Welcome to Wakefield, KS

On behalf of the City of Wakefield, I would personally like to thank you for your interest in our city. I am sure you will find Wakefield a wonderful place to live. Wakefield is only a 20 minutes drive to Fort Riley and 35 minutes to Manhattan
and the home of Kansas State University.

Wakefield School is K-12 and meets the Kansas Standard of Excellence in math and reading. With an enrollment of approximately 300 students, our school is the proud home of the Bombers & Jets.  For more information on our school, please go to www.usd379.org and click on Wakefield School.

If you enjoy the outdoors, Wakefield is the place to be. Our town is located on the banks of beautiful Milford Lake. Milford Reservoir is Kansas’ largest manmade lake, with 163 miles of shoreline and over 16,000 surface acres.  Five minutes to fantastic fishing, boating and water sports!  Milford Lake and the surrounding 21,000 acres make up one of Kansas’ prime outdoor habitats. Native and red cedars line the irregular shoreline. Known as the “Lake of Blue Water,” it is one of the more scenic of Kansas’ lakes. Wakefield is also known as the “Gateway to the Wetlands” where you will find an abundance of water fowl as well as different species of wildlife.  Talk about an outdoorsman’s paradise!!

In order to answer any questions you might have, and to better assist you in your move to Wakefield, please contact the City of Wakefield at 785-461-5886 or by email at cityofwakefield@eaglecom.net .

Again, thank you for your interest in Wakefield. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

History of Wakefield
The first settlers in the Wakefield area settled in the Timber Creek area on the east side of the Republican River in April 1856. In the spring of 1857, south of present day Wakefield, a group homesteaded along Quinby Creek. The first actual settler on the site of Wakefield was James Gilbert in 1858.

On August 25, 1869, the town site of Wakefield was incorporated and the following day the original town site of 120 acres was laid out by Revered Richard Wake, John Wormald, Alexander Maitland and Col. Loomis. The colonel named the town Wakefield, partly in honor of Revered Richard Wake and partly because Wakefield, England was the former home of John Wormald.

By the spring of 1870, the first store building, The Company Store, was erected. The early 1870’s brought the establishment of many businesses in the new settlement. The Wakefield Ferry and Bridge Company was organized in May 1870 at the ford across the Republican River to the Timber Creek area. The most rapid period of growth in the Wakefield settlement was probably from 1875 to 1887. There were several grocery stores, a drug store, butcher shop, general merchandise store, hotel, bank, wagon and carriage repair shop, grain elevator and mill. Also during this time the Congregational, Methodist, and Episcopal churches were erected as was a two story school house.

Daily mail service was not established until the arrival of the railroad in 1873. The town continued to show increased cultural and business activities. By the late 1920’s there were five grocery and general merchandise3 stores, a theater, two farm produce stations, two garages, a lumber company, four farm implement and automobile dealerships, two banks, three elevators/mills, three hatcheries, three medical doctors, two dentists, three veterinarians, several restaurants, a hotel and a greenhouse.

The 30’s brought floods, dust storms and tornadoes. In 1938 the Wakefield Library was built by the WPA. The 40’s and 50’s saw several devastating fires. This also brought about a time of wait and see about the Milford dam. By 1961, the rumors were confirmed and in 1963 the town completed an agreement with the Army Corps of Engineers for the purchase of homes and construction of a new town site. All the businesses had to be moved. Approximately 61 homes had to be moved and 38 new ones were built. The school, two churches, 86 homes and the cemetery were left at their original sites. By July 20, 1967 the lake was filled to conservation level. Most of what was the old town site is now the Wakefield/Clay County Park.

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