Rose Hill Historical Society Honoring Early Rose Hill, Kansas

Early Rose Hill, Kansas

History of Rose Hill

Information provided by Lucille Cox.

The city of Rose Hill was named by an ambitious young bachelor, Mr. J.H. Lowery and has been in four locations. In 1869, Mr. Lowery settled about one mile south and one-quarter mile east of the present elementary school.

The government gave the railroad company a strip either side of their track if they would build from St. Louis to the west coast. Young men were urged to “go West Young Man Go West”. Advertisements said, Kansas is the right latitude for the farmer to make money”. “Kansas offers people exactly what they are looking for. The winters are short dry and invigorating.”

With such promise, Mr. Lowery planted roses, shrubs and trees on both sides of the two lanes that led to his house. He was from Rose Hill, New York, and planned to get his nursery stock and seeds from his parents to sell to the settlers. The law at that time required farmers to plant fruit and wood bearing trees.

Mr. Lowery asked the government for a post office in his home. He had not anticipated blizzards, drought, and finally grasshoppers. His stock was ruined. Mr. lowery persuaded Levi Williams to put the post office in his home, which was located one mile east of the original. After five cruel years in Rose Hill, Kansas, Mr. Lowery returned to New York in 1874.

Another settlement grew one mile east of our present town. The post office was once again moved to Mr. Staley’s store between the late 1870’s and 1880’s. The railroad was built in 1889. The citizens of Rose Hill moved their buildings to the present location after the depot was built in 1892.

Crops were good for several years and Rose Hill grew. Some of the businesses in town at this time were: grocery stores; meat market; barber shop; millinery store; drug store; Dr. Barkelow; cream station; hardware store; harness and shoe repair shop; school; bank; and Methodist Church. The Friend Church was built two miles east of town. All did a good business.

Rose Hill High school began with one Senior graduating in 1909. Bernice Cuttings attended Douglass High School the previous three years before graduating from Rose Hill High School. A Boy Scout troop was formed in 1915. The telephone system arrived in 1905 and electricity came in 1927.

Pioneer children had to work to help the family survive. They had time for fun. They enjoyed home talent programs in church and in school, band, baseball games, 4th of July picnics, ice cream socials, literary society, Lyceum programs, Wild West and traveling medicine shows.

The Rose Hill Quasquicentennial History Book

The Rose Hill Historical Society published a Rose Hill History Book in conjunction with our 2012 Quasquicentennial.

The 192 page hard cover book measures about 8¾ inches by 11¼ inches. The cover is dark red with gold lettering.

It contains an early history section plus stories and profiles of families in or from the Rose Hill area and much more.

A few extra copies are available for $50.00 plus shipping cost.
To purchase please contact Historical Society President Keith Cox at

Click any picture for a larger image.

Front Cover.
Front Cover.
There is a section on families with stories and pictures.
There is a section on families with stories and pictures.
The military portion has profiles of those who served.
The military portion has profiles of those who served.
The early business section is especially interesting.
The early business section is especially interesting.