With the opening of the area for white settlement in the land run of 1891, a small settlement, originally called Troy, was formed. Troy changed its name to Parkland when a town site was surveyed in 1894, opening a post office on the 19th of December. The town initially prospered, with a bank, school, cotton gin, dry good and grocery stores, doctors office, barber shop, pool hall and saloon and a cemetery plot, The Parkland Telephone company was founded connecting the towns of Chandler to Stroud via Parkland.
Rail service was extended into the territory (actually arriving in 1903) routing through the town of Avery and the newly formed town of Kendrick. Parkland was bypassed, and the enterprising people of Kendrick offered free lots to the businesses in Parkland if they would move to Kendrick. Most of the stores, the bank, and the cotton gin took advantage of the offer. The Parkland State Bank moved to Kendrick on November 10th, 1902, changing its name to the Bank of Kendrick. I’ve included some photos of what remains of Parkland in the video.
Residents of the nearby town of Baker, established on May 10, 1892 also moved to Avery and Kendrick with the arrival of the railroad, by its post office closed on April 30th, 1904. The abandoned cemetery at 1:35 is all that remains of Baker.
With the arrival of the railroad and the influx of new businesses, Kendrick prospered. Parkland suffered the fate of many towns of the era that were bypassed by railroads, and faded away, The post office closed on the 15th of June, 1918 and only a few homes and a well kept cemetery remain.
Uriah C. Guss and William H. Coyle, Guthrie business leaders, negotiated the purchase of land for the Kendrick townsite and the plat was filed in the Chandler courthouse on November 12, 1902, with lots being sold two days later. The post office was officially established on October 13, 1902 and was originally called Avondale. It was renamed to Kendrick in honor of a railroad executive on January 21, 1903.
The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway provided passenger and freight service to Kendrick by late 1903. That same year the cotton gin that moved from Parkland to Kendrick began operation and a school was built in 1905. Newspapers included the Kendrick Dispatch, the Kendrick Review, and the Kendrick News.
A Baptist church was erected in 1911 and by 1918 Methodist and Christian churches were added. The town supported a bank, the usual general, drug, and hardware stores, a hotel, and an I.O.O.F lodge. The first federal census for Kendrick indicated a population of 255 in 1920, with the population peaking at 270 in 1930. Like most of these towns, they were largely dependent on the surrounding rural farming population who shopped in the town for goods and services.
The arrival of the Great Depression, farm consolidation, and shrinking rural populations resulted in most of the businesses closing or moving away, with the Bank of Kendrick closing on September 6th, 1936.
Passenger rail service was discontinued after WWII and by the 1950’s, the business district was mostly abandoned. Activity centered around the school, but by 1983 the post office had closed and the school followed the next year. One general store remains open in Kendrick, the B and B store and is worth a visit if your in the area. They have a great selection of memorabilia of the towns glory days.
During my recent visit, I told the nice lady at the B and B that I’d heard they had the best sandwiches on the planet,which brought a laugh. Having sampled one, they may not be the best sandwiches on the planet, but I’d have to say it was pretty close.
Kendrick’s population has remained basically steady since the late 30’s, with a count of 139 in the 2010 census. Today Kendrick is a small quiet bedroom community.