Jewell CountyJewell, Kansas

History Of Jewell, Kansas

Ft. Jewell Marker JHS Class of 1897

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       The early settlers who arrived at the forks of BuffaloCreek April 12, 1870 took claims in the vicinity of JewellCity and remained there through thetroublesome Indian threats in 1870 and the War for Independence. The beautiful town site of Jewell Citywas selected and filed under the Town Site Act of May 6, 1870. A few dayslater, in the midst of the Indian threat the settlers decided to erect Fort Jewell,a sod fort. They broke prairie, built cabins, dug "dugouts" and atthe same time received messages from couriers about the crimes the Cheyennes werecommitting. They had killed three white men working on a dam near SolomonRapids. The site of the sod fort was the block in Jewell Citynow bounded on the south by Delaware street and on the west by Belle street. To man the fort, thesettlers organized the "Buffalo Militia", a group of 28 volunteers.They were relieved in June 1870 by a Company of U.S. soldiers who remaineduntil Fall.

H. L. Manker Barn, 107 S. Lincoln, Jewell, KS
Barn of H. L. Manker

        Jewell City, located in the most densely populated part of Jewell Countyat the time, was the first town to be organized and it was named the County Seat.The leaders who organized the town copied the county name and added the wordcity to specifically identify their town. Jewell Countywas named after Lieutenant Colonel Lewis R. Jewell, a gallant officer of theCivil War. In 1859 he settled near Fort Scott, Kansas wherehe became a farmer and stock rancher But he never saw the county which bearshis name.

Edwards Brothers Elevator, Jewell, KS
Edwards Brothers Elevator

        As the town of Jewell City became established, the settlersbegan to organize political units and religious groups. Also the need for aschool became apparent and the citizens on met January 28, 1871 to begin theorganization of School District No. 1. Gradually businesses, banks, anewspaper, and a hotel were a part of Jewell Cityand buildings were constructed to house these concerns.

Home of Mayor Fisher, Delaware St., Jewell, KS
Home of former Mayor Fisher

        By 1873 the population of the northern part of Jewell Countyhad grown rapidly. It was then that an election voter favored moving the CountySeat to Jewell Centre. The name Jewell Centre was changed later to Mankato.

Jewell Mill & Electric Company, Jewell, KS
Jewell Mill & Electric Company

        Eventually the word City was dropped from thetown's name. And, as we look back on the history of Jewell, we realize that outof the early day courage of strong individuals our town has grown, prospered,changed, and developed into what it is today.

(Information for this brief history was obtained from the book, Story of the Old Home Town Jewell City, Kansas, a reprint of 28 weekly installments written be Everett Palmer and origin published in The Jewell County Republican beginning April 28, 1933. Used with permission of the Palmer Museum. Black & white photos are from Photographic Views of Jewell, Kansas.)

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Jewell Chamber of Commerce
(785) 428-3600
308 Delaware, Jewell, KS 66949

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March 19, 2008 / Jewell,Kansas

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