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Lakin, Kansas

Lakin, Kansas

Lakin was one of the eight locations between Dodge City and the Colorado state line designated in 1872 by the A.T.& S.F. railroad as stations for the service of the new road.

The city of Lakin was founded in 1873 by John O'Loughlin to serve the needs of the pioneer spirit sweeping the nation. The O'Loughlin Trading Post, as it was then called, did a thriving business with government troops, freighters, buffalo hunters, cowboys and with Indians. Famous chiefs including Little Robe, Black Kettle, Satanta, Dull Knife and Little Raven led their warriors along the white man's road.

There was never a dull day on this highway. General Sheridan was stationed at Fort Hays, and used it as a base against the Indians.

The city was named after David Long Lakin, who was a trustee for the railroad company.

Cattlemen established ranches up and down the valley, driving thousands of head from Texas and Old Mexico, fattening them on the vast pastures of buffalo grass and shipping them out by rail. Lakin became a shipping point for all southwest Kansas.


Kearny County has 9,852 acres of walk-in hunting.

Attractions and Upcoming Events

Charlie's Ruts

About four miles east of Lakin on highway 50

Lakin, KS Pioneer History

Columbian School House

The Columbian Schoolhouse, built in 1893, was named after the Columbian Exposition held in Chicago. Later shortened to Columbia, the school conducted its last class approximately 1945. This one room school was moved to the museum site from 15 miles north of Lakin and restored in 1984.

Lakin, KS Historic Schoolhouses

Beymer Water Recreation Park

Beymer Water Recreation Park offers a variety of activities for the outdoorsman. Swimmers may cool off at the designated swim beach, while picnickers enjoy a barbecue on the many tables and grills. A covered picnic shelter is available for large parties. Reservations may be made at the County Clerk\

Lakin, KS Recreation

Santa Fe Depot

Lakin originated as one of the early stops on the Santa Fe Railroad from Dodge City to Colorado in 1872. This depot, constructed in 1876, replaced the original boxcar depot. The depot was moved to the museum site and restored in 1984. Mr. James Thomas, grandson of the O'

Lakin, KS Railroad History

Old Commercial Hotel

The Commercial Hotel built in 1883 and run by Mrs. W.P. Loucks, had a good trade. Mrs. Loucks, the genial hostess, was the pioneer hotel keeper of Lakin. She came here in 1879 when Lakin was a way station on the Santa Fe and opened an eating house for the railroad employees. "

Lakin, KS Historic Buildings

Things to do near Lakin, KS

Gardiner Angus Ranch

The Gardiner Angus Ranch is associated with several major agricultural colleges such as K- State, West Texas University and m...