Dr. Gallatin Brown, a Civil War Veteran acquired
a tract of land from the government along the 
Pawnee River.  On that land there was a large
grove of beautiful ash trees.  There he staked
out the town called 'Browns Grove'.  He built a
low water bridge of ash logs which was in those
early days the only bridge west of Larned.

Browns Grove, a thriving village in the township
of the same name and about two and one-half
miles from the West line of the Pawnee County.  
It was beautifully situated on the banks of the
Pawnee River.  The village was platted in 1876
on Sec. 28, Twp. 21, Range 20.  Browns Grove
was surrounded by very fine farming country.  
Some of the finest yields of wheat ever known
in Kansas have been harvested in this part of
the Pawnee Valley.

The first religious gathering was held in 1876,
when a basket meeting was held on the creek
and Rev. C. Martindale was in charge of the
services.  Church services were held in the
schoolhouse.  The first church building was
a Presbyterian Church.  The building was
later sold to the Methodists.  It was struck by
lightning and burned in 1896.

The first school was held in a dugout on the
banks of the creek across from Rex Mather's
on the Thomson property.  A three month
session was held in the fall of 1876 with Hugh
Burnham, as the teacher.

In 1877 a frame schoolhouse was built located
east of the Martin residence facing east.  The
first teacher in this building was Mr. Francisco,
and among the pupils of these earlier days were
Mrs. C.N. Rucker, G.F. Mather, Charles Mather,
Herman, Polly and Rose Stohr, Nellie and
Herman Pickard and Georgia and Lutie Brown.

Browns Grove Post Office opened June 21, 1877.
The Post Mistress was Sarah J. Brown.  The Post
Office was located in the Barger Store which was
located on the East side of the street across from
the home of G.F. Mather.  In 1886 when the 
railroad was built in Burdett, the Post Office was
moved to the Burdett townsite.  In April 1887,
the name of the Post Office was changed from
Browns Grove to Burdett.

D.Y. Sabin, stock raiser and farmer came to 
Browns Grove in September, 1877 and was in
agricultural pursuits and sheep raising.  He 
changed to the cattle business in the spring of
1892.  In November 1877, a store and lumber
yard was opened and operated by Mr. D.Y. Sabin.
He had purchased Dr. Brown's timber claim
and laid out an addition to Browns Grove.

In December of 1877, Mr. Case came West and
settled on a farm in Hodgeman County where he
raised sheep.  Mrs. Case and the children came
in February of 1878.  Mr. Case purchased a 
general store in Browns Grove in 1881 and was
in that business until 1909.

The most interested and outstanding industry
in Browns Grove was the flour mill built in 1879
by Wright and Johnson.  The mill was erected of
cut stone 26 feet wide by 38 feet long, three
stories high with a head of 20 feet and a capacity
of 75 barrels a day.  This was the first mill West
of Hutchinson.

A dam was built across the Pawnee to furnish
water power for the mill which was located
approximately two blocks West of the present
brige.  The dam was of wood and dirt construction.

In 1877 rock was quarried from the land owned
by C.N. Rucker.  Being the only Mill and the first
in this part of Kansas, farmers came from Dodge
City, Larned, Garden City, LaCrosse, Kinsley,
and Scott City to get their grain ground.  They
would wait 2 to 5 days for their turn, camping
along thecreek, swimming, and fishing in the
Mill pond, in back of the dam.  The pond was a
popular place for the young people in the late
1800's.  It extended more than 2 miles West
to the Hodgeman County Line.  Boating and
swimming were popular summer pastimes and
in winter it was the finest skating pond in West

In 1880 a field of Buckwheat was planted where
the Glen Warner's home is located.  The crop
was cut with a hand scythe and flailed out by
hand. Some of the grain was saved for seed
and the rest ground at the Mill into Buckwheat

The Mill produced flour under the name
"Pawnee Chief" and many a pioneer homes
a century ago had sacks of this flour from the
Pawnee Creek Flour Mill, one of the first industries
in Pawnee County.

Railroad officials named our town "Burdett" for
Robert Jones Burdette, a famous newspaper
editor and humorist, lyceum lecturer, and Baptist
Clergyman whose popular writings for the Burlington, Iowa Hawkeye caused him to be called "The Burlington Hawkeye Man".  Burdette was here at the time of the settlement of Burdett (1886) and was a member of the town company which 
laid out three sections of land in town lots.  It is thought the final "e" of his name was dropped from the name of the town because of a clerical error by the Post Office Departmen in Washington D.C.

