ATLANTA HISTORY

      The first town was Omnia, 2 miles west and 2 miles south of the present Atlanta. It was thought the railroad was coming that direction.  Then there were rumors the railroad was going 1½ miles south and 1 mile east. The town was moved and called Baltimore. The railroad finally came through where the present Atlanta is,  so Baltimore was moved to what is now Atlanta.  (For a time the new town was known as "Day".)  The first depot agent was from Atlanta, Georgia and named the new town Atlanta.

      The town site was surveyed in April 1885 and the first train ran between Beaumont and the state line on August 28, 1885.

Atlanta was built on  land purchased from  William H. Day  located in  the Southwest quarter of section 15 and the Southeast quarter of section 16 in Omnia Township.  William H. Day was president of the town site company.

    William Earnest Darlington, the son of George and Lettie (Gillard) Darlington drove the stake that established the town site. He was born in Illinois and was twelve years old at this date. 

   In 1900 the town was incorporated and Willis Wilson, who had homesteaded in Richland Township in 1870, was elected the first mayor.

      Robert S. Strother, who homesteaded east of Atlanta, was the first Justice of the Peace.

      Charles E. Grant was the first Constable.

     The founding of the town of Atlanta in northeastern Cowley County resulted from the building of the Kansas City and Southern Railroad, which came through that section to the southwest. This branch of the railway afterwards became a part of the Frisco System in Kansas.

CHURCHES

    The first church built in the town was the Methodist Episcopal-South. Many of the early settlers of this community came from southern states and southern traditions predominated. The Reverend Broadhurst was the first pastor of this church.

    The next denomination to establish a church home was the Christian church. The first pastor was P. H. Guy.

      In the course of time the Methodist Church-South was succeeded by the Methodist Church and a new building was dedicated November 11,1900. This was burned in 190?, and another church was dedicated.

      All church buildings were built by the citizens, who contributed their time, money and labor that the community might have religious teaching and fellowship.

      The cemetery was established in 1885, and Minnie Craig, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. P. W. Craig was the first burial there.

SCHOOLS

      The first school was taught by May Kinley in 1885 in the upper room over her father’s drug store. It was supported by subscription. The drug store was destroyed by fire and the second term was taught in the old Methodist Episcopal Church South, and Anna Primrose was the instructor. A two-room schoolhouse was built in 1886, and a Miss Stanley (or Stanberg) was employed by the school board. The school building was the community center for all social and business gatherings.

     A band was organized in the winter of 1885, and George M. Shelley was the director.

Dwellings

     The first dwelling in the town was brought in on wheels by George W. Davis from the village of Polo, located southwest of Atlanta. The village is now extinct.

     William Gillard and Willis Wilson both erected homes at about this same date. These dwellings were in the southwest part of the town, not far north of the railroad. They were built before the first train passed through the town.

Roster of businessmen in 1885

Hardware

Willis Wilson

Groceries

E. D. Doty

General Merchandise

Gillard & Darlington; E. M. Dunbar

Drugs

Mr. Kinley

Lumber

Snodgrass & Gross; Dicus

Hotel

George B. Darlington; A. T. Borrough ; Sam Cowley

Real Estate

Day & Strother

Newspaper

P. W. Craig

Livery Stable

Chas. M. Grant; Chas. Work

Blacksmith

George W. Davis; J. C. Curry

Meat

"Arkansaw" Wilson

Barber Shop

Ed Haycraft

Shoe Shop

Bert Clawsey

Station Agent

A. H. Hickson

Painters

W. M. Elden and James Simpson

Carpenters

George Culbison; Williams & Co.; Haycraft Bros. Zeigler Brothers

Professional Men

      Dr. Daniels; Dr. McGinnis; Dr. Archer' and Dr. D. Cunningham were the pioneer physicians of the town. The first three mentioned eventually moved to other localities.

Biographical

      Dr. D. Cunningham, 1837-1901, was born in Indiana, migrated westward in 1851 living in Illinois, Missouri and Cherokee county Kansas, before locating in the northwest quarter of section 3 in Omnia Township in 1877. He began the practice of medicine in Illinois, which he continued after his location on his claim, having established an office in his residence on the farm where he lived and ministered to the ill of the community until 1900 when he moved to Atlanta and practiced until his death the following year.

