Kingston History



Kingston one of the earliest communities in Adams County thrived in the 1870s. It was so important, in fact, that it was at one time considered for the location of the county seat. However, when it was bypassed by the railroad it dwindled away until it completely lost its identity.

As near as can be determined, Kingston as a community originated in 1870 or 1871. Its location was in section 32, township 6, range 9 west, now Hanover township. It may have been named after L. G. King, who homesteaded there but did not prove up, or perhaps after a community back East from which some settlers came.

The general store and post office were located on the Charles Bird homestead; the community school and first church activities were held at Kingston school house, District 4, which was located north across the Little Blue river from the Kingston store, but still in section 32.

The election for the location of the county seat was held in Juniata on December 12, 1871, and according to early accounts, Kingston received only one vote to Juniata's 28 votes, but some voters from Kingston were not allowed to cast ballots because they had failed to register. An early-day account of the proceedings concedes that "there is no doubt, however, that in any event Juniata would have polled the larger vote."

On March 14, 1872 Charles Bird signed a form asking to establish a post office named Kingston to be located in the southwest quarter of section 32. It was located on the mail route from Waterville, Kansas to Spring Ranch, Nebraska and to have mail service once a week. The post office building was located 1/4 mile south of the Little Blue River. There were 22 families within 2 miles. Charles Bird served as postmaster from March 29, 1872 until may 30, 1877. William S. Moote became postmaster on June 12, 1877 and asked to have the location of the post office changed to the northeast 1/4 of section 8, township 5, range 9west. Mail service from Nelson in Nuckolls county was to be twice a week. The office was to supply at least 50 families. Later postmasters were David Sinclair December 5, 1879; William H. Palmer March 4, 1882; Daniel Olmstead 16 April 1877. The post office was transferred to Pauline July 10, 1888.

Kingston established the first agricultural society of Adams county on May 6, 1872, with 39 members, and held the first county fair on October 10 and 11, 1873, with 82 prizes offered. This fair was so successful, that "the officers of the society advertised their vote of thanks to the people, while M. C. Bird, the secretary, mailed copies of the report to many points in the east."

But the next year the agricultural society perfected its organization in a meeting in Juniata on March 9, 1874, and set up such a protest that the fair was held on the prairie between Kingston and Juniata. A few months later a third organization was established, with the following notes from the minutes indicating how strong the rivalries had been: "it was voted that all members of both the old societies shall be considered members of this society" and "three rousing cheers were given for the consolidation of the two societies, and the dissipation of all sectional jealousies."

There was other excitement in Kingston beyond the county fair. On November 1, 1873 a party of four Indians visited L. G. King's house and took possession of it. King went for help, and upon his return found the trespassers in his bed, apparently all four of them. He ordered them to leave; they resisted, but King put one--named Texas Jim-- out. Another Indian leveled his revolver at Abbott and Mason, whose further identification is unknown, but presumable they were among the helpers whom King had summoned, but looking into the muzzles of their rifles the Indians did not carry the threat further. A party of settlers, headed by J. M. Bird, drove the few aboriginies out of the county.

Kingston's chances to be on the map came to an end in 1887., when the town of Pauline was located a mile south, on the Missouri Pacific and Burlington railroad lines. Now it is only a memory to the descendant of the pioneers who settled there.


Kingston Cemetery

The Kingston Cemetery is located in the southwest corner of the southwest quarter of section 32, along the north side of Highway 74. Never a legally deeded cemetery, it served the early settlers in the 1870s until the LeRoy or Little Blue Cemetery was established. At one time the cemetery was fenced and the graves tended by the early settlers. As time passed the land ownership changed hands, the fence was knocked down by cattle and any grave markers that might have been there were lost.

No burial records were kept and it is not know who was buried there nor even how many burials took place in the little cemetery up the hill from the general store.. Those known to be buried there include Parker Goding a child who died in 1874, a Sherman child, and Mr and Mrs Ed Overy who died soon after moving to the area. There is a marker for them in the Oak Creek Cemetery, but their bodies remain at Kingston. It is thought that as many as 30 people could be buried at this site.

In 1965 when the state was widening Highway 74, road construction crews scraped the hillside and unearthed two graves. The remains were collected in a plastic bag and reintered farther up the hill north of the site. In 1973 the Adams County Historical Society erected a granite marker a half mile east of the site. In 1988 the Pauline Centennial Committee erected a historical marker at the site.

Return to History Page
Return to the Adams County Main Page

Copyright © 2014 Adams County Historical Society. All rights reserved.