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Peabody, Kansas

Peabody, Kansas

Take a stroll back in time along the streets of Peabody. Imagine yourself in a different age...when towns like this were new adventures on the prairie... when new arrivals from Europe and the eastern states spilled off the railroad trains... when folks drove their horse-drawn wagons to town and crowded the streets to shop, trade, and visit with their neighbors.

A walk down Peabody's historic main street - named Walnut Street - is like a visit to the past. Stores offering unique gifts, anatiques, food and more can be found in the friendly atmosphere that envelopes this small town.

Forty-two of the 46 buildings on Walnut Street are part of the historic downtown area. The Morgan House, Peabody Township Library and Peabody Historical Museum are all listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Peabody has also been recently included, along with 44 other communities across the country, in the national Main Street publication "Main Street Success Stories." The 1997 Travel Guide featured Peabody as one of the "six irresistible places to visit" within Kansas. Over the past 10 years, Peabody has recieved much television, radio and magazine recognition.

Peabody's first settlement was originally called Coneburg, and was developed in the autumn of 1870. In 1871, the main line of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad had reached the site. As an honor to F.H. Peabody, vice president of the Santa Fe, the new town was named for him. In 1874, he presented a library building, furniture and a collection of 2,000 books to the new settlement, for free public use, "to all citizens of good moral standing."

Kansas has great numbers of Mennonites, and the first large contingent of members of that faith settled in the Hillsboro area in 1874, and came to Peabody by train, then moved on to their land. Leaders of the group had previously inspected the large tracts of property and arranged for settlement. The group arrived here May 30, 1874, and began moving out to their land the following day. There is an interesting story that when the Mennonites left Peabody and went out into the open prairie, they plowed a furrow for many miles to mark their trail and guide them back to town.

The Mennonites were mostly of Dutch and German origin but came here from Russia. Some of the Germans spelled the name of Peabody as "Pibude". The new Mennonite settlement also was referred to as Brudenthal, "Valley of the Brothers" as new arrivals came an gave brotherly aid to the new community. According to another interpretation, Brudenthal was named for three brothers "whose farms joined the place".

Attractions and Upcoming Events

Peabody Driving Tour

The Peabody Driving Tour takes you beyond historic main street to view 27 beautiful works of architecture in churches and homes of the founding families dating from 1877, and then onto City Park, site of the 1885

Peabody, KS Tours

Peabody Printing Museum

The Peabody Printing Museum is a collection of hot type equipment dating from 1870 to 1920. Not only is this Museum an attraction for those visiting Peabody, it also serves as a memorial to the thousands of "ink-stained wretches"

Peabody, KS Museums

Morgan House

The Morgan House is a two story Queen Anne Cottage built by W.H. Morgan, first editor of the Peabody Gazette, for his family in 1881

Peabody, KS Museums

Peabody Downtown Walking Tour

33 sites along Walnut Street, the main street of Peabody, remarkably remain while most pioneer towns suffer losses from fires and storms. The oldest building dating to 1878, was first occupied by a bank, then the majority of other buildings were built in 1883.

Peabody, KS Tours

Carnegie Library

Steel magnate Andrew Carnegie gave millions of dollars to establish libraries across America in the early 1900s. The women's study clubs of Peabody were determined to bring a Carnegie Library to Marion County - they were joined by civic leaders and county commissioners and obtained $10,000.00

Peabody, KS Carnegie Libraries

Things to do near Peabody, KS

Beecher Bible and Rifle Church

The church was established in late June, 1857 by settlers from the Connecticut-Kansas Company. The purpose of the group spons...