The Cresco Town Company was formed May 16, 1857, John S. Robinson, William C. Howard and Solomon Kauffman. All three men lived Reeder Township in the Mineral Point neighborhood. For their town they claimed the southwest quarter, of Section 21 and the northwest quarter of Section 28, Township 20, Range 18.
After filing the plat in the district land office during the summer buildings were erected. William C. Howard put in a blacksmith shop and a wagon wheel shop was built by James C. Kelso. The town company set up a steam sawmill on Pottawatomie Creek. The post office established was the second post office post office in Anderson County and William C. Howard was the postmaster.
The town was a stage stop between Hyatt and the Mineral Point Stage stop on the Leavenworth to Dodge City Line. The town became the voting precinct for the township in September 1857 because of its more central location. The voting precinct was moved to Central City in the fall of 1859. This move occurred when many of the residents of the Cresco neighborhood caught the “Pike’s Peak Gold Fever” and left for western Kansas to the gold fields in the spring of 1859. In 1859 the western border of Kansas was located west of Denver and Colorado Springs.
The Kansas, Nebraska and Dakota Railroad was building railroad bed and laying rails to run their railroad through Amiot, Garnett, and through Bush City on to Fort Scott in 1886. Reeder Township was the largest township in the county and they wanted a switching station on both the eastern side and the western side of the township. The switching station on the west was to be built at Amiot. To get the eastern switching station $16,000 in bonds needed to be raised. N.T. Hunt and Philip Hicks made a deal with the railroad to raise the money if the station would be built on Hunt’s property.
The money was raised and Hunt laid out a town on his property immediately west of Pottawatomie Creek and just north of present day Highway 31, They named the town Huntsville. A general store and a post office were built. However, Colonel Harris, the attorney for the railroad, was given half interest in the town of Harris and the switching station was moved to Harris.
When Hunt and Hicks realized they would not have the switching station they did not promote the town or sell any lots. No homes were ever built in Huntsville and the dream of a town quickly vanished.
An 1854 map showing Kansas extending west of Denver and Pike's Peak region of Colorado.