The building of the railroad to Burdett from Larned 
created much excitement in 1886 and as in most 
western towns its coming meant a great deal to  
the people, and Burdett was no exception.

The people of Browns Grove and Burdett arrived 
at an amicable agreement and joined forces to 
bring a railroad there and build a good live town.  
Two railroads were expected to come: the
Chicago, Kansas, and Western to push west to
Jetmore while the other railroad--the Denver,
Memphis, and Atlantic would go through to the
North, making Burdett the junction.

Arrangements were made of the parties interested in old Browns Grove and Browns Grove addition to be moved into Burdett with all their business and unite in building up one good, live prosperous town.  Among those moved or to be moved are the Sabin Store building, the Case Store, Dr. Butler's Store, Rachner's Store, the Blossom Hotel and nearly all the other
buildings there.  Mr. Seely, owner of The Burdett
House, has completedplastering thirty of the
forty-three rooms in his rooming house and will finish the others as rapidly as possible.  Alexander and Co., have moved their lumber yard over to the new town and a newspaper will soon be started under the  management of A. Connell.

Burdett citizens met at the school house in 1887 to
discuss the question of a cemetery.  Mr. Brown
stated that he would deed to the people of Burdett
and vicinity sufficient ground for the use of a
cemetery, stipulating that said people fence the same and keep the fence in good repair.  He also reserved a lot of at least twenty feet in length and two lots wide. The land Mr. Brown gave was the Northwest area of our present cemetery.  This was a 3 1/2 acre corner 
of his pasture.  Another tract of 2 1/2 acres was purchased from L.H. Munn and wife in 1911 and an additional 3 acres were purchased from George and Lena Smith in 1913.  These three tracts of land make up our present cemetery.

Mr. Taggart opened the first bank in Burdett.  It was located on the West side of Elm Street.  Mr. Taggart died in 1906.  The "Norris State Bank," a new concrete block structure opened for business and received it's charter on March 3, 1906 from the State of Kansas. Directors were: L.A. Choat, R.M. Norris, J.C. Browne,Dr. W.V. Elting, and James Burns.






In 1893, J.M. VanMeter was elected president, H
Mirow, vice-president, J.M. Fisher, secretary and
N.O. Mather, treasurer of thecemetery association. 

Burdett Telephone Company completed the
construction of their lines which is composed of
three separate lines terminating at Dr. W.V.
Elting's office where a switch will be placed for
the time being.  Starting at Mr. Garrison's ten
miles North of Burdett and Mr. Duran's eleven 
North and one east, through Burdett and
surburban homes and connected with the
Rozel Farmers line at Mr. Sufficool's five miles
East of Burdett

Fifth Annual M.W.A. Log Rolling Event

A House will be given away by 'The Burdett
Commerical Club'.  Tickets are $1.00.

The Farmers Grain and Supply Company was
organized, a company for farmers of Burdett
and surrounding community.  The charter was
granted by the State of Kansas as a stock
company.  No more than ten shares could be
owned by any one person.  The first Board of 
Directors were J.R. Hanna, E.L. Floreth, H.G.
Saxton, W.E. Smith, J.H. Steffen, C.N. Rucker
and R.F. Hazlett.  Elevator operations began
with only wheat and small grains being handled.  
A well and a dust house was completed this year.  
Five coal bins were constructed in 1911.  A 28

by 90 foot warehouse with an office in southwest
end was built.

The dedication for the new Burdett School was
held in 1911.  The building was a brick structure
and both High School and Grade School was
conducted in it.

The first telephone directories (numbering 200)
were printed.

Mr. Earl Haymond started in the garage business.  
He rebuilt his structure and added a number of
fixtures which would improve the business.  The
name of his business was "Blue Line Garage"

Burdett now has the following business firms  that contribute to the livelihood of its people.  
Five grain elevators, among them the Farmers 
Co-operative, which has made Burdett the 
wheat center for miles around.  Two lumber yards,
three garages, one service station, one 
market, three general merchandise store, 
four oil and gas wagons, one grocery store, two drug
stores, one confectionery, one date office, one
blacksmith, a superior grade school, five 
rural high school, one church
one miniature golf course, two 
barber shops and
one shoe shop.

A new High School was finished and ready for
School in 1921.  There was an enrollment of 65
pupils.  Teachers were Mrs. Bruner and Mrs. Pyle.

The Standard Oil Company opened for business
in 1922 with Mr. Frank Rupright as operator.  
He dispensed kerosene or coal oil, and gasoline
to farms in the community from his own tank truck.

