Latitude / Longitude:
1,037 ft (316 m)
Central (CST) (UTC-6)
Prairie City was founded in 1855 by James Lane, Dr. William Graham, Louis (Lewis) F. Green and Salmon S. Prouty after a dispute between Graham and Henry Barricklow of nearby Palmyra. A post office opened in 1856 with John R. Winton serving as postmaster. The Heber Institute was started by the Protestant Episcopal Church in 1856 but never opened. The building became Prairie City School District No. 1.
The first printing press in Kansas was used in Prairie City by Prouty to publish The Freeman’s Champion which ran for 40 weeks. Prouty bought the press in 1857 from the Ottawa Baptist Mission in Franklin County. Prouty would leave Prairie City in 1868 and move to Topeka where he would found the Topeka Journal which would later merge to become the Topeka Capital-Journal
On March 24, 1883, Douglas County commissioners had certain streets and alleys vacated. Today, little remains to mark the city except a few houses, a cemetery and the ruins of an old Catholic church. The Midland Railway from Baldwin passes by a sign pointing out where the depot, newspaper, post office and store used to be.