Newton , Kansas

Susanna Lane “Imperfect Promise” Blog

The town of Newton, Kansas has a nod and small part in my first novel, “Imperfect Promise”.

The Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad extended it’s route from Emporia, making Newton an important cattle transport town, as well as accommodating passengers south and east. The first buildings included a livery, Pioneer Store and a bakery. The post office was established in 1871, the same year the railroad arrived. In anticipation of the railroad arrival, the town flooded with ordinary settlers, cowboys, gamblers, entrepreneurs, and a long line of “soiled doves” to work in the twenty-seven saloons. The saloons had several interesting names, including, “Do Drop-In,” and “Side Track.” There were towns scattered across the west with dubious reputations as the wildest, roughest, meanest, etc., but Newton’s claim as the “wickedest city in the west” lived up to that reputation as thousands of heads of cattle arrived.

You might want to read more about the infamous “Hyde Park Gunfight” that occurred at Perry Tuttle’s Dance Hall on August 20, 1871. Details of the gunfight are straight out of the annals of history… and certainly one of the most violent of gunfights. Today, Hyde Park is a residential neighborhood.