The Independent Vindicator

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Kendall State Bank

Welcome To Valley Falls!May we Welcome you to the City of Valley Falls, Kansas!

Valley Falls is situated on the Delaware River at the headwaters of the Perry Reservoir. We are served by State Highways, K-4 and K-16, also, business and industrial purposes are served by the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad.

Valley Falls is a pleasant community of fine homes and tree-lined streets. It has modern utilities, as well as the finest schools and churches, an extensive area of parkland, and a swimming pool for recreational use. Fishing on the Delaware River brings fishermen from afar. The river also allows easy access to the Pery Reservoir by a pleasant trip of approximately 5 miles along the course of the Delaware River to the reservoir.

There are approximately 60 businesses in Valley Falls offering goods and services to the residents and visiting public. Walk the brick streets of downtown and shop for antiques, quilts, crafts, and much more. Sip a soda at the historic soda fountain! Or enjoy lunch at the local eateries! Enjoy an afternoon at our lovely city park complete with shelters and camping facilities.

Town History

Valley Falls history began in February of 1854 when Henry Zen located near the falls of the Grasshopper River. The first permanent settlement was staked out on Christmas Day of 1854 by James Frazier, Robert Riddle, Hozea B. Jolley, and Andrew J. Whitney. In the spring of 1855, a survey made by Isaac Cody, father of "Buffalo Bill" laid out the town of Grasshopper Falls. One hundred maps of the town were lithographed and sent east to advertise the town.

The falls, located where the Santa Fe Railroad bridge now crosses the Delaware River, became the site of a mill and formed the primary reason for the establishment of the present city of Valley Falls.

Over the years, Grasshopper Falls suffered a number of devastating fires. No doubt, the worst was the 1913 fire that destroyed the New Century Hotel Block on Broadway. Another calamity included the invasion of grasshoppers from "Laws", Kansas, 1859. Following a number of grasshopper visitations, which started as early as 1820 and recurred in 1855, 1860, and 1861, the residents of Jefferson County became "fed up" with the name "Grasshopper", and asked the legislature to change the name of the township, river, and city. By irony of fate, the worst visitation of grasshoppers came during the summer of 1874, and mention of hoppers was not a popular subject for discussions with the residents, so with the meeting of the 1875 legislature, a bill was passed, changing the name of the town to Valley Falls and the township and river to Delaware.

Free state conventions, a downtown half burned out, grasshopper plagues, name changes, and floods are a memory. Valley Falls today is a town holding its own where "Hi Neighbor" is not just a cliche.

© Copyright 1999 LASR