|Rainbelt was an unplatted community
located northwest of Missler, in W/2 Sec. 23-T31-R29. It was
considered quite a trading post at first but alas, didn't
last very long. Post office records show that Rainbelt
established September 18, 1884, and closed April 12, 1888.
R.R. Wells was the postmaster and general store keeper until
he suffered a serious loss by fire. We know little else
about the town of Rainblet... some say it turned into Jasper
but as one can see by the map below, Jasper was in a much
different location... one that was graced by being on the
railroad thus securing its future.
|The following was taken from a history of
James A. Wilson written by his granddaughter:
They stayed about two years in Wichita, then
moved out to "Old Rainbelt" and put in a small hardware
store there. He had to freight all his merchandise from
Dodge City with a team and wagon... This was about 1885.
Grandmother had two hired maids when she
was in Missouri, so when they moved to Rainbelt one of them
demanded to come along to help her. Her name was Lottie
Ervin. Their little house in Rainbelt had only one room and
a tent by the side to sleep in. Mom and Lottie being the
only girls, slept in the tent. In 1886, the worst blizzard
that was ever recorded in the state, hit Kansas. Grandpa was
caught out in it with a load of freight. He wandered most
all night and was tired and exhausted and very cold. From
then on his health broke and in the spring (March) he died
from the effects of the exposure. He was buried in a
cemetery near Rainbelt. The grave was not well marked and was
completely lost in later years. No one knows to this day
where it is. One of his son's Eddie is buried there too.
The family remained there for years and
May took normal training at Meade and taught school when she
was 16 years old near Mertilla. She rode a pony and boarded
and roomed for $7.00 a month with a family.
When the railroad came through, grandma
boarded the men to help make ends meet, as they were very
hard up. So from this money she was able to build on a frame
room to their one room house. They also farmed a small
acreage. It was when the railroad came that the name of
"Jasper" was taken.
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