Litsen's store in downtown Gove, Kansas

History of
Gove, Kansas

Gove County
Calendar in the museum in Gove, Kansas Both Gove County and Gove City were named for Capt. Glenville L. Gove, a Union soldier, Company F, Eleventh Kansas Cavalry.  The county was organized Sept. 2, 1886.  Although the town was off the line of the railroad, it was near the center of the county, and thus a candidate for the county seat.  Gove won the election 480 to 218 for Buffalo Park; 174 for Grainfield and 1 for Jerome.  The 2-story hotel called the "Benson House" became the county courthouse Nov. 4, 1886.
A brick kiln started by Atkinson about 1886 made bricks for buildings not made of natural stone nor lumber.  The first schoolhouse was brick and bricks were hauled to Grainfield for the Opera House in 1887.
Some keepsakes from businesses in the museum in Gove, Kansas Gove City had a wide variety of businesses - hotels, liveries, blacksmith and wagon shop, drug store, banks, abstractors, attorneys, butcher shop, general merchandise store, barbers, and gas and oil station with car garage.
Electric lighting came to Gove City in 1920, but the rural areas did get electricity until after WW II.  In the early 1900's the Gove County Telephone Company was formed and was locally owned.
Sept. 2, 3, and 4, 1936 marked the Golden Jubilee for Gove County.  The celebration was held in Gove City with a baseball tournament, dances, a carnival, a spelling bee, a baby contest, and races of all kinds, etc.

Information gathered by Janice Criswell & Maxine Litson
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October 1, 2002 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas /

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