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  • Angela K. Holt

The Origins of Mound City: Part 2

Mound City—1865 to 1900

Our town, now the county seat with its beautiful brick and limestone courthouse, was not always the county seat. From the time of our town’s inception through the 1880s, men fought over where, exactly, the county seat of Linn County should be. The seat—and the county records—moved several times, back and forth from Mound City to Paris to La Cygne. No one could come to an agreement on which town should be where our county government should reside. Finally, after one particular election, the seat returned to Mound City, and has remained there ever since. The courthouse was built in 1885, and is the second-oldest courthouse in operation within the state of Kansas.

After the Civil War, Mound City became a bustling, thriving town. One could get nearly anything they needed right here in town. We had doctors, general stores, feed stores, saw mills, a brick factory, newspapers—it was all here. There was even a railroad that ran through town, and Mound City had its own depot.

Mound City—Thriving Main Street

Mound City continued to thrive through the early 20th Century. Its inhabits saw the changing of the times, though at a slower pace. In WWI, our town sent off its sons to fight in WWI; it saw the devastation of the Spanish Flu. That generation lived through Prohibition, the Roaring 20s, and survived through the Great Depression. While other towns saw decline and were even abandoned during the 1930s, Mound City survived, and its Main Street thrived and grew, where it became the spot to be seen during the 1940s and 1950s. Those from the Greatest Generation who went off to fight during WWII and later Korea returned to Mound City and took over where their forefathers left off. Through the 1960s, the town evolved little. However, with more of the rural areas gaining electricity and telephones, some of the old traditions began to taper off. Change was coming to our little town.

Mound City—The Last 50 Years

Though we may have to travel beyond the city limits for many things today, our Main Street is still alive and well, just with different types of businesses than in generations past. Many of the old buildings are still standing, still in use. We have developed new traditions, new celebrations, new ideas, but still cling close to our history. To what made us, well, us. We’ve evolved with the times, though still at a slower pace than in the big cities. We’re a quiet town, nestled among the sugar-maple covered hills. It’s a place where children still roam the neighborhoods, playing with friends. It’s still a place where many can be found at the high school football games in the fall and baseball games in the spring. It’s a place where people express and practice their faith. Where friendships and sense of community thrive. Where the bonds of kinsmanship are strong, and we rally around those who need help and comfort.

Mound City is more than just a place on the map—it’s home.

Angela K. Holt

Screenwriter, Producer

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