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Rainbelt

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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