Denison, Kansas

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Denison is a city in Jackson County, Kansas, United States. The population was 231 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Topeka, Kansas Metropolitan Statistical Area.



Denison is located at 39°23′36″N 95°37′42″W / 39.39333°N 95.62833°W / 39.39333; -95.62833 (39.393206, -95.628409)[3].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.1 square miles (0.3 km²), all of it land.


Denison was founded as a result of the Kansas City, Wyandotte and Northwestern Railway laying tracks that would connect Valley Falls in Jefferson Co. and Holton, in Jackson Co. The railroad was slated to come through one mile south of an existing village, Tippinville, and in September 1887, A.D. Walker and Hollis Tucker, land speculators, laid out lots for a new town, which was named after Tucker's hometown, Denison, Ohio. Most of the houses and two churches in Tippinville were bodily moved to the new townsite, which is primarily in Garfield Township, with a small portion in Cedar Township (it was all Cedar Township at first). By August 1890, Tippinvile had been officially vacated and by 1894 Denison had a population of 150.

The area around Tippinville had been settled as early as 1855. Stephen J. Elliott was the first settler in Cedar Township, in 1855; Luther M. Myers and George Coleman settled there in 1856. A number of families with abolitionist leanings came from Platte and Clay counties, Missouri, came to the area, which was first known as North Cedar, taking its name from the creek that ran one mile south of Tippinville. William Woods arrived from Clay Co., MO, in 1857; Abraham Cline, a Mexican-American War veteran (who later died in the Civil War), settled in the area in 1857. James Gardiner, from Platte Co., MO, sojourned in Jefferson Co. from 1854 to 1855, and came to the Denison area in 1855, but removed in 1857 to Jefferson Co.; his son, John T. Gardiner, came in 1856 and spent most of the remainder of his life there. J. Smith Saunders came from Platte Co., MO, in 1860-61; James H. McAlexander and his wife came from Platte Co. in the early 1860s, probably with Hubbard in-laws; William A. Dodson from Buchanan Co., MO, in 1863; Bainbridge H. Bradshaw from Vernon Co., MO, in 1863; Hugh Williamson, a native of Ireland, came with his family from Leavenworth Co., KS, in the late 1860s.

A number of Civil War veterans are buried in the Denison Cemetery (and nearby cemeteries, North and South Cedar Cemeteries), and there is one veteran of the Mexican-American War, G. W. White, buried at Denison. Eliza Cody Myers (Mrs. George Myers), sister of William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody is also buried there. It was a truly exciting event for school children when Buffalo Bill came to Denison to visit his niece, Nellie Myers Copas, and her family.

A post office, named North Cedar, was established in 1867. The first school, built of logs, was established in 1858 south of present-day Denison, on the site of the North Cedar Cemetery. The first church in the area, of the Christian denomination was founded in 1856 by the Rev. J.T. Gardiner. The Reformed Presbyterian Church was established in 1871, with the Rev. J.S.T. Milligan the founding pastor; the United Presbyterian Church, in 1880; and the Denison Methodist Episcopal Church, in 1889. The Christian, United Presbyterian and Methodist churches united to become the Denison Union Church in 1958, and later became the Denison Bible Church. The Denison Christian Church building, erected in 1878, now houses the Denison Historical Museum, and is one of three Jackson Co. buildings included in the State Register of Historic Places.

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