      He was a man of unique character and devoted to his profession. He was successful in agriculture pursuits and at the time of his death, owned a large tract of land located in Cowley and Butler counties. He also owned a number of town lots in Atlanta and built one of the most substantial businesses of the town on the northeast corner of the town square.

      Politically he was a reformer and was an ardent supporter of the Populist Party in 1889-90, and was elected Coroner at that date. His wife was Nancy Kent whom he married in 1880. They were the grandparents of the celebrated Glen Cunningham (son of Mr. and Mrs. Clinton Cunningham) who has won world fame as the greatest middle distance runner of his day (1935). His greatest victory however was his grim determination to overcome apparently insurmountable physical handicaps to accomplish this distinction.

      Willis Wilson, 1835-1920 was born in Indiana and served in the Civil war from that state. He came to Cowley County in a covered wagon and homesteaded on Dutch creek in 1870. The Indians were still roaming the plains, and it was four miles from his preemption to the nearest settler. In 1885 Mr. Wilson retired from farming and built one of the first store buildings in Atlanta and embarked in the hardware business, which he later sold and purchased the building that W. H. Day had built and engaged in general merchandising. This store he sold to Burns and Grissem in 1893 and engaged in business with his son Henry Wilson, selling hardware implements and vehicles. After retiring, he moved to Winfield. When the town of Atlanta was incorporated in 1900 Mr. Wilson was elected as the first mayor. He was active in the Methodist church and all civic affairs of his vicinity.

      Robert S. Strother was born in 1840 in Kentucky, and served in the Civil war from that state. In February 1870 he was married to Miss Jennie Crawford and that fall migrated to Cowley County and homesteaded in Omnia Township East Of Atlanta. Mr. Strother was prominently identified with the early history of Atlanta, conducting a real estate office and acting as a peace officer. He was associated with J. S. Kidwell in conducting a general store. In 1891 he was elected Registered of Deeds and the family moved to Winfield.

     J. S. Kidwelll homesteaded in Harvey Township and in 1883 sold his homestead to J. E. Griffin and he moved to Atlanta where the town founded and engaged in merchandising. He received the appointment of Postmaster under President Cleveland, succeeding George B. Darlington.

      William H. Day was born in Kentucky in 1831. In 1869 he was married to Martha Montgomery in Chicago, Illinois. In 1869 he came to Cowley County and purchased land on which Atlanta was built which later he sold to the town site company. For a time the new town was known as "Day". Mr. Day built the first business of the town on the northwest corner of the public square. He engaged in the real estate business with Robert S. Strother and was an enthusiastic promoter of the various activities of the town. At that time his family lived in Augusta. They later moved to Winfield, and he engaged in the hardware business.

      A. H. Hickaon was the first station agent in Atlanta. His successor was a Miss Burris. During the intervening years (fifty) but six incumbents have served in this capacity. John Jones became agent in 1899 and has served for thirty-six years.

      P. W. Craig was the pioneer newspaperman of the town, owning and editing the Atlanta Advertiser in 1885. He later edited the Dexter Free Press.

      Milo Copeland established the Atlanta Cricket in 1888.

      O. Ferguson owned and edited the Atlanta Record in 1905.

      A. L. Crow edited the Atlanta Journal at one time.

      Byron Darlington and W. L. Reagan owned and edited the Journal from 1909 to 1914.

      Charles W. Brannum also engaged in the publication of the Journal at a more recent date.

    Gillard and Darlington were the earliest merchants of the town. They moved their stock of general merchandise from the trading post of Baltimore located two and one-half miles south east of the new town site. Their merchandise was freighted in by team and wagon until the railroad was completed. Baltimore was established in 1871, and is recorded as an important geographical point in the early history of Cowley County. It is now listed as one of the lost towns of the county.

      William H. Gillard was born in Illinois and came to Cowley County in 1871 and located on section 27 in Omnia Township. This was before the organization of the township, which occurred February 6, 1873 and Mr. Gillard was elected as the first Trustee of the township. He was also appointed Postmaster at Baltimore in 1878 and conducted the office in connection with their store. Mr. Gillard built one of the first dwellings in Atlanta and was prominent in the early affairs of the town during the organization days. His wife was Miss Delana Jenkins, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William (Cap) Jenkins, early pioneers of Omnia Township.

