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In 1882 the first Jewish agricultural colony in Kansas was established when some 60 recently arrived Jewish immigrants from Russia, sponsored by the Hebrew Union Agricultural Society. They settled northeast Beersheba along Pawnee Creek. Named for the ancient city of Beersheba, the colony stretched over several sections of land, each family homesteading 150 acres. Dugouts and sod houses were constructed for homes, a synagogue, and school. Cow chips were used for fuel. Wells were dug and the native prairie was plowed and planted. Within the first few months, a wedding took place, a baby was born, and the first death occurred.  Farming proved to be unprofitable; and severe winters produced hardships. To supplement their meager incomes, colonists sold their equipment and livestock, took jobs with the railroad, mortgaged their land, and established businesses in nearby Ravanna and Eminence. As the two towns died out in the 1890s after a bitter county seat battle lost by both towns, the colonists sold or abandoned their homesteads. A decade after the colony was established, none of the colonists remained and the land reverted to prairie.Source: http://skyways.lib.ks.us/history/beersheb.html [January 2009]

http://www.kshs.org/features/feat1201.htm has more historical information about the Jewish farming settlement. [January 2009]

See Garden City.

 

Jewish Cemetery: In the 1880s, this town was located about 25 miles from present Garden City, Kansas. The colony failed after three years. The colonists dispersed, some to nearby towns. In 1884, a 300-square foot plot opened as a Jewish cemetery when Sarah Ochs Teitlebaum was buried there. Graves of Mr. L. Toper, Mrs. L. Toper and M. Sternberger are also marked, the last burial being in 1933. Source: William Levine This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Last Updated on Thursday, 15 January 2009 17:25
 
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