Phillipsburg, Kansas, is a small town located in the north-central part of the state. While it may not be a major hub for historical events or structures, it has seen its fair share of interesting happenings throughout the years. In this article, we will explore seven significant events that have taken place near Phillipsburg, Kansas.
1) The Phillips County Massacre
On October 5, 1874, a group of bandits known as the James-Younger Gang attacked the First National Bank of Northfield, Minnesota. The Northfield bank robbery is one of the most famous in American history and is often referred to as the "last great western robbery." As the bandits fled from the scene, they came across a group of local farmers in Kansas who had heard about the robbery and mobilized to stop the gang. The farmers chased the bandits and eventually cornered them in a canyon near Phillipsburg. In the ensuing gunfight, several of the outlaws were killed, including Cole and Bob Younger, while the rest were captured and later sentenced to life in prison.
2) The Founding of Phillipsburg
Phillipsburg was first founded in 1872, shortly after the end of the Civil War. The town was named after William Phillips, a politician who had served as Kansas's first attorney general. Throughout the late 1800s, Phillipsburg served as a hub for cattle drives, and many cowboys passed through the town on their way to market.
3) The Phillips County Courthouse Raid
In 1884, a group of settlers living in Phillips County became fed up with the corrupt practices of a group of cattle barons who had taken over local politics. The settlers banded together and mounted a raid on the Phillips County Courthouse, where they seized and burned various documents that incriminated the cattle barons in their illegal actions. While the raid itself was short-lived, its impact was significant, leading to major political changes in the area.
4) The Great Flood of 1904
In 1904, Phillipsburg was hit by a devastating flood. Heavy rains caused the Solomon River to overflow its banks, flooding homes and businesses throughout the town. The flood destroyed much of the town's infrastructure, including roads, bridges, and buildings. The flood caused massive destruction and loss of life in the surrounding areas.
5) The Highway 36 Race Riot
In August of 1933, a race riot erupted in Phillipsburg when a group of white men attempted to lynch a Black man accused of raping a white woman. The man was taken from a Phillipsburg jail by the mob and was nearly hanged when a group of Black residents arrived to defend him. The resulting violence left at least two people dead and many others injured. The riot was one of many incidents in the era of racial violence that plagued the country during the early twentieth century.
6) The Vietnam War
Many young men from Phillipsburg served in the Vietnam War, which took place from 1955 to 1975. Several Phillipsburg natives lost their lives during the conflict, including Marine Gunnery Sergeant Darrell S. Cole, who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his bravery in battle.
7) The Tornado of 2019
In May of 2019, Phillipsburg was hit by a severe tornado that caused extensive damage throughout the town. The tornado destroyed homes, businesses, and public buildings, including the local elementary school. Thankfully, no lives were lost in the tornado, but the damage was significant, and the community continues to recover to this day.
In conclusion, Phillipsburg, Kansas, may be a small town, but it has a rich history filled with significant events that have impacted not just the town but also the wider region. From the Phillips County Massacre to the recent tornado of 2019, Phillipsburg has seen its share of triumphs and tragedies, demonstrating the resilience of its residents in the face of adversity.
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