     George B. Darlington, 1845-1926, was born in Ohio, and the family migrated to Illinois. In 1873 Mr. Darlington, his wife and small son, William Earnest, came to Cowley County, and he homesteaded south of Atlanta. He was associated with his brother-in-law, William H. Gillard, in conducting a general store at Baltimore when it was the outstanding trading post of the northern part of the county. Mr. Darlington succeeded Mr. Gillard as postmaster at Baltimore and was the incumbent when Atlanta was established and served as post official in the new town until a political change in the presidential administration occurred.

      Mr. Darlington erected a hotel in Atlanta soon after the town was started and was active in other enterprises besides merchandising. He was twice married. His first wife was Lettie Gillard--sister of W. H. Gillard-who died in 1885; he later married Miss Ella Williams who was a native of Nebraska and came to Atlanta the year it was founded.

      Strother Field at Winfield, Kansas was named for Donald Strother who was killed in service in the beginning of World War II. He was the grandson of Robert S. Strother.

  
 

Atlanta Depot 1929

 

Atlanta Depot

      Located in the southeast part of town, the railroad depot was the center of activity for many years.  Shown here on the "pop" car are, left to right  Lewis Bates, a Greek friend of John  Vasilopus  (Last person on the right),          Oran,
 Leslie Scott and  Vasilopus.
 

 

Atlanta Post Office

     The Atlanta Post Office was first opened August 14, 1885.  Joseph F. Kidwell was the first postmaster.  The building pictured is one of several locations occupied by the Post Office through the years.

 

Otis T. Fabian 1933  Undertaker and Lumber

 

Atlanta, as I remember by Mabel Fabian Ensley

 
Methodist Church on Main Street burned.
 
H. R. & Ina Weaver had a large dept. store & it burned.  Jake & Minnie Troutman (brother & sister worked here later.)
 
Lewbook, Bakery
 
Earnest (Cudhay) Martin & Laura had a grocery & meat market
 
Orville Shaffer had a small cafe
 
Bank, Bert Smith was president
 
Dale & Mary Bickham had a grocery store as well as a drug store
 
The present post office was a large dept. & grocery store owned by Minnie & Roy Rogers.  It was sold later to Charlie & Florence Foust.  The upstairs was a lodge (Odd Fellows & Rebecca).  There was the first telephone upstairs as well.
 
Jim Burdette had a Ford agency
 
Ike Gregory, a barber shop
 
Harvey Ketterman had a leather & harness shop
 
The old show building that is now the community building had cartoons and mostly Westerns & melodrama.  It was of course silent & piano was used for variations.  George Peterson, I believe, owned the building.  Smith Snodgrass was in charge of the various shows, with Lawrence Ratts, I believe, running the different reels.
 
Around south of community building was my Dad's, Otis Fabian, business from 1922-1932.  He was an undertaker.  The hearse was in back room, caskets & office were in front.
 
Later a cream station run by Ernest Darlington's mother.  I don't remember her name, she was always called Grandma Darlington.
 
The Christian church was a white structure across the street.  When Harvey Blair and others built the new church, George Peterson purchased the old one and moved it to northeast part of town.  I think it was called Bible Church, but I'm not sure.
 
Roy Houser had a large filling station & garage at one time.  Dr. Dunbar & Dr. Ira Smith shared an office.  Later Dr. Dunbar left for Winfield.  Then later Dr. Smith moved office to east of main square.
 
My grandfather, Charles G. Fabian, was born in Birdsong, Germany in 1855.  The coat of arms of Fabian meant "Keeper of the gates".  I understand this is what his folks did at one of the castles.,  One of granddad's sisters also worked there.
 
My Granddad came to America when he was 16 on a cattle boat with a visitors pass to New York to visit an aunt.  Some Germans had been relocated in Prussia.
 
My Dad, Otis Fabian, never talked much about his folks but his brother, James (or Uncle Jim to us), but told of my older brother's much of what we know.
 
Charles G. Fabian & Sarah Caroline Ridpath were married Sept. 24, 1877 in Iowa.  They homesteaded, I presume some acreage, where Mike Crowley lives, near Mt. Vernon District (east of Atlanta).
 
