Garfield, population 190, is in Pawnee County.
In 1873, Ohio Congressman James A. Garfield, later the 20th president of the United States, was honored that citizens who had formerly lived in his Ohio district and moved to this part of Kansas, named their town for him. In appreciation he gave a bell to the first church erected in Garfield and that was the Congregational Church built in 1875. This Wayside Chapel is a memorial to that church and bell.
The Wayside Chapel is located in Downey Park, marked by this old silo, on U.S. 56 on the east side of town. The chapel is no longer open.
Camp Criley was established in 1873 as a supply station for workmen building the Santa Fe Railroad. The next year homesteading pioneers changed the name to Garfield.
In another park across from the post office is a historical marker about Camp Criley, this historic bandstand, and a mounting stone, used as an aid by ladies to get on a horse.
The blond brick building now serves as the city hall and library. The former red brick bank, now the post office, has a tin-pressed ceiling. But what was the purpose of those narrow doors? There were two. No one in the post office could figure it out the day we were there.
Next to the "Over 50 Club" building, on the north end of town, is a well done memorial to the school. The bell stood on top of the 1917 school. The auditorium (pictured), added in 1936, was built by the W.P.A. The last class to graduate from the school was in 1967 though elementary classes continued until 1996.
There's a lot of explorer-y things to see in Garfield. Except for the post office, they are all outside so are always open!
Written by Marci Penner. We're going to every town in the state to research for a guidebook. We want to share some information with you now! This is a project of the Kansas Sampler Foundation.