Stilwell Community Organization, Inc.

stilwellLogoStilwell is located in Aubry Township in the far southeast corner of Johnson County, Kansas. The town was known as Mount Auburn until 1889 when it was changed to Stilwell. The Stilwell Community Organization is a non-profit organization devoted to the betterment of the Stilwell, Kansas community.  A focus of the organization is to help foster a community spirit that makes Stilwell a wonderful place to live and raise a family.

stilwellSchoolThe Stilwell Grade School is located three blocks west of the Missouri Pacific Railroad. The two-story brick and wood building across the street from Stilwell Elementary School, which was built in 1959. The period of significance begins with the construction of the school in 1910 (Stilwell Population of 200) and extends to 1959 when it last functioned as a school. The building is the oldest extant school in the Aubry Township. All of the older one-room schools have been demolished.

stilwellBrinkmanBarnThe Raymond Brinkman Barn Site had a  48-foot diameter and was 33 feet tall. The barn was built in 1912. Brinkman was a wealthy Kansas City man who decided to take up farming in 1911. He saw plans for a round barn in a magazine that year and decided to duplicate them as a home for his Percherons. The barn was small but elaborate, with eleven stalls, flagstone flooring in the aisles, and an elevator for moving grain to second-level bins. Hay was unloaded from inside the barn using a standard fork and track system. The total cost was sixteen hundred dollars. A limestone foundation extends four feet above grade. This was topped by vertical board walls and then by a conical, self-supporting roof and small cupola. Four windows and six doors are on the lower level; eight other windows had provided loft lighting.

stilwellGibsonStoreThe first building on Main Street was built by E.K. Gibson.  It was a grocery store.  The Gibson store was later purchased by Wiley and Ethel Smith.  They managed the store for thirty (30) years.  At one time, movies were shown on Main Street in front of the Smith’s grocery store.  Mr. Gibson was also instrumental in the building of the Baptist Church.  Today, the building is theRYEstudio, a family owned photography business in Stilwell.

stilwellhardwareTwo men in early 1900’s standing outside the hardware store in Stilwell, Kansas. In 1906 William “Mark” Moon purchased the hardware store in Stilwell, which he operated until 1918.

stilwellMainstreetMain Street in Stilwell as viewed in 1907 from former train depot.Shortly after the train came to the area, telegraph service was established and located inside the train depot. Another means of communication arrived on June 22, 1888, when the US Post Office at Stilwell was established.

stilwellTrainThe Stilwell train depot was located northeast of Main and Wall Streets.  The farmers would often use 199th Street, which was also known as Missouri or Ocheltree Road, as the path for driving their hogs and cattle to the stockyard.  Southwest of the Stilwell depot was a hotel owned by the Adam Miller family and later managed by the Burgess family.