Otis Thomas (O. T. as he was known in later years), was born in a dugout on March 7, 1879.  Grandma or someone held him over a stove to keep from freezing.  A house was built later on the property when his brother James was born.
 
My grandfather passed away at age 55.  He had acquired 2 houses & a home in Winfield on 6th St., where his last years were spent, leaving the 2 farms to Otis & James.  My Dad (Otis), looked at the one in Altus, Okla., & decided on the one in Cowley County.
 
My grandparents are buried in Winfield.  After my grandfather's death, one of my brothers, Bud, lived with my grandmother & had some schooling in Winfield, Ks.
 

Otis, was a man of many talents.  He married Nona Olive Pininger, June 3, 1900.  He just had an 8th grade education but taught many years of school in various county schools.  Mr. Vernon, Box, one near Maple City, I don't know the official name but it was known a Buzzard Roost.  He taught several years before he was married.  I had 2 brothers, Howard & Marion (Bud) that he taught.

 

I was the youngest of 7 living children of which I graduated from Atlanta High School.

 

One year Otis had 55 pupils from 1-8 grades at the one school called Buzzard Roost.  I think was when a student threw a knife at him but it was deflected by his suspenders.  I understand the student was severely punished.

 
He farmed as well as taught.  I don't know when they moved to Atlanta, the north part where I was born.  He was a carpenter as well as building homes.  He built the white house on the south edge of Atlanta & moved in when I was 5 years old.  Thelma Lanier told me that he had built one for her Dad, Herbert Groom.  Several others around the Doyle farm house north west of Atlanta.  My father took me on my first airplane ride 80 years ago. (about 1923)
 

He was also a funeral director or undertaker, as they were called.  There was a building next to the community building, the back room he parked the hearse, and the office & coffins were in the front.  As he didn't have a license to embalm he would get Mr. Gann from Burden or one from El Dorado.  They didn't always embalm in those days but buried the bodies within 2-3 days.  Many times there was a casket with a body in our living room.  Many were kept at their homes.  Dad also made some baby caskets.  Susie Houser lined the inside and whey were nice.  He was in business from 1922-1932.

 

He was also a substitute mail carrier for awhile.  My Mom and Dad were members of Christian Church where Dad was Sunday School Supt. part time.  He had a good tenor voice and he also carried services as a lay men to some of the county churches.

 

During the Depression we lost the house & lived in various places in Atlanta.  He was a member of Odd Fellows Lodge as well as a Mason, school board member. In fact, he signed my graduation diploma.

 

He was manager of T. M. Deal Lumber Co. for the last years of his life.  He was still working at the time of death Feb. 3, 1946, at age 67.

 

Ollie Martin had a shoe store on corner, there was a restaurant on east of Ollie Martin & Dr. Smith's office.  Farther east was a hotel.  The only 2 that I remember running it was Mrs. Osborn & Mrs. Randall.

 
On Main we had another filling station & garage owned by Claude Jenkins.
 

A large hardware store was on north & George Chenoweth, later housed another grocery store.

 

Curley Likens had a Chevrolet agency.

 
Ernie and Luva Foote had a produce station on Main Street.
 

Later a house was built west of Main St. & the telephone exchange was located & Mrs. Bean lived there as well.

 
There was once a newspaper, a livery stable.  I don't remember that.
 

The old depot east of Main use to be a gathering place for young people.  We spent a lot of evenings playing games & such.

 

The post office was in two different locations before the present location.

 

The city bldg. was once a jail & later a library.

Atlanta & my Dad were very closely related as he lived his entire life around & in Atlanta.
 
 

Isaac Stanley Gregory Barber Shop

The man in the middle is Issac Stanley Gregory

Barber is Issac  Reder  son in law of Ike (Isaac) Gregory

 

 

   

Atlanta School  1910  

Atlanta Methodist Church  1910

   

The frame for first cement bridge South of Atlanta Kansas.

