In 1874, the first wave of Mennonites immigrated to Kansas in search of religious freedom.
It was about that same time that Mennonites Christian Krehbiel, Daniel Krehbiel, Christian Hirschler, and Christian Voran migrated to the United States and purchased land in McPherson County, the corners joining at a site they dubbed Christian, according to the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online.
Meanwhile, according to “Century One: History of Moundridge, Kansas, 1887-1987,” a man named Christian Stuckie also owned land in the vicinity, as well as Christian Hirschler’s wife, Katherine.
The business district consisted of a store built by Daniel Krehbiel on his land, along with Christian Ellenberger’s blacksmith shop. There was a church across the road from the store and blacksmith, which was dedicated March 4, 1877, according to the Mennonite encyclopedia. In 1884, a larger building was constructed house the church’s growing congregation.
In about 1884 or 1885, William Galle and Peter J. Galle established a store near the church, the encyclopedia states.
The town’s first post office was located in the home of Christian Hirschler, who was appointed postmaster in July 1876. In April 1877, Daniel Krehbiel was appointed postmaster and the post office was moved into his store. Eventually, William Galle was appointed postmaster and the post office was moved to Galle store, according to the Mennonite encyclopedia.
Also, according to the online publication, Christian had only five homes and the five families living in them comprised the whole population.
A town’s ultimate fate rested on whether it could secure a railroad.
Christian was no exception. The El Dorado-McPherson branch of the Missouri Pacific established a station just a mile north of Christian and named it Moundridge, according to the encyclopedia.
Moundridge founders filed a plat July 16, 1886, which designated the town site of “Mound Ridge” A mill was built, along with other businesses including a bank, according to Moundridge’s history book.
As if to document Christian’s demise, the Moundridge Leader reported these two items on March 3, 1887 that “The post Office Department has changed the name of the post office form Christian to Moundridge” and “At a meeting of citizens of Moundridge, held in the city hall Tuesday, it was decided to have the city incorporated. Messrs. J.E. Moe, C.C. Wedel and Jacob Galle in conjunction with Geo. E. Terry … appointed a committee to circulate the petition which has to be signed by a majority of the electors and taxpayers of the city.”