The Atwater Townsite
Company, incorporated Oct. 18th, 1887, with James E. McCall, John J.
Mohler, John I. Jones, Wm. B. Long, H. L. Markley, John E. Maxwell,
and Lewis Maston, directors. Atwater comprised the southeast forty
acres of Section 34, Township 33, Range 29. The plat was filed Nov.
Patty Brown Haskins wrote
in the Meade County History book of when Timothy and Elizabeth
Bonham first came to Meade County: My grandfather's claim was south
of the present Meade State Lake. Here on the claim, or near it, was
Sand Creek where the water was better than usual and if there was no
water in the creek there was always water a few inches below the
surface. After grandmother arrived, looking over the claim and
noting the good water she remarked, "This is a good place to be, at
water." So here they stayed and called it Atwater. A post office was
established here and served the community for a number of years,
also a school house was built where they had church and Sunday
Frank Sullivan wrote that
Atwater had a general store, blacksmith shop, public hall, etc. "It
was quite a social center, the principal social activity of those
days being confined to dances at the hall, at which dances Bill Long
usually furnished the music and Fred Judd did the calling; the
proceeds, after paying the rent, being divided between Long and Judd
in the ratio of 2 to 1."
A post office bearing the
original name was maintained in the neighborhood of the old town
even after the town's demise. The town site was vacated by the
Legislature of 1899.
In the Museum we have a
copy of what must have been the original map of Atwater. It was
certified by James McCall, president of the Atwater Town Site
Company, surveyed and drawn by Moses Black, Meade County surveyor.
There are 28 blocks laid out and divided by 12 streets with names
such as High Street, Logan Street, Decatur Street, Market Street,
Bonham Street, Maxwell Street, these going north and south, plus
Kansas, Illinois, and Indiana Streets going east and west. How many
of these lots were occupied is unknown, but it certainly was an
ambitious plan to began with.
town only lasted 12 years, but one can still visit the
Cemetery which was located one mile north of the town, in the SW/4
sec 26-T33-R29, just east of the intersection of Highway K23 and X