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The birth of many Kansas towns was associated with one significant event, the coming of the railroad. On July 26, 1866, President Andrew Johnson approved a land grant for a rail line that was to become the first in Morris County. This grant gave the new railroad company the odd-numbered sections for ten miles on either side of the proposed route that was to begin near Fort Riley and to run in a southeasterly direction to Council Grove and then on to Parsons. This railroad was formally organized on April 7, 1870, as the Missouri, Kansas, and Texas, but it was best known as the "Katy." The promise of a railroad always encouraged a flurry of speculation and settlement, and one such speculator was John D. Wilsey, who acquired the northeast quarter of section twenty-nine of township sixteen range seven on August 25, 1873* In the early l880's, the Topeka, Salina, and Western Railroad announced plans to construct a second line through the county. The residents of Elm Creek Township then approved bonds totaling $18,000 to help finance the construction. When the condemnation of the right of way occurred on August 27, 1883, the proposed line followed Elm Creek, bisected Mr, Wilsey's land, and continued west to Herington. Construction began in 1884, but by the time the crews had completed track four 4B miles west of Mr, Wilsey's property, the T, 5. 4 W. ran out of money. Impatient settlers then nicknamed the line the "Tired, Slow, and Weak." Eventually, the Missouri Pacific purchased the line on December 23, 1886.6 Since the trains needed frequent stopping points to obtain water, the companies supported the establishment of towns every few miles. In accordance with this policy, John Wilsey founded a town on his land. The promotion of a new community was not an easy task, but Mr, Wilsey met the challenge. Marc Evans

Marc Evans, forever Wilsey resident, has compiled and agreed to share:

A History of Wilsey

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