Over the years Anderson County has had six railroads crisscrossing the county. The towns of Central City and Garnett were both wanting the railroad. The route across the flat lands of Anderson County would have been a much easier route to take than across the bluffs of the Pottawatomie Creek. However, it is rumored an engineer gave someone in the company planning the railroad route $700 and the railroad went through Garnett. This action spelled the demise of Central City.
The first train arrived in Garnett March 9, 1870, on the Leavenworth, Lawrence and Galveston Railroad. The train was met with great expectations and excitement. On arrival it unloaded freight and about three hundred excursionist and the Lawrence Band. Several speeches were given at the train station and following at the Brunswick Hall dinner was served to all attendees. To keep the day free of drunkenness and other problems all of the whiskey halls were closed. In the evening a grand ball was held with the Lawrence Band providing the music. It was quite the gala affair and was enjoyed by all.
Originally the railroad was to be routed through the town of Fairview on what is now Highway 59 just west of Scipio. The railroad company had a Chinese work crew working on digging a cut through a steep grade for the railroad bed. However, it was discovered the engines could not pull the grade and it was abandoned. Henry Roeckers, a local amateur archeologist, did metal detecting at the grade site and discovered a Chinese coin. The railroad bed was directed further to the valley to the east and went through the little town of Scipio and the town of Fairview died. Other towns south of Garnett the railroad went through are Welda and Divide, what is known today as Colony.
Map showing Leavenworth, Lawrence and Galveston RR routh through Anderson County.
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