Orel Schadel operated a tractor, truck, car and
motor repair shop (South of the Post Office) built
in 1925 by Buck Webster and O.O. Oller and
known then as the "Central Garage".  (this is
what it looks like in 2012)

The first caretaker on record for the Browns Grove
Cemetery was Guy Newport, serving only a few
weeks in 1929.

The planet Pluto discovered by Clyde Tombaugh
of Burdett on March 13, 1930 has been officially 
recognized by the astronomers of the United
States Naval Observatory at Washington D.C.  
However, an organization of professional
astronomers decided in 2006 that Pluto, small
as it is, is not a planet of the first class.  They
now list it in a second ranking of planets, as a
"dwarf planet."  Tombaugh graduated from Burdett
Rural High School in 1925.  He made his first
telescope, and what he initially learned of  
astronomy was among the currant bushes on his 
family farm.  In the fall of 1928, he went
Flagstaff, AZ, and was put in charge of the new
13 inch telescope at the Lowell Observatory. 

Check out what Wikipedia says

Academy of Achievement Website




Evergreen trees were planted in 1931 at the
Browns Grove Cemetery

Burdett's first beauty shop was started in 1932
and operated by Wanda Rupright Hayward.
A room in the back of Jack Irwin's Barber shop
was used.

In January 1937 plans were made for a new
Burdett Library.  It will be located in the Town-
ship Hall.

The Massey-Harris agency was started by
Lester Bauer.  He later sold the business to
the Warners in 1955.  Mr. Bauer went into the
insurance business at this time.

In 1940 a school newspaper was published
called the "Burdett Clipper."  This was the first
newspaper since 1928.

The new Mary C. Norris Memorial Methodist
Church was dedicated in 1941.  It was believed
that the new building would now have plenty of
room, but it soon was outgrown.  In 1959, an
additional building was completed and called the
Educational Building.  In 1950 the Ladies Aid,
Womens Home and Foreign Missionary Societies
merged and became the Womens Society of
Christian Service with Mrs. Mabel Martin elected
President.  The Society now has another name.  
In 1974 it was renamed "United Methodist Women"

Burdett community in 1946 was anxious to become a growing city and expects to go places in the past war future.  A booster club has recently be organized and the town is thinking of becoming a third class city.

The first concrete grain elevator was built and
holds 150,000 bushels.

The Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Burdett was
moved here from Jetmore in 1949, after having
been used by three different denominations
previously.  This church was originally built by the
Methodist people at Ravana in the early 1880's.

Alva Powers was the first John Deere dealer in
Burdett and his first place of business started in
1949 in the building that was occupied by Orel
Schadel's repair shop.  In 1950 he built a new
building in the southeast part of town, along the
highway and continued in business until 1955
when he sold the property and agency to the

Delaney brothers, Jack and Howard.

In 1950 an area in the southeast corner was
sold to the Catholics for their burials.

After the dial telephones came into use in Burdett,
a volunteer fire department was organized with
selected numbers to call in case of a fire and a fire
whistle would blow.  In the early 1960's the present
fire department  was organized and the first truck
was a '46 Chevy Surplus Army Pump Truck.  In
1962, two Army surplus trucks were given to the
City by the Forestry Department.  A tank and pump
were installed on the truck by the 
Department.  A jeep was also given by the Forestry Department.  A box was built on it for use of hauling and storing the hose.  Everett Cooksey was the first Fire Chief.  Also Dwight Shank servced in the capacity for several years.

Burdett incorporated in 1961 making a new city in 
Western Kansas with incorporation status.

The City cinder block fire building was erected in
1965 with Larry Rodebaugh as the Fire Chief.

Bonds were issued for the Burdett Water
Department in 1965.  A water tower is to be erected
and deep well dug and pipes laid to the homes. A
water meter was established at each place.  Sewer
and water projects were completed by the fall of 1965.

Dixon Sinclair had a modern station.  Mr. and Mrs.
Edward Dixon began operating the Dixon Sinclair
Service Station in June 1965.  The Station was
establish by the Sinclair Co. in 1951, with Leon
Ditus the first manager

The last graduating class from Burdett was in 1966.  This marked the end of the sixty-sixth year history as a High School.  In Burdett High School's sixty-six years, 622 graduates have passed through the doors.

The next fall, the school system at Burdett will be
known as Pawnee Heights Junior High, (Pawnee
Heights West) and Senior High pupils will attend
classes at Rozel, eight miles East (Pawnee Heights East).  Both are in the new Unified District 496.

The Pawnee River runs through our City of Burdett.   In the past it has been skated on, fished in, picnicked and partied  on.  It has been flooded and it has been dry.  It is part of the heritage of this community.


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