way.
To the pioneers who braved the elements and sought the prairies in schooners, this is but the well known and praiseworthy record of their strenuous careers.
But to the main of thrift and energy and intelligence, with little or no means - the man who desires a good opening in a country full of possibilities where he can build a permanent home and lay some savings each year - to him this is a message of opportunity and promise.
The 2200 quarter sections of land in our county that are unoccupied are offered for sale from 10 to 25 dollars an acre and the possibilities are unlimited.
Come West - this message is to you, young, middle aged and old, and build yourself a great future.
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