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Wilmore, Comanche County, Kansas

The ALPHA HOTEL at Wilmore, Comanche County, Kansas,  one of the county's prominent hostelries, was well patronized by the ranchers and townspeople and was also a social center. Shown are the Albert Heflins, hotel managers;   Bruce Snare,  Francis Larimer,  Mr. McGraflin, lumberman;  Mrs. Thos. Wilmore  and son  Ray;  Tom De Jarnett  and  Sallie Davis. A 1908 photo published in the Diamond Jubilee Historical Souvenir Program. Coldwater, KS: Western Star, 1959.

The ALPHA HOTEL AT WILMORE, one of the county's prominent hostelries, was well patronized by the ranchers and townspeople and was also a social center. Shown are the Albert Heflins, hotel managers; Bruce Snare, Francis Larimer, Mr. McGraflin, lumberman; Mrs. Thos. Wilmore and son Ray; Tom De Jarnett and Sallie Davis. A 1908 photo.


The town of Wilmore, Comanche County, Kansas, was named after Thomas Wilmore in the year 1876. He lived there 30 years. A considerable part of this time he was postmaster of his home town. He was also engaged in livestock and ranching business and had a prominent part in the development of that new country. He was married to Mattie A. Wright, July 2, 1888, at Wilmore. She was also a resident of the county and several of her descendants now live in Comanche County.

Wilmore began to grow in 1915 and was very prosperous. At that time there were several places of business, among them a variety store, blacksmith shop, grocery stores, etc. Later, stores were owned by Perry Williams, John Bell, and the Rosses. The Alpha Hotel was run by Mr. and Mrs. Albert Heflin. At a still later date stores were owned by D. Fisher, Charlie Ray, and C.E. Richardson.

Several of the original houses of the town have been remodeled and are still providing homes for our citizens in 1959. The first church of the town, the Baptist, was organized by a farmer, I.W. Bailey. This church celebrated its 50th Anniversary in 1958. A Methodist Church and a Christian Church were organized soon after the Baptist Church started.

The first grade school was in the north end of town. The first high school class was graduated in 1918. Early-day citizens who are still remembered are John Bell, Barry Ware, O.P. Snare and many others.

-- from the Diamond Jubilee historical booklet.

Aerial view of Wilmore, Comanche County, Ks.  The large brick building at left is now the Federated Church; behind it is the original Wilmore High School.  Photo copyright John Edward Schrock 1950
Wilmore, Kansas, before the tornado hit on May 20th, 1949. Photo by John Edward Schrock.

Tornados in the Wilmore, Kansas area
A story about the tornado which hit Wilmore on May 20th, 1949, written by Wendel Ferrin and illustrated with photos by John Edward Schrock.

The Wilmore News, May 27, 1949, page 1.:
'Twister Wrecks Wilmore Business District:
Many Homes Damaged;   Hundreds of Trees Ruined by Destructive Tornado Friday Evening.' 

CLICK ON PHOTO to read the article.

The Wilmore News, May 27, 1949: "Twister Wrecks Wilmore Business District"

The Wilmore News, June 3, 1949: "Town Cleaning Up After Tornado Damage"

Aftermath of the Wilmore Tornado, May 20, 1949,   photos by J.R. & Gloria Cline



Wilmore Opry History   The story of how THE LITTLE OPRY WITH A BIG HEART came into being.
Wilmore Opry Performers & Family   The talented folks who make the show go on.
Wilmore Opry News   The latest news from near the big bend in Mule Creek
Wilmore Opry Photos  Here are a few of the handsome folks who have graced the stage...
Wilmore Opry Tickets   Plan ahead to avoid the heartbreak of not having a ticket for the Wilmore Opry.

Wilmore Saturday Nite Live: "Programs are held the last Saturday evening of each month and feature a showcase of local, state and national talent. The shows begin at 7:00 P.M. in Tiger Hall at the Wilmore Community Center or other special locations." Started in 2006.

The Western Star, June 18, 1887.

Wilmore Barbecue, 04 July 1887
from the Coldwater Echo.

THE REUNION: Three Days of Patriotic Exercises and Solid Enjoyment.

-- The Western Star, 08 October 1898.


The Western Star, 21 March 1913: "J.E. Wright, T.R. Berrey, C.S. Embree, Rev. A. Burrill, Rev. E.A. Powell, W.H. Long, Chas. Testerman, Mrs. J.E. Wright, O.P. Snare, Dr. M. Averill, Rev. Archie Embree, Grandma Emery, Mrs. Frank Zelleken, Mrs. E. Heflin, J.T. Testerman, Cliff Wood, Mrs. Cliff Wood, and others. Elder W.E. Babb of this city conducted the communion service. At 7:30 p.m. the church was again crowded. Elder Tankersly preached a thoroughly evangelistic sermon. Good music was provided, but unfortunately Prof. Ridenour's voice was not in a condition to sing very much. A solo by Miss Urso Mahan was greatly enjoyed."

