Monday, December 3, 2012

Frizell, Kansas - a dead town in Pawnee County

The Depot that once was at Frizell, Kansas, in Pawnee County. The 1965-1966 school year was the last classes to go through the school, said Katie Kecheisen, education director and archivist for the Santa Fe Trail Center near Larned. Anna Bassford, director of the center, said the L'Dora school and the Frizell depot were moved to the museum grounds in 1970. The school has undergone regular upkeep. The depot, however, was recently renovated using the original blueprints from 1929. It opened to the public for the first time last month. Kecheisen said the depot now includes an exhibit on rail history. The railroad still goes by the site of Frizell, but there is nothing there but a few foundations of the elevator, along with the current farming operation, said Don Deege, who still lives just west of the fort.

The school house. Milburn Stone went to school at Frizell and worked at his parents store there. Established in 1859 along the Santa Fe Trail, Fort Larned was decommissioned in 1883. A year later, the government sold the land, including a section that contained the fort buildings to Frank Sage who represented the Pawnee Valley Stock Breeders Association, according to the Kansas State Historical Society. The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad went through in 1886. A siding - which allowed trains to pass on the same line - was constructed at the future town site and designated Sage in honor of Frank Sage. The site had a schoolhouse, which was established in 1889. E.E. Frizell purchased the fort in 1902 and the name of the station changed to Frizell, according to an article in the Dec. 26, 1929 edition of the Larned Chronoscope. Frizell, a state legislator along with being a rancher and entrepreneur, helped build the little station town, according to the Chronoscope article. A post office was established in 1904. Dora Arnold, wife of Lee Arnold, the town merchant, was postmistress, the article stated. The school burned down and was rebuilt in 1906, named L'Dora, after L'Dora Frizell, Redding's great-grandmother. In 1929, according to the article, the town had a depot, siding for freight cars, filling station, feed and grain business, one elevator and "a modern school." The town had a population of 40, with more than half of the residents Mexicans employed by the railroad and area farmers.


  1. Very neat to see this history posted on your website. Donald Deege is my grandfather and is still living on the farm west of the Fort. His parents employed Milburn Stone and his family on the farm before they pulled up stakes and moved on to California. My mother was one of the last students to go through L'Dora schoolhouse and remembers riding horses to class. It is amazing to think that one room schoolhouses and riding to school wasn't that long ago in some parts of our country.

  2. While identifying artifacts from Fort Davis, Texas, I came upon a brass tag with two slots--one upper, one lower--and the name "E. E. Frizell" followed by "Frizell, Kansas" followed by a large number "351".

    Unsure what this tag represents. Any ideas appreciated.

  3. My family the Eilers lived on Grandparents Burherfarm in 1958 went to L'Dora school for a few yrs then again in 1966 the yr they closed it & later moved it to Ft Larned.Our class picture hangs inside the school.i went to see it under my picture said unknown. Debbie Eilers was my name. My brother was Ronald in front of me.Dean Atteberry was behind me. Thank you for your attention in this matter.Denise Deegee was in my sister Diana's class also.1-3 students were in each class ranging from 1st grade to 8th grade.

    1. Gloria, Sherry Ronald & Debbie attended in 1958

  4. Mrs Lucinda Reat taught all of us all those yrs.