Louisville, Kansas

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Louisville is a city in Pottawatomie County, Kansas, United States. The population was 209 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Manhattan, Kansas Metropolitan Statistical Area.



Founded in 1857 by Robert Wilson, Louisville was originally known as Rock Post. The area was once part of the Potawatomi Hunting grounds and a large majority of the settlers were either associated with the Pottawatomie Indian Reservation or commerce on the Oregon Trail.[3] Louisville was named for Robert Wilson's son, Louis, and for Louis Vieux, a successful businessman in the area. The town was a contender for county seat of Pottawatomie County but lost to St. George in 1861 and Westmoreland in 1882.[3]

On November 8, 1875, Louisville was struck by an earthquake.[3] In 1882, with the county seat in Westmoreland and the Union Pacific Railroad built through Wamego, the town's population swiftly declined.

Louis Vieux

Louis Vieux was a prominent citizen of Louisville who operated a trail crossing across the Vermillion River. He was born in 1809 in Wisconsin and was of Pottawatomie and French descent. Vieux and his wife, Sha-Note, moved first to Cedar Bluffs, Iowa in 1832 until moving to Indianola, Kansas (northwest of Topeka along Soldier Creek) in 1846. Sha-Note died in 1857 and Vieux moved to the Vermillion River near present day Louisville. Vieux began his trail crossing business and worked as a caller for the U.S. Government working the pay station in St. Mary's and he also served on the tribal council and made trips to Washington, D.C. on behalf of the Pottawatomies. Vieux also signed the treaty that split the Pottawatomies into two separate tribes-the Prairie Band and Citizen Potawatomi Nation. Vieux died in 1872 and left behind a 200-page will leaving half the town of Louisville, all of Belvue and other personal property to his wife and children.

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