Wilmore Opera House, 1915. A collection of advertisements for 1915 shows at Fisher's Opera House in Wilmore.

Fifty-Eight Cars of Stock Shipped, The Wilmore News, April 26, 1917.

Draft Registration Day in Wilmore, The Wilmore News, June 17, 1917.

Red Cross Fund Oversubscribed, The Wilmore News, 28 June 1917.

Advertised Letters, The Wilmore News, August 23, 1917.

Wilmore Opera House, November 17, 1917. "An evening with the Osceola Pooler Concert Company"

The 1924 Pocket Directory of Wilmore, Kansas, courtesy of Janet Schrock Hubbard.

J. Berry WARE   Mayor of Wilmore for 8 years after it was first incorporated. The Western Star, January 15, 1926.

A. C. Oller Sells the Wilmore Telephone Exchange
The Wilmore News, April 8, 1927.

Wilmore Bank Robbed, The Western Star, March 30, 1928.

Yeggs Nitro Two Safes In Wilmore Wednesday Evening, The Wilmore News, January 9, 1931.

"When the Train Comes In", a humorous historical article about Wilmore written by Kent Eubank, published in the Wichita Eagle sometime before 1932.

Alva Trummel Kidnapped (by Bonnie & Clyde), The Western Star, 8 Sept 1933.

Wilmore News Items, The Wilmore News, October 18, 1936.

Missing Wilmore Man Is Found, The Wilmore News, June 18, 1937.

Wilmore News Items, Published in The Wilmore News, July 28, 1939.

"Early Day Memories" by Alice (Eyerly) Ferrin, The Wilmore News, October 31, 1939.

Blevins Brothers Recognized in Wilmore Cafe, Then Are Captured Near Medicine Lodge,
The Western Star, September 20, 1946.

Wilmore Bank Robbed Last Week, The Western Star, September 1, 1966.

USGS Aerial Photo: Wilmore, Comanche County, Kansas.

A Reunion of Former Residents of Wilmore, Comanche County, Kansas
held 10 March 1991 in Tucson, Pima County, Arizona.

Family History Interview with Gertrude (Fisher) Cobb, Mary Lee (Cobb) Hough, Gladys (Rose) Wood, Bob Wood, Karen (Healen) Hammel, Alice (Norton) Wilson nee Ferrin and Janet (Ferrin) Elmore by Jerry D. Ferrin.

The congregation of the Wilmore Church of Christ, Wilmore, Comanche County, Ks, July 1952. Photo by James Allen Nichols;  from the collection of Wendel Ferrin, who is the tall man in the center of the back row. Weldon Trummel is the second person from the left and 'Slim' Masterson is the 4th man from the left. Wilmore Church of Christ
A history of the church by Nellie May (Barnett) Ferrin with a 1952 photo of the congregation by Pastor James Allen Nichols.
Surnames:Allender, Babb, Baker, Barnett, Bell, Bennett, Berry, Biggers, Booth, Brown, Carr, Chambers, Chance, DeJarnett, England, Evans, Ferrin, Fisher, Fox, Garrison, Hackney, Hardie, Helfer, Hopkins, Kennedy, Large, Martin, Naltby, Newby, Nichols, Noel, Reed, Ridge, Roderick, Roll, Ruiter, Smith, Stout, Sweeney, Tankersly, Testeman, Trummel, Vance, Waltby, Wood, Woods, Wright & Zellikin.

Obituary of James Marion ALEXANDER : Organized the first Methodist Church in Wilmore, Kansas
Surnames: Alexander, Faber, Farney, Freeman, Gray, Harris, Irwin, Nelson, Ruff, Seaman, Snyder, Spellmeyer, Turner, Whitman & Williams.

History of the Baptist Church, Wilmore, Kansas
"The Wilmore Baptist Church was founded in 1907 with the Reverend Bailey as the pastor. I haven't been able to get the actual years that each pastor was at the church but here is a list of what I believe were all the pastors to serve at the church: Reverend Bailey, J. P. Woods, Russell Pittman, Ernest Wood, Reverend Pennington, Noel Wood, Kenneth Mayfield, Ernest Lawrence - 1956 - 1964 and Al Joe Waters." -- David Lawrence [email protected]

Food Storage on the Farm
How food was stored in Powell Township, Comanche County, Ks, in the 1930s and '40s, by Wendel Ferrin.
Surnames: Barnett, Ferrin, Masterson, Paine & Van Lott.

