August 30, 2009
Spivey, Kansas is on K-42, and is probably best known as the little town where
the highway makes a ninety degree turn. At one time (as I learned from the
gentleman, below) Spivey was a thriving agricultural and cattle receiving town
with passenger rail service to Wichita and a round house for the railroad.
These days, support for the local oil fields seems to be the only business.
Spivey, Kansas. The view from south of the town.
The Chikaskia River.
The town of Spivey is
located in the southern part of Kingman County, just north of the
Chikaskia River. The land was entered for settlement by Charles H.
Manning, E.R. Smalley and D.A. Smalley sometime between 1875 and 1886.
The Arkansas Valley Town and Land Company, a branch of the Santa Fe
system, engineered the platting of the town site. E.R. Smalley was the
local agent for the company. The Post Office, first known as Leland, was
changed to Spivey on December 6, 1886, and so named in honor of Captain
R.M. Spivey, President of the Arkansas Valley Land Company.
In the spring of 1886,
the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad was surveyed through that
part of the county, and on Christmas day, 1886, the first passenger
train was run into the town. The Santa Fe went on to spend $85,000 in
Spivey in building a roundhouse, depot, coal chutes, station house and
turntable. The town was comprised of 1000 acres, and the population was
recorded at over 400 in 1887 when it was incorporated as a city of the
By 1904 Spivey boasted
over 800 inhabitants with many thriving businesses. A Grade School was
established and later a High Sehool. Both the Methodist and Christian
congregations built churches. Both schools were later closed when
consolidation took place. The Christian Church no longer has a
congregation, but the United Methodist Church still meets.
declined until the early 1950s when oil and gas were discovered in the
area. Petroleum production provided the town and community with renewed
business and employment opportunities.
Everybody turns left on K-42 highway.
The lack of rust shows that trains still use these tracks, if very
Supporting the local oil fields is what Spivey does.
Oil field drill pipe.
It has been many years since this school was used.
Riding east and north of town.
last edit: 8/30/2009