The Carthage Post office was established
January 13, 1885, and operated until April 26, 1887, with
Deloss Atchison as postmaster.
By April of 1885, Carthage was established by
the Carthage Town Company on the east half of Section 31,
Township 31, Range 28. This is about the time that Meade
Center came into existence. Carthage exhibited great signs
of prosperity for a while, attaining a population of around
four hundred, and was a very aggressive candidate for the
location of the county seat. Carthage was called the “city
on a hill” and in talking to Steve Norsworthy, the current
owner of that land he said, “That’s where I got the name
‘Meade View’ for my business… it's higher ground, giving you
a perfect view of Meade from there.”
As soon as the county seat question was
settled adversely to the interest of Carthage, it quickly
disintegrated; many of the buildings were moved to Meade,
some to other towns, some to farms, and soon there was
nothing left of Carthage but a memory. In the "county seat
war," Meade received 486 votes, Fowler 231, and Carthage
The town company was comprised of
I.K. Myers, president,
I.N. King, secretary, with the
following directors. A.W. Sherman, Joseph Waggoner and H.W.
Andrews. Carthage lots were priced at $75 to $150 for
business lots and $20 to $50 for residence. This might have
been a small deterrence to settlement of Carthage, because
most townsites would give a person or business a lot if they
agreed to build.
A newspaper was established in Carthage.
The Carthage Times flourished from June 1885, to
January 1886, according to Pioneer Stories of Meade County.
Unfortunately, we do not have copies of this publication… oh
what tales it could tell.
A water well was also dug with the depth
between 136 and 137 feet, but the town disappeared so
quickly a "water works" was never established there.
A description of Carthage was written by the
editor of the Fowler Graphic and appeared in that paper July
16, 1885. "On Sunday we made our first visit to the 'city on
the hill.' We found a quiet pretty place with buildings
neatly painted and the whole presenting a very tasty
appearance. Of course there was not the bustle nor stir that
you see at Fowler or Meade Center but we must acknowledge
that we found something better than we were looking for, in
the way of a town. The famous lake was there with the
pleasure boat slumbering upon its peaceful bosom. We visited
the well of disputed depth and drank of its waters, but as
there was no wind at the time, we were not very thirsty."
If you go online and look at section 31 in
satellite view you can see the “lake” to this day. Steve
says that they farm it, but sometimes it floods out, so it
was just a natural playa lake in 1885, a time when rains
were plentiful in this area. By the 1990’s a drought came
and everything dried up… but by that time Carthage was a
On November 28, 1885, the Meade County Globe
described Carthage as such: "Seven buildings were moved this
week from Carthage to Mertilla. Thus do summer roses fade."
It looks like by the first of the next year the newspaper
had folded and buildings and homes were moving away. All
that remained was the Post Office which lasted another year.