 

   

After fire 1 April 1914

After fire 1 April 1914

   

Orville Shaffer Cafe and Store

 

   
   

   
   

   
   

   
   

   
 

Labor Day Sept. 07 1909

 

 

 

Atlanta Labor Day 1908

 

 

   

   
   

   
   

   
   

   

Harold Kennedy

Atlanta Labor Day 1908

   

Atlanta Labor Day 1908

Atlanta Labor Day 1910

   

Atlanta Labor Day 1910

Atlanta Labor Day 1910

   

Atlanta Labor Day 1910

April 1, 1914 Fire

   
Atlanta Theater Markley Store
   
Markley Store Markley Store Float 1910
   
Markley Store Float 1912 Markley Store Float 1910
   
Atlanta Labor Day 1914 Atlanta Christain Church 1910
Atlanta Depot 1908 Labor Day
Labor Day April 1 1914
Labor Day 191X
   

 

 

 
Doris Dudeck, Eldon Whiteman, Keith Dudeck, Arlene Whiteman
 

Minnie Troutman, Elsie Haworth, Lora McCormick in front of Weaver Store

Maurice Wilson, Fueda Mae Holt Grade in front of Roy Houser's filling ststion 1942 or 43

 

     Back row: Ida Whiteman, Claudia Whiteman,  Carl  Jamison (baby),  Granville Whiteman,  Ada Whiteman,  Ada's sister Ida Louise Blake and (husband  Mr. Blake),  Cora Whiteman,   Albert Whiteman,  Nina  Whiteman (baby)
     Middle row: Levina McCaw,  Kenneth Jamison
    Front row:  Willie Whiteman,  Orville Whiteman,  Willard Blake, Gerald Blake with puppy

 

     5 miles west 1 mile north of Atlanta.  Services were held as early as 1880's.  Outgrew first church and a new building was built in May 1894.  where Prairie View Community Center now stands.  On June 27, 1911, the present church building was dedicated.  having been built on land donated by Alexander and Rachel Kennedy.  Originally Episcopal denomination now United Methodist.

TIMBER CREEK CHURCH

     5 miles east, 1 half miles north of Atlanta.  Services held here since 1907.  First Methodist, then Church of God.  Became a Friends Church in 1931.  School house was first meeting house (at rear of Church in picture) followed by Church building in 1943.  erected on land donated by Orville Whiteman.  A parsonage is on the south of the Church.

Ada and Granville Whiteman

 

 

Frederick Oscar and Carrie (Martin) Dudeck

     Frederick Oscar (known as Oscar) Dudeck, born in 1876, was one of ten children. They lived on a small farm and orchard in Andrew County, Missouri. When he was 27 years old in 1903, he heard that workers were needed for the wheat harvest in western Kansas. So he went there to work. During that summer, protracted religious meetings were held in the area where he was working and so he attended. Carrie Mae Martin, along with her parents and some other siblings went from Atlanta to attend those meetings also. There she met Oscar Dudeck. They corresponded then, and married in Arkansas City, Kansas, in 1905. He was 29 and she was 21 year of age.

     After their marriage, they lived in Hollenberg, Kansas, until at least 1907. They then, moved to Atlanta. Oscar came with a wagon and horses his parents had given him. Carrie and their first born young daughter, Selma Grace, rode the train to Atlanta. Little is known of their first year or two in the Atlanta area. They possibly lived in a 'dug out' or a sod house, but this has not been verified. It is known that in 1908 or 1909, they moved to a small farm approximately 1 mile north and 2 miles east of Atlanta. They lived there and farmed until 1911. They then bought and moved to the farm 2 miles west and 1 mile south of Atlanta where they raised their family of 6 children. They were Selma, Forest, Herman, Inez, Raymond and Claude. They sold the farm and moved into Atlanta to begin retirement in 1950.

          by Raymond Dudeck of Arlington, Va.

 

Elmer Moss,  Everett Moss,  Harvey Moss,  Claudia Whiteman (Teacher),  Raymond Emerson,  Gladys Townsly

Edith Simmon,  Irvin Townsly,  Carol Haworth,  Ruth Townsly

Shelton Hay,  Thelma Sim

 

Verna Clodfelter Teasher, George Critchlow Janitor, First grade class 1928

 

Pearl Hensley Wilson and her class in front of old Atlanta school, around 1917 - 18

 

Pearl Hensley (Wilson) and her Class, 1917 or 1918

 

Grand Center School 1914
 
                                           Florence Wright        Elmer Moss       Vera Oxford   Vector Wright       Carol Haworth
 
