Honoring Early Rose Hill, Kansas




Rose Hill, Kansas was named by J.H. Lowery, in 1869. At the time, the government provided incentives for railroad workers and farmers to “Go West, Young Man, Go West” and settle the land. Mr. Lowery built a home about one mile south of the current elementary school where he planted roses, shrubs, and trees.


Lowery was an ambitious bachelor from Rose Hill, New York, and moved his nursery stock and seeds from there to sell to the settlers in Kansas. Unfortunately, sales were halted due to harsh Kansas blizzards, drought, and grasshoppers which would eventually ruin his stock completely and force him to move back to New York. 


While Mr. Lowery’s business plans wilted, the City of Rose Hill began to sprout with thriving crops for farmers, a post office, a railroad, and new businesses being built in town including grocery stores, a meat market, barber shop, millinery store, drug store, Dr. Barkelow’s doctor’s office, a cream station, hardware store, harness/shoe repair shop, schools, a bank, Methodist Church, and nearby Friends Church.


Rose Hill grew to have a telephone system in 1905, a high school in 1909 (Bernice Cuttings was the first graduate), a Boy Scout troop in 1915, and electricity in 1927. Settlers worked hard but also enjoyed talent programs, bands, baseball games, 4th of July picnics, ice cream socials, literary society, Lyceum programs, and Wild West & traveling medicine shows.


The Rose Hill Historical Society has a mission to collect, preserve, exhibit, and promote the heritage of our community. Through the collection of memorabilia, the Society wishes to educate and provide programs to make the past more meaningful to Rose Hill’s residents and visitors. See our museum exhibits!