Friday, June 15, 2012

Bloom, Kansas - A Ford County town that bloomed, died and bloomed again

I went to Bloom this June during the Kansas wheat harvest. I wasn't sure what I'd find. I met a guy named Ben Holt who told me to find Sam Scott, whose grandparents started the town. It turned out to be quite an interesting story.

I guess every town really does have a story.

Topeka Daily Capital March (sometime in the 1910s)
Bloom blossomed, died and now blooms again.
The town of Bloom was started in 1887 when the Rock Island built through southwestern Kansas. IT soon became and important town with grain elevators, hotels and many business establishments.

Bloom school property.
The old gym now serves as Lighthouse Baptist Church. The church is actually built inside the WPA structure because the roof kept blowing off.

A cross in the weeds advertises the church.

An old fuel stop.

The pillars of the Bloom School. It's all that is left of the actual school.

But in a reaction set in, the boom bust and Bloom died. Business lots which hd been selling at $1500 and $2000 were allowed to go for taxes. By 1894 the town was literally off the map. The last building moved from the own site was the post office, which was hauled away in the fall of 1894. Today Bloom is a prosperous town. One of the biggest wheat shipping stations on the rock island, west of Hutchinson.


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  2. My father, Aurel Emerson Smith, now deceased, was born in Bloom in 1917. His father, Oscar Payne Smith, was living in Bloom in 1914 and probably earlier. Oscar's wife was Annie Rae Richardson Smith. Anything in the local history on this family? Thank you, Emerson Smith