Florence Wright       Elmer Moss       Shelton Haworth       Earl Need                                                         
 
Farest Dudeck   Selma Dudeck    Nellie Ketterman    Eugene Womacks    Clarice Ward    Phyllis Womacks    
Laura  Mae Haworth      Laura Need     Wanda Kelly     Alta Cook
 
Erritt Ward       Truman Wright       Wilbur Haworth       William Ketterman

 

 

1927

            George Albert Ward,           A. L. Crow,    Elmer Crow,         Errett Ward,          Mary Crow

               Clarice Ward,      Mrs. A. L. Crow,      Shirley Ward,          Edna Gray

     Ester Gray,    Evelyn Gray

WW1 - 1918 Atlanta Soldiers F to B Joy Markley, Ralph Wilson, Charles Brannum, Noah Osborne

Ralph Wilson during WWI

 

Helen Moss - Postmaster, ??, Ralph Wilson and Curtis Holt both mail carriers 1940

 

Patricia (Tish) Couch,  Retired Atlanta Postmaster

By Lynette Dyson

Traveler regional editor

     ATLANTA - The third time was a charm for Atlanta back in 1885.

     Thanks to unsuccessful tries at establishing other communities nearby, Atlanta came to be.

     Tish Couch. Unofficial town historian, said the first town, Omnia, was started about two miles southwest of Atlanta, People flocked there because they thought the Kansas City and Southern Railroad would go through there.

   But, when they found they were wrong - that officials planned a different route for the tracks - they moved to a new site, called Baltimore, about one and a half miles south and one mile east of present day Atlanta.

     Again, the company didn't plan to route the train through the new town of Baltimore, so, for the third time, residents moved again, this time to Atlanta, and finally got it right, Couch said.

     Because the train was the reason for the town's existence, it seemed fitting that the community be named for the hometown of the first depot agent -- Atlanta, Ga.

     The branch of railway through Atlanta later became a part of the Frisco System in Kansas.

     The townsite was surveyed in April 1885 and the first train ran between Beaumont and the state line on Aug. 22, 1885, before the ties were laid to complete the track.

     William H. Day bought the land and became president of the townsite company. William E. Darlington, the son of George and Lettie (Gillard) Darlington, drove the stake that established the townsite. He was born in Illinois and was 12 years old at the time.

     Robert S. Strother, who homesteaded east of town, was the first judge and Charles M Grant was the first constable.

     Atlanta was incorporated in 1900 and Willis Wilson, who had homesteaded in Richland Township in 1870, was the first mayor.

     The first church built in Atlanta was the Methodist Episcopal-South, because many of the settlers came from southern states and had southern traditions.

     The Christian Church was the next church established. Soon after that. the Methodist Episcopal Church-South became the Methodist Church and a new building was dedicated in November 1900.

     The cemetery was established in 1885. Minnie Craig was the first person buried there.

     The first school was taught by May Kinley in 1885 in the room above her father's drug store. The store was destroyed by fire and the second term was taught in the old Methodist Episcopal Church-South, where Anna Primrose taught. A two room schoolhouse was built in 1886.

     The first dwelling in town was brought in on wheels by George W. Davis from the village of Polo, which was southwest of Atlanta at the time.

     In 1885, the town had stores offering hardware, groceries, general merchandise, drugs, lumber, real estate, meat and shoes. There were also three hotels, a newspaper, two livery stables, two blacksmith shops, a barber shop two painters. Four physicians and four carpenters.

     Couch was born in 1923, when the town was at its peak. The oil boom of 1917-20 brought many people to town. Couch remembers a theater with silent movies, a Texaco plant southwest of town and a restaurant Garages to service both Fords and Chevrolets were located where the firehouse is today, she said. There were also harness and millinery shops at that time.

     Walking down main street now, one has a hard time imagining that the city had all of those services at one time. Couch said the businesses that had survived up until the 1960s suffered a final blow when the Atlanta High School closed in 1966.

     There are but a few businesses left on main street - more empty buildings are seen than anything -- but the memories remain.

