Soldier, Kansas

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Soldier is a city in Jackson County, Kansas, United States. The population was 122 at the 2000 census. Soldier's ZIP code is 66540. It is part of the Topeka, Kansas Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Contents

Geography

Soldier is located at 39°32′12″N 95°57′53″W / 39.536792°N 95.964849°W / 39.536792; -95.964849 (39.536792, -95.964849).[3]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.2 square miles (0.4 km2), all of it land.

History

According to area legend, Soldier Creek (which is an outlet of the Kansas River from which the town's name was derived) was first named in the early 1850s when government surveyors were moving through the territory plotting out the 39th parallel and they found two army soldiers camped along the local creek. This was informally named Soldier's Creek but the possessive tense was eventually dropped in everyday conversation.

Throughout the 1850s, settlers began colonizing the area surrounding the creek due to its thick woods which provided timber for building and fuel, wild game, nuts, berries, and other native plants for eating, and water from the creek itself.

In circa 1858, enough settlers were communalized to found a post office which was called Smithland. (Aside from the fact that the office would later become the Soldier Post office, it was actually 1 mile north and 1/4 mile east of the current city limits before being moved there in late 1878) The name was derived from the settler (Smithland) who sold the land to William Cline for the purpose of providing the area with a post office. William Cline continued as the postmaster for an unknown number of years.

Although technically not a township at the time, Soldier's first recorded death occurred with the passing of Mrs. Tamsa M. Cline in May 1857 which was followed by the first birth; that of David Rancier in the fall of that year.

Although Soldier Township was organized on July 4, 1872, the city was not incorporated until September 1878. As stated two paragraphs above, Smithland post office was moved to Soldier and renamed for the city later that year.

Soldier was affected by the June 2008 tornado outbreak sequence: a man was found dead outside the city on the morning of June 11, 2008, killed by a tornado estimated at ½ mile (0.8 km) wide.[4]

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