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Jasper - Collingwood - Missler

Jasper, like other western towns, had two locations through the years. The first was platted in Mertilla Township on the E/2 of the SW/4 of Section 26-T31-R29 on May 14, 1888, by the Kansas Town and Land Company, stating that they owned a 51% interest in the location. A 49% interest was owned by George W. Ragon.

The townsite contained approximately 40 acres. There were three east-west streets named Oak, Main, and Railroad Streets. North-south streets were Meade, Topeka and Kansas Avenues.

Jasper Post Office was established in 1888, ran by Mrs. E.A. Howard.

Evidently the old town was abandoned as settlers moved away. Building were moved off, until only the school house remained, but it too was moved as the population changed.

Jasper was resuscitated however when on September 6, 1908, another townsite named Jasper was platted by Jamie W. Fullington with Fullington & Co., a real-estate firm from Meade. This site was in the NE/4 of Section 25-T31-R29. This new location also contained about forty acres. The plat of Jasper below was taken from the Meade County 1909 Plat Book.

This shows the location of Jasper as it relates to other ghost towns on a modern-day map.

The new town enjoyed an era of prosperity with a general store, lumber yard and other businesses. Eventually Mark Bird became owner of the store and operated it until he suddenly met his death at the age of 38, by car accident in December of 1916... then the business was carried on by his widow, Luella Bird and her brother, A.B. Cumback. This business lasted until 1932, when it accidently caught fire and burned down.

Collingwood Post Office established April 30, 1908, with Elmer E. Vanderburn, postmaster. This is probably why the town was referred to as Collingwood for awhile, but that post office was abandoned on January 9, 1909. Missler Post office established May 13, 1912, and was in operation until July 31, 1933. The name became "Missler" because a group of people coming to Meade County were headed by a man by the name of Missler and the promoters thought it would help to name the town after him.

The following article was published in the Meade County Globe on April 16, 1908:


Twenty years ago, the town of Rainbelt, about five or six miles northwest of Meade, was  flourishing little village with our late R. R. Wells, postmaster and general store keeper. This village lived several years and finally succumbed to the inevitable. Mr. Wells met with serious loss by fire and was so severely burned that his life was despaired of. He finally recovered and moved to Meade and again engaged in business and amassed a comfortable fortune, dying in Kansas City several years ago.

The above is only a little history connected with the new town of Jasper that now occupies practically the site of former Rainbelt. When the Rock Island road was built through Meade County the company established a station there with a fine depot but on account of the aforesaid "inevitable" the station was torn down and moved away seventeen or eighteen years ago. Now come forth from this former town a new Jasper that has evidently come to stay.

Some months ago the enterprising real estate firms, The Artesian Valley Investment Co., and Marrs & Miller saw an excellent body of land sufficiently remote from Meade and Plains to merit starting a town, which was accordingly surveyed into lots and plotted and now the sound of the hammer and saw is heard from morning until night and a nice little city is being built. Court Brown is building a store room 24x40 two stories for a general stock of merchandise and is putting in a lumber yard. Mr. Vanderberg will have charge of the business and will also be postmaster, as a post office will be established about July 1. Mr. Brown is also putting down a 3-inch tubular well which he will turn over to the townsite. The Meade Lumber & Supply Co. are also putting in a lumber yard which will be managed by Max Dick. A hotel will also be built to accommodate a large number of land seekers and buyers who are daily found in that place and already 8000 acres of land surrounding the town has been sold to well-to-do Swedes and Germans who are locating on their lands and making substantial improvements. The Rock Island Co. have the matter in hand of re-building the depot and work will soon begin.

The new town of Jasper is surrounded by as fine land as can be found anywhere in the west and there is no better wheat and com section in Meade county, and with the thrifty Swedes and Germans settling the land the town will necessarily build up and grow into a flourishing city and a splendid business point as it has an immense territory to the north and northwest to draw from.

The Globe is glad to see Messrs. Fullington & Co. and Marrs & Miller putting forth such a strong and successful effort to re-establish old Jasper and fill that section of the county with substantial farmers who have the means to develop the country and are coming to make their home in Meade county.

In the late 1940's a man by the name of Alfred D. France started purchasing the Jasper lots from the former owners and in 1950, he asked the county commissioners that the town be vacated. As far as the records show, Jasper is the only one of many Meade County ghost towns to be legally vacated.

From The Meade Globe News, December 8, 1932


Fire of unknown origin destroyed the store at Missler early Wednesday morning The store was owned by Mrs. Luella Bird and managed by her brother, Lon Cumback. The Missler post office was located in the store.

The fire was discovered about 4 o'clock in the morning by one of the Mexicans who works n the section. The building burned rapidly. Within a few minutes after the fire's discovery the entire building was in flames. As no fire fighting apparatus was available nothing could be done to save the building or the stock in the store

Mr. Cumback says that he knows of nothing that could have caused the fire as the fire in the store was nearly out when he left the store. The loss was only partially covered by insurance.



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