John Guyer: Memories of the Wilmore, Kansas, Community

Schools in Wilmore, Comanche County, Kansas
Surnames: Baker,Barron, Bish, Booth, Bragg, Coover, Crumpacker, Elwell, Eggleston, Ferrin, Forman, Gish, Guthrie, Houser, Lowell, Manahan, Oxley, Rankin, Richardson, Rolo, Rose, Shearer, Smith, Stiles, Stout & Waugh.

TIGER 1953: The Wilmore School Yearbook, 1952-1953
Images of all 32 pages of the year book: Wilmore students, Seniors to First Graders, Administration members and Activities, courtesy of Doug & Rhonda Nickel..

TIGER: The Wilmore School Yearbook 1958 - 1959
Images of all 23 pages of photographs of Wilmore students, Seniors to First Graders, Board of Education, Faculty and other school staff members, courtesy of Nancy Smith.

The Wilmore, Kansas, School Attendance Center Yearbook, 1969
Images of all 5 pages of photographs of Wilmore students, Eighth Graders to First Graders, Faculty and other school staff members, courtesy of Nancy Smith.

The Doodlebug train arriving at Wilmore, Comanche County, Kansas. Photo by John Edward Schrock.
The Doodlebug train arriving at Wilmore, Comanche County, Kansas. Photo by John Edward Schrock.

Photograph: Wilmore Train Depot, an undated photograph from the collection of Kim Fowles.

Christopher Carson "Cap" PEPPERD
Confederate Civil War Veteran, Cowboy, Bronc Buster, Trail Driver & early (1874) Comanche County rancher. Founder of the city of Wilmore, Kansas. He lost his fortune in the 1887-1888 Coal Mining Fever in the county. Also see:
A Chronology of the Life & Times of Christopher Carson Pepperd
State of Kansas vs. C.C. Pepperd, 1876
Testimony of C.C. Pepperd: State of Kansas vs. William Thompson
The Death Certificate of C.C. Pepperd
The Gravestone & Burial of C.C. Pepperd

Thomas Jackson "Tommy" WILMORE & Some of His Descendants
Surnames: Baker, Casey, Ferrin, Houser, Miller, Pepperd, Peterson, Ray, Widaman, Wilmore & Wright.

John Edward "Ed" SCHROCK, Photographer in Wilmore, Ks.
Surnames: Burton, Butcher, Davis, Ferrin, Hubbard, Kennedy, Pepperd, Ray, Roepke, Schrock & Stauffer.

Memories of Mrs. FERRIN & Maude  
This is the story of the Sears Roebuck house in Wilmore, Ks, written by Janet (Schrock) Hubbard & illustrated with photos by her father, John Edward Schrock.
Surnames:Baker, Barnett, Bigbee, Cobb, Dorsey, Ely, Ferrin, Flory, Goss, Hubbard, Merrifield, Moberly, Pyle, Ridge, Riggs, Schrock, Veatch, Wagner & Watkins.

Letter: Newell HOWARD to Harve & Nettie Schrock of Wilmore, Kansas.
The murder of V.P. Wyman by Cherokee Bill; a wheat threshing accident caused by a header-horse; early settlers in the Belvedere and Wilmore area.
Surnames: Baker, Behler, Cameron, Coe, Davis, Fawcetts, Ferrin, Howard, Judson, McQuay, Sherer, Schrock, Ray, Toeves, Wilmore & Wyman.

The Wilmore Methodist-Christian Butchering Bee Prelude to Supper
A photograph of the 18 men from the Wilmore Methodist & Christian churches with some of the 8 hogs they'd slaughtered for the community's annual Methodist - Christian Brotherhood groundhog supper to which the entire community was invited. Pictured circa 1954 are: Ed Baker, Lew Baker, Rod Baker, Marvin Belcher, Jack Bond, Gene Dorsey, Ernest Ferrin, Wendel Ferrin, Bob Hackney, Louis Helm, George Kennedy, Charley Lenertz, Rev. Wayne Riggs, Homer Ring, Fay Smith, Melvin Smith, Leo Thornberry and Ord Trummel.

Snapshots of People in Comanche County, Kansas, from Wendel Ferrin's Collection
Pictured on this page: Lois Crouse, Orlin Downing, Brent Ferrin, Ernest Ferrin, Darrell Ferrin, Delmer Ferrin, Helen Ferrin, Jerry Ferrin,Wendel Ferrin, Wayne Nielsen, Calvin Smith, Forrest Smith, Marie Trummel, Byron Wood, June Wood, Patsy Wood.