ATLANTA CHRISTIAN CHURCH

E-Mail from (Rev) Gary Rolph,  Oct 3 2004

 
    Jean and I appreciated our ministry at Atlanta Christian Church. After only  one semester at Phillips Seminary, we moved full time to Atlanta, Kansas,  and lived in the parsonage until we left for the 1st Christian Church of  Marysville (Kansas), then Canada, Brazil, back to Canada, and now New  Hampshire! Our oldest son, Matthew Rolph, was born (30 Nov 1970) in  Winfield Hospital and spent much of the first year of his life in the parsonage at Atlanta. We remember the heavy snow storm in December 1970 when the town was buried with snow for a few days. We made it to within a block of the parsonage (after having had Sunday supper with members of the Atlanta Church who lived in town) then walked the rest of the way home with Matthew swaddled in blankets.

     All the members of the Atlanta Christian Church, as well as the fine  families in the United Methodist and Friends' Churches, helped Jean and me get started in ministry.  We appreciated the Christian dedication of so many members and friends of Atlanta Christian Church. We also still thank all those in the community that got together and raised enough money so that we could pay the hospital bill for our first child's birth.  That was a Christmas present we still remember with great gratitude.

   We have lost contact with most members of the Atlanta Christian Community.   We used to correspond with Helen Willard but have not heard from her in a few years. But I still remember the many who helped give me a real down-to-earth understanding of ministry.

 
Thank you all.
 
(Rev) Gary Rolph, MCS, BCC
Chief of Chaplains
VA Medical Center
Manchester NH 03104

 

The following is taken from the service bulletin for July 9, 1989 celebrating the 100th anniversary of the church.

“The Atlanta Christian Church had a humble beginning. In the year 1889, a group of people began meeting together in Atlanta for prayer and spiritual guidance. For lack of a church, they met in a building just off main street.

“On August 1, 1899 P. H. Guy of Winfield held a revival. Twenty seven answered the invitation and the organization of a congregation to be known as the First Christian Church of Atlanta, Kansas began. In August, 16 lots were purchased, a building committee was selected on August 25. They were William Zeigler, A. L. Crow, H. R. Wilson, J. S. Denny and C. F. Belnap. On March 18, 1900 the debt free church building was dedicated and P. H. Guy was recalled as minister. Church school classes and worship services have continued regularly.

“Feeling the need for more room, Atlanta Christian Church, as it came to be known, began a building campaign on September 20, 1954. Through the blessing of our Lord, the diligent work of Philip Wolfe, minister, Eugene Womacks, chairman of the building committee, and many others, progress began, although it did take longer to building this time. Harvey Blair, son of Mr. and Mrs. William Blair, members of the first congregation here in Atlanta, helped tremendously by making a great investment in the building, as did many others in equipping and furnishing it.

“Ground was broken on the same site of the previous building on September 29, 1957.

“The congregation continued to worship in the old building, which was sold to another congregation to become known as the Grace Bible Church. The cornerstone laying ceremony was conducted on January 19, 1958 with Paul Gary of Phillips University bringing the main address.

“The first service was held before the building was completed. The Youth Group held an Easter Sunrise Service in the unfinished building. Afterwards the Youth Group, Dwain Acker, minister and Youth Leader, went to the minister’s apartment for hot chocolate and doughnuts.

“Having held regular services in the new building since June 15, 1958, the new building was dedicated on Sunday November 2, 1958.

“A new parsonage was built by the congregation in 1979. A garage was built at the parsonage in 1980.”

Another slightly different account of the organization of the Atlanta Christian Church follows. It appeared in the Atlanta Christian Church newsletter dated July 31, 1989 which was devoted to the celebration of the church’s 100th anniversary.

“Before Atlanta was established, there was a Trading Post known as Baltimore, 2 miles south and 1 east of the present town of Atlanta. In their search for guidance, the people met irregularly in either a schoolhouse, homes or other buildings. There were several baptisms through the years. A traveling evangelist, Rev. Long held meetings at Baltimore, resulting in several decisions for the Lord. The dates of these baptisms range from 1873 to 1889. Baptisms were held in Timber Creek, on the W. R. Stolp farm, later known as the Tom McEwen place. Lucile Barnes lives there now.

“When Selina Crow (Shirley Ward’s mother) was baptized in Timber Creek on Dec. 6, 1881, the ice which was several inches thick, had to be cut. Her clothes were frozen before she could get home to change.

