Skiddy, Kansas was established in 1869 on the line of the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad, and named after a railroad man, Francis Skiddy. The population and town businesses grew by the 1880s, and then by the early 1900s the population declined. Today, Skiddy is known as a ghost town with a few residents and abandoned buildings. The abandoned buildings are testament of a bygone time and life with many stories not heard or even known except for those who had lived in this town with generational roots.
From my understanding, what is left of the towns that had sprang to life and dotted the railroad lines, along with the surrounding farmsteads when the settlers and land prospectors pioneered Kansas, are left for the course of nature to take over after the people are gone. Many of the buildings, in which were houses, barns, outbuildings, businesses, churches, and schools, are left to decay throughout time instead of torn down. All these buildings are storybook pages of Kansas history yet they are slowly disappearing as time and nature marches onward into the twenty-first century.
This Kansas history, though, is mainly unknown except by the elders who remain in these places. Many photos and stories are not seen and told to those who had not lived there or had roots. Once upon a time life, love, and hard work were lived by the people on the land and in the small towns rich with traditions and culture. Now it is mainly memories that have stayed there within the town and crumbling buildings.
The world grew and expanded with wars and technology as many left their generational homes and roots in these small towns. Cities grew in great proportions with mass-market stores and easy travel by modern vehicles, and the homegrown, locally owned businesses folded and the buildings abandoned in the rural towns. The small towns lost not only their businesses, post offices, old iron bridges, and their population; many small towns lost their town signs. Skiddy lost its town sign on the edge of the two-lane road leading into town. A passerby traveling through the countryside wouldn’t even know the town is Skiddy, Kansas.
The photos are of the general store, Mann’s Grocery & Locker in Skiddy, Kansas.
View all photos at Skiddy, Kansas Gallery at Surface and Surface Photography Gallery.
More to come on Skiddy, Kansas and the True Cowboy.
See digital art versions, Abandoned Old General Store, at Surface and Surface Digital Art.