Nicodemus Historical Marker

category : Ethnic Heritage
"In July, 1877, Negro "exodusters" from Kentucky established a settlement here in the Promised Land of Kansas which they named Nicodemus. Although the colonists lacked sufficient tools, seed, and money, they managed to survive the first winter, some by selling buffalo bones, others by working for the Kansas Pacific railroad at Ellis, 35 miles away. In 1880, the all-Negro community had a population of more than 400.

Their industry brought approving notices in Kansas' newspapers. One story concerned a farmer who with one cow "broke and improved 12 acres of prairie and cultivated 8 acres of corn; his wife drives the cow and keeps the flies off." Another spaded a four-foot hedge row around 160 acres of land. Edward P. McCabe, who joined the colony in 1878, served two terms as a state auditor, 1883 - 1887, the first Negro to hold a major state office.

By 1887, Nicodemus had churches, stores, lodges, a school, and two newspapers, but its future was blighted when a railroad failed to materialize. Nevertheless, these pioneers who built so much with so little hold a proud place in the Kansas story."

Address: Highway 24, 13 miles east of Hill City

Come visit us in Nicodemus, Kansas

Attractions and Upcoming Events

AME Church

Area residents founded the African Methodist Episcopal Church (A.M.E.) in 1879. Members initially met in a sod structure. In 1885, the sod church was replaced with a limestone structure. In 1910

Nicodemus, KS Historic Churches

First Baptist Church

Several structures in succession, all at the same location, housed the congregation of the First Baptist Church from its founding in 1877

Nicodemus, KS Historic Churches

NSD #1 Schoolhouse

Nicodemus was the first community in Graham County, Kansas, to establish a school district and school. The existing school building was constructed in 1918

Nicodemus, KS Historic Schoolhouses

Township Hall

Construction for the Township Hall started in 1934 as a Works Progress Administration Project (WPA) with completion and dedication in 1939

Nicodemus, KS Historic Buildings

St. Francis Hotel

The St. Francis Hotel is a significant example of the businesses in Nicodemus during its era of great prosperity. Built in 1881

Nicodemus, KS Historic Hotels

Things to do Ethnic Heritage near Nicodemus, KS

Nicodemus Historical Marker

"In July, 1877, Negro "exodusters" from Kentucky established a settlement here in the Promised Land of Kansas which they name...