The Battle Of Garfield County: The Town Of Eminence

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In northeast Finney County, 27 miles from Garden City, sits a house with wooden siding and a stone shed with a metal roof. To those that passing by it is a common scene in western Kansas. Though the house is fairly new, this shed is nearly one hundred and thirty years old. Though now it is used as a place for storing and repairing farm equipment, it was once a schoolhouse for the town of Eminence. Not only is the town of Eminence gone but also is the county it was a part of. Both are now just part of old farmer’s tales. At one time this plot of farmland was the center of a thriving community that was lost in a battle to ensure its survival.

In 1885, a grant was issued from the state of Kansas to Creola Town Company for the formation of a town. A committee that was appointed to find a place for the county seat of Garfield County selected the location for the town. Originally the name Creola was requested in the town charter but it was found that “Creola” was already a town founded in Kansas. Community member Lyman Naugel suggested the name Eminence. The name of the town was
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The other towns were: Ravanna, Loyal, Essex, Kalvesta, and Lorenz. In the late 1880s Garfield County was in need of a county seat. Seven miles east of Eminence was Ravanna. Though Ravanna was slightly bigger than Eminence the towns had many similarities. Both were towns flourishing on the southwest Kansas prairie, and both were eyeing the the county seat. In March of 1887, Governor John A. Martin issued that a census was taken of both towns. After the information of the census was presented to Governor Martin, he decided Ravanna would be the temporary county seat, until an election was held in November to decide the county’s permanent seat. So began the beginning of the end. Everyone in the Garfield area was partisan in one way or another in the county seat argument. In a story written for the Garden City Telegram in 1923 it

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