Photos of People in Comanche County, Ks, from Wendel Ferrin's Collection
Photos: Nina Hope Annis, Junior Baily, Grace Calloway, Donna Chance, Dorothy Cline, Evah Ellis, Delmer Ferrin, Wendel Ferrin, Robert Hackney, Ernest Lawrence, Mozetta Mangels, Professor Oxley, Viola Peaster, Aleen Ray, Marie Schenk, Norma Scholle, Forrest Smith, Wesley Smith, Roberta Todd, Melva Toothaker, Jimmy Trummel, Marie Trummel, Paul Ward, Bob White, Patsy Wood, Bobby Woods, Francis Wright, Ernestine Zeigler.

Photograph of the gate at the entrance of the Powell Township Cemetery at Wilmore, Comanche County, Kansas.  Photo courtesy of Bobbi (Hackney) Huck. Powell Township Cemetery at Wilmore, Kansas
A COMPLETE listing of all known burials in the cemetery from cemetery records and inscriptions on the headstones was compiled by Bobbi Huck. This monumental project includes photos of some of the people buried there as well as photos of many of the gravestones in the cemetery by Bobbi Huck and John Edward Schrock.

Map of Burials in Powell Township Cemetery at Wilmore, Kansas When known, full personal names and maiden names are given on this chart which maps, by row and lot number, all known burials in the cemetery.


Abstract of Title To the following described Real Estate situated in Comanche County, Kansas:  to-wit: the North Half (N 1/2) of Lots 5-6-7 and 8, in Block 10, in the original townsite of Wilmore, as shown by the recorded plat thereof.

Abstract of Title

To the following described Real Estate situated in Comanche County, Kansas:
to-wit: the North Half (N 1/2) of Lots 5-6-7 and 8, in Block 10,
in the original townsite of Wilmore, as shown by the recorded plat thereof.

People named in this deed abstract are: Chester A. Arthur, John D. Bell, Martha A. Bell, James A. Blair, Ella S. Boies, Fred I. Boies, L.G. Boies, Henry Booth, Nellie Botts, Lawrence Bratcher, P.M. Brown, Alfred C. Chapin, Grace Chapin, W.H. Crook, G.W. Crutcher, R.W. Doig, C.H. Douglass, W.M. Edwards, Alcana Ferrin, Loren Ferrin, J.A. Forbes, Barnett Gibbs, S.A. Gibbs, George Hearldson, David F. Holliman, Frank A. Holmes, S.M. Jackson, J.D.F. Jennings, H.W. Jones, John W. McCalin, Perry McClanahan, John C. McGroarty, M. McKean, A.M. Merryman, W.C. Monticue, J.E. Morgan, R.O. Nevens, Annie E. Pepperd, Bertha Pepperd, Christopher C. Pepperd, R.E. Pepperd, Thomas C. Pepperd, Albert Lee Plummer, Horace H. Rich, Chas. W. Sherman, W.C. Sickles, P.A. Simmons, N.E. Sissop, Grace Schrock, H.S. Schrock, Fred D. Smith, Amanda Snare, O.P. Snare, J.H. Stewart, J.P. Taylor, William M. Taylor, J.T. Testerman, J.M. Thompson, P.H. Thornton, Mattie A. Wilmore, Thomas Wilmore and J.M. Wilson.

"Hey, Take the Doodlebug
if you want to get to Wilmore in a hurry..."
  (Audio clip)

At left: The Doodlebug Arriving at Wilmore, Comanche County, Kansas, photograph by John Edward "Ed" Schrock, courtesy of Janet (Schrock) Hubbard.

Wilmore, Kansas

Wilmore is a city located in Comanche County, Kansas. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 57.


Wilmore is located at 37°20'5" North, 99°12'36" West (37.334642, -99.210123)1. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.5 km² (0.2 mi²). 0.5 km² (0.2 mi²) of it is land and none of it is covered by water.


As of the census of 2000, there are 57 people, 30 households, and 20 families residing in the city. The population density is 110.0/km² (279.4/mi²). There are 41 housing units at an average density of 79.2/km² (201.0/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 100.00% White. There are 30 households out of which 16.7% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.0% are married couples living together, 0.0% have a female householder with no husband present, and 33.3% are non-families. 33.3% of all households are made up of individuals and 16.7% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 1.90 and the average family size is 2.35. In the city the population is spread out with 14.0% under the age of 18, 0.0% from 18 to 24, 14.0% from 25 to 44, 40.4% from 45 to 64, and 31.6% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 54 years. For every 100 females there are 111.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 104.2 males. The median income for a household in the city is $16,786, and the median income for a family is $28,125. Males have a median income of $21,875 versus $13,750 for females. The per capita income for the city is $12,820. 27.1% of the population and 25.0% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 0.0% are under the age of 18 and 31.6% are 65 or older.