Decatur's Towns
Past & Present

During the early history of the county, towns sprang up here and there with no particular thought for the future. They were here today and gone tomorrow. Some, because of their location and the character of their people, survived longer than others. Railroads and highways have influenced the later history of all the towns of the county. Some remain as only landmarks of times past or ghost cities. Oberlin, Norcatur, Jennings and Dresden are incorporated as third class cities. 
Points from which mail could be distributed were found necessary as transportation was slow and difficult; consequently post offices were established in all sections of the county. At various times during its history Decatur County had twenty-seven government post offices, and even more towns!


Post Office December 20, 1880 -
November 15, 1919
Name changed from Toiyabe and platted in September 1885, Allison was thriving as the second city of the county. By 1903 the Rock Island road had broke the city and it was nothing but an alfalfa field. Allison is a part of Allison Township.


Post Office September 13, 1881 - April 4, 1887 Altory died out and the name was changed to Kanona which was built on the same location. Altory is located in Altory Township. 


Post Office July 30, 1879 - November 30, 1908
Bassettville is within Bassettville Township.


Post Office April 5, 1892 - October 12, 1899
Originally opened in 1892, mail ceased on July 30, 1898. Mail started again on July 13, 1899 and continued until a order of change was rescinded and this office was discontinued. Mail was then sent to Allison. No township/location listed.

Cedar Bluffs

Post Office December 4, 1873 - August 31, 1958
Platted in May 1886, Cedar Bluffs has remained a town all these years and will no doubt remain so, it has never been incorporated. Cedar Bluffs is in Beaver Township.


No post office listed for Clayton. Located in the southeast corner of the county it is within Pleasant Valley Township.


Post Office April 21, 1875 - March 5, 1883
Mail was sent to Cedar Bluffs. The location of Connersville places it in Finley Township.


Post Office June 22, 1874 - April 30, 1900
After opening in 1874 mail ceased on June 30, 1897. Starting back again a few years later on March 8, 1900 and continued until a order of change was rescinded and the office was discontinued. Thereafter mail was to be sent to Oberlin.
Decatur is listed as a part of Harlan/Roosevelt Township.

Decatur Centre

Post Office July 7, 1879 - October 18, 1880
Once closed mail was sent to Decatur. 
Decatur Centre's name was changed to Rufo on October 18, 1880. Decatur Centre, located in the exact center of the county, was Oberlin's only rival for county seat. Decatur Centre is located in Center Township. 


Post Office September 12, 1884 - May 21, 1886
Located in the south part of the county Diggs is a part of Prairie Dog Township.


Post Office was established on October 3, 1888 and is still in operation. Dresden is within Dresden Township.


Post Office November 17, 1879 -
November 30, 1896
Hawkeye is a part of Cook Township.


Post Office April  30, 1880 - October 31, 1907
Originally known as Saint John the name was changed to Hooker and mail service continued. When discontinued mail was sent to Oberlin. Hooker is located in Oberlin Township.


Post Office May 7, 1879 - April 20, 1889
When the office was discontinued Jennings took over the mail duties. Jackson is located just west of the present site of Jennings and is a part of Jennings Township.


Originally named Slab City the name was changed to Jennings on October 15, 1879 and is still in operation today. Jennings is in Pleasant Valley Township.


Post office was still called Altory and on March 8, 1886 was moved to Kanona, renamed on April 4, 1887, discontinued March 31, 1955. Platted in June 1885, Kanona was built on the site of the town of Altory after it's downfall and is located in Altory Township.


Post Office January 26, 1895 - October 31, 1899
Keith can be found in Summit Township.


Post Office November 21, 1923 - July 1, 1980
The last established post office in the county was here in this little inland town. Located in Dresden Township.


Post Office June 30, 1892 - December 14, 1907
Mail was then sent to Dresden. Lund is in Summit Township.


Post Office June 6, 1877 - January 2, 1907
Office was ceased and mail was ordered sent to Norcatur. Lyle was on the original Norton-Oberlin mail route. Lyle is within Grant Township. 


Post Office April 29, 1873 - November 13, 1873
When this office was discontinued no instructions were given as to the disposal of mail. No township/location is listed.


Post Office 1900 - 1900
Mill is near Decatur and is a part of Roosevelt Township.


Post Office October  30, 1885 and is still in operation. Platted in 1885, Norcatur was well on its way with the coming of a railroad. The town was built quickly and was filled until overflowing. Located on the Norton-Decatur county lines it is named after both counties and is in Lincoln Township.


Initially named Sappa a post office was established on April 29, 1873 until April 22, 1878 when the name was changed to Oberlin. Under the new name mail services have continued and is still in operation today. Oberlin is the county seat of Decatur County and located in Oberlin Township.


Post Office December 13, 1880 - April 27, 1883
When discontinued the mail was sent to Oberlin. Plato is in Sherman Township.


Post Office October 18, 1880 - August 1, 1881
Moved from Decatur Centre. Rufo is located in Olive Township.


Post Office January 7, 1895 - January 30, 1904
Mail was to be sent to Oberlin. Ruth is within Custer Township.

Saint John

Post Office March 14, 1879 - April 30, 1880
On April 30, 1880 the name was changed to Hooker.  Saint John can be found in Oberlin Township.


Post Office Dates
October 3, 1881 - December 1, 1881
Established in Sheridan County.
June 14, 1882 - December 20, 1887
Thereafter the mail was sent to Enne in Rawlins County. Located in Sappa Township.


Post Office September 15, 1875 -
December 31, 1904
When it was discontinued mail was sent to Dresden. Shibboleth is in Prairie Dog Township.

Slab City

Post Office October 22, 1874 - October 15, 1879
This offices name was changed to Jennings and remains in operation today.
Located in Pleasant Valley Township.


Post Office May 23, 1883 - September 20, 1888
When discontinued mail was sent to Shibboleth. Stephen is in Summit Township.


Post Office November 18. 1881 - January 8, 1883
Thereafter mail was sent to Oberlin. Located in Summit Township.


Post Office February 11, 1879 -
December 20, 1880
On December 20, 1880 the name was changed to Allison, when discontinued mail was sent to Jennings. Toiyabe can be found in Allison Township.


Post Office June 25, 1883 - November 25, 1971
Located in Finley Township.


Post Office July 2, 1879 - April 26, 1887
When the office was discontinued mail was sent to Decatur. Vallonia is located in Harlan/Roosevelt Township.

Excerpts taken/adapted from Decatur County-Kansas history book
Dates from Kansas Historical  Society

Decatur County Kansas history books
Available for purchase in the County Clerk's Office.
$30.00 each, payable by check or cash