“Grand Center school district, 3 miles east of Atlanta, was organized late in 1882. In 1883 the schoolhouse was completed. At that time the group from Baltimore began to worship with the Grand Center friends in the new schoolhouse. Also coming to Grand Center were several families from the Rock Creek area.

“In the year of 1889 a small group of people began meeting together in Atlanta for prayer and spiritual guidance. They met in a building just off Main Street.

“On August 1, 1899, P. H. Guy of Winfield held a revival. Twenty-seven answered the invitation and the organization of a church to be known as the First Christian Church of Atlanta, Kansas began. In August, 16 lots were purchased, a building committee was selected They were William Zeigler, A. L. Crow, H. R. Wilson, J. S. Denny and C. F. Belnap.

“Mrs. C. F. Belnap was chairman of the committee to solicit funds. The building was constructed under the direction of William B. Woodside, minister and carpenter. The people from Grand Center joined the people in Atlanta to worship. On March 18, 1900 the debt free building was dedicated and P. H. Guy was recalled as minister. Church school classes and worship have continued regularly.

“April 9, 1899 there were 78 in attendance.

“The first Children’s day observance was June 11, 1899. Henry Wilson and William Zeigler were the first deacons. Charles Belnap and Malhon Haworth were the first elders.

“The first wedding was Rosa Jones and Harry Nicely. It was performed by Rev. W. B. Woodside. Rose was the first organist. It was a pump organ, there wasn’t a piano.

“The first Sunday School was organized on March 25, 1900. C. F. Belnap was superintendent. Services were held every third Sunday of the month.

“Feeling the need for more room, Atlanta Christian Church, as it came to the known, began a building campaign on September 20, 1954. Through the blessing of our Lord, the diligent work of Philip Wolfe, minister, Eugene Womacks, chairman of the building committee, and many others, progress began, although it did take longer to build this time. Harvey Blair, son of Mr. and Mrs. William Blair, members of the first congregation here in Atlanta, helped tremendously by make a great investment in the building, as did many others in equipping and furnishing it.

“Ground was broken on the same site of the previous building, September 29, 1957. The congregation continued to worship in the old building, which was sold to another congregation to become known as the Grace Bible Church. The cornerstone laying ceremony was conducted on January 19, 1958 with Paul Gary of Phillips University bring the main address.

“The first service was held before the building was completed. The Youth Group held an Easter Sunrise Service in the unfinished building. Afterwards the Youth Group, Dwain Acker, minister and Youth Leader, went to the minister’s apartment for hot chocolate and doughnuts.

“Having held regular services in the new building since June 15, 1958, the new building was dedicated on Sunday November 2, 1958.

“A new parsonage was built by the congregation in 1979. A garage was built at the parsonage in 1980.”

 

MINISTERS SERVING THE ATLANTA CHRISTIAN CHURCH

P. H. Guy 1900 – 1907

G. Mitchel 1909 – 1910

R. E. Hill 1912

Ray L. Boyer 1913

George Carter 1914 – 1915

Walter A. Smith 1916

Harvey Barr 1917

P. H. Guy 1918 – 1919

Paul Guy 1920

G. J. Champman 1921 – 1925

J. C. Minegar 1927 – 1928

F. H. Bentley 1929 – 1930

G. S. Taylor 1931

Harry Berg 1933

W. H. Hensley Supply Minister

Ray Dean 1934

Paul G. Kenagy 1935 – 1937

Clyde Evans 1938

J. T. Smith 1939 – 1942

Don McEvoy 1944 – 1946

Vern J. Rossman 1946 - 1947

Archie Vincent 1948 – 1949

Harry R. Hataway 1949 – 1951

Charles Foust 1952

W. T. Reece 1952 – 1953

William Imhoff 1953

Philip L. Wolfe 1954 – 1956

James Bradford 1956

Wendell Keller 1957

Dwain Acker 1957 – 1960

Edgar L. Wright 1960 – 1963

Terry Clark 1963 – 1967

Spencer V. Moore 1967 – 1969

Gary Rolph 1969 – 1971

Robert Carver 1971 – 1973

Phil Harris 1973

Glen Camblin 1974 – 1978

Art Wilson 1978 – 1979

James Ward 1979 – 1980

Charlie Deitz 1980 – 1984

Randall Lynch 1984