Nicodemus Historic District, Nicodemus, Graham County, KS
Photo Caption Pages
Find maps of Nicodemus, KS
Documentation compiled after 1933.
Survey number HABS KS-49
Unprocessed field note material exists for this structure (FN-6).
Building/structure dates: 1877 initial construction
National Register Number: 76000820
Significance: Nicodemus, Kansas, represents the earliest and most prosperous midwestern black settlement associated with the massive westward migration of former slaves out of the south during Reconstruction. Following a typical midwestern pattern of town development, the Nicodemus Town Company was formed on April 18, 1877, by seven Kansans (one white and six black). Attracted by the promotional literature of Benjamin "Pap" Singleton and led by white promoter W.R. Hill, five separate infusions of black colonists, predominantly from Kentucky and Tennessee, ultimately comprised the population of the town. By 1878, Nicodemus could boast nearly 700 residents. Nicodemus' prominence, however, was shortlived when the railroad by-passed the community in 1888. The majority of businesses relocated to nearby communities and the town slowly withered. A resilient and self-reliant nucleus of settlers remained. Today, 45 descendants of these original immigrants reside in the community, and numerous historic structures still exist.
Nicodemus Town Company
Singleton, Benjamin "Pap"
Hill, W. R.
Wagner, Richard, Field Team
Richmond, Robert, Field Team
Tiller, DeTeel Patterson, Field Team
Fly, Everett L., Field Team
Fly, Labarbara Wigfall, Field Team
Fraser, Clayton, Field Team
Hamilton, Asst Prof. Kenneth M., Field Team
Fraser, Clayton B., Photographer
Belleau, William T., Photographer
Historic American Buildings Survey (Library of Congress)
1. GENERAL VIEW OF TOWNSITE FROM VICINITY OF CLEMENTINE VAUGHN HOUSE
2. VIEW TO EAST DOWN WASHINGTON STREET; FLETCHER-SWITZER HOUSE IN RIGHT FOREGROUND
3. VIEW TO NORTH DOWN SECOND STREET; LLOYD WELLINGTON HOUSE IN LEFT FOREGROUND
4. GENERAL VIEW OF TOWNSITE, FROM ADAMS STREET SOUTH TOWARD DISTRICT NO. 1 SCHOOL
5. Photocopy of Historic Photograph, Photographer and Date Unknown: EARLY AREA HOMESTEAD
6. Photocopy of Historic Photograph, Photographer and Date Unknown: EARLY AREA HOMESTEAD
7. Photocopy of Historic Photograph, Photographer Unknown, circa 1885: WASHINGTON STREET SHOWING FIRST STONE CHURCH AND WILLIAMS GENERAL STORE
8. Photocopy of Historic Photograph, 'Photomaps' Photographer, 1953: AERIAL VIEW OF NICODEMUS FROM NORTHEAST
9. Photocopy of Historic Photograph, William T. Belleau, Photographer, 1943: MASONIC HALL
10. Photocopy of Historic Photograph, William T. Belleau, Photographer, 1943: WILSON'S STORE
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