|Former Saxman church. Local man Dale Hoover has been restoring it.
|Inside the church
|Saxman tracks went through here
|Dale walks down the church steps
A few of nuggets:
Saxman as born in 1888 when the Frisco Railroad pushed through the area. It was named after the man who owned the quarter section of ground where the town site was platted. The first store was built by George DeWeese - "a tiny one-room affair with limited stock, but drew trade for a good many miles," according to a 1922 issue of the Lyons Republican.
Joe Bleger was one of the early promoters. He served as a Frisco agent for 19 years and was the postmaster for nearly as long. As a merchant, he helped start the first lumberyard and kept the elevator in operation.
There were church services, however. According to the Lyons Republican, the first worship service in Saxman was in the driveway of the elevator. Seats were improvised by laying bricks across nail kegs. The sermon, however, was so disturbed by rats "that the feminine contingent in the congregation spent as much of the time shooing at the rodents as they did listening to the sermon." Parishioners finally began meeting in Woodman Hall, which was a dance hall on Fridays and a church on Sundays. "Saints and sinners frequented the building without any detrimental results to either," The News reported in 1952. The United Presbyterian Church was built in 1906, according to the Lyons newspaper.
In 1907, the town's 35-piece band was invited to Hutchinson to play a concert for a future president, William Howard Taft, who was then Secretary of War under President Teddy Roosevelt. The Lyons article reported the town had the best band in their section of Kansas, attributing its founding to a grain buyer who was an old bandleader. The man wanted to develop a brass band for the town but there was no place to practice. He was able to secure the depot baggage room.
One of the biggest demises of the town came on July 1, 1952, when Mrs. Paul Dinsmore, the postmistress, stamped 350 envelopes for stamp collectors who wanted the Saxman postmark, then closed the doors of the old state bank building, which was serving as the post office, according to The News.
She moved away, too.
|Saxman's old school is a bunch of junk and weeds.