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  La Harpe, Kansas

Founded: 1881
Population: 650
Elevation: 1040 feet
Latitude: 37° 55' 01" N
Longitude: 95° 17' 56" W
ZIP code: 66751 - Area Code: 620


 

La Harpe is located in Allen, [AL], county in the southeast corner of the State on U.S. Highway 54, approximately 45 miles west of the Missouri boarder, and 65 miles north of the Oklahoma border.

La Harpe began as a railway stop and rural service center in 1881 but became an industrial town in 1897.

History

When the Fort Scott, Wichita and Western tracks were laid through Allen County depots were built a Moran, La Harpe and Iola, but only Iola was a town at the time. Moran and La Harpe grew around their depots and the business the railroad made possible.

The town grew modestly to serve farmers until the Lanyon Smelting Company built a zinc smelter there, creating hundreds of jobs. The town grew like a weed. By the end of 1898, La Harpe had built a school providing education through high school. Presbyterian, Episcopal and Methodist churches were built. La Harpe became a Third Class city in 1899.

The town was setting on what was judged the largest deposit of natural gas in Allen County. The Cockerell Company moved in and built a smelter beside Lanyon's. A zinc rolling mill was constructed and by 1902 was producing 20 tons of sheet zinc every 24 hours.

The Iola Electric Railroad Company built tracks along what is now U.S. 54 to bring workers to La Harpe from Iola, which had a much larger residential area, and vice versa. The cars ran 24 hours a day for a few hectic years and had a huge two-way traffic.

By 1909 La Harpe had a population of 3,000 and seemed destined to become the largest city in the county. Then the supply of gas began to fall, along with the world demand for zinc. When the jobs disappeared the population dispersed and La Harpe retreated to its pre-boom status as a rural service center and as a quiet, inexpensive place to live for those who are retired or have work elsewhere. A new elementary school was built in 1977.

Information supplied by The Iola Register's Pictorial History of Allen County.

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Schools

     La Harpe Grade School / (620) 496-2261 / 902 South Washington
USD #257 / (620) 365-4700 / 402 East Jackson, Iola, KS 66749

Churches

     La Harpe Christian Church / (620) 496-2236 / 901 South Main
La Harpe United Methodist Church

Shopping

     Corinna's Carousels / (620) 496-2682 / 404 South Jefferson
Dabbers Flea Market / (620) 496-2666 / Highway 54 West
Diebolt Lumber Supply / (620) 496-2222
McCord Cycle / (620) 496-2323 / 110 South Main
Quilt Creations Etc. / (620) 496-2372

Industry

     Nelson Quarries
Services    Beyond Engineering / (316) 496-2682 / 404 South Jefferson / E-Mail
Caler Body & Frame Shop / (620) 496-2229 / 1328 2600 Road
J & J Contractors, Inc. / (620) 496-2442
Jewell Photo / (620) 496-2627 / 1410 2600 Road
Kids Corner Preschool / (620) 496-2686 / 2391 U.S. 54
La Harpe Senior Citizens Center / (620) 496-2700 / 111 South Main
Northside Plumbing / (620) 496-2411 / 304 East 6th. Street
Ray's Metal Depot / (620) 496-2400 / 320 U.S. 54 West

Utilities

     La Harpe Communications / (620) 496-2294 / 109 West 6th. Street
La Harpe Telephone Company / (620) 496-2291 / 109 West 6th. Street
Organizations    La Harpe Rural Fire Department / (620) 496-2299 / 1205 South Broadway
La Harpe VFW Post / (620) 496-2273 / 206 U.S. 54 East

Government

     Allen County Landfill / (620) 496-2310 / 1170 2800 Road
La Harpe City Hall / (620) 496-2241 / 616 South Main Street
La Harpe Post Office / (620) 496-2235 / 802 South Main Street
La Harpe Sewer Treatment Plant / (620) 496-2243 / 1226 2400 Road

This site was made possible with extensive help from Randy Crowell, Gas City, Kansas.
 
Explore Allen county or visit other Kansas Cities & Towns
May 1, 2002 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / towns@kslib.info

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