Crawford County, Kansas

Arcadia began in 1857 as Hathaway, a half mile north of the current Arcadia near Cox's Creek, with a stage stop and tavern by Phil Wing Hathaway. To secure the government land, which was part of the Cherokee Neutral Lands, Hathaway had to establish a postoffice which he did, naming it Hathaway. In 1859, the name of the postoffice was changed to Cox's Creek and L. R. Jewell became postmaster. L. R.'s brother who was assistant postmaster had a sweetheart in Chicago who had been reading about the name 'Arcadia' and wrote to him suggesting he name the new postoffice Arcadia, which meant "rural beauty". So he did, thus Arcadia, KS.
The story of how present day Arcadia was established is through the legend of the "Nighttime Postoffice Switch." The story goes that in about 1876 when the railroad was extended from Fort Scott to the coal fields of Crawford County, it missed Old Arcadia by about a quarter of a mile. The coal company put in a coal loading switch and named it Finley after Captain George Finley, who was the foreman who helped build the station. This new stretch of railroad began being used by passenger trains, bringing new families to the area to settle and causing the mail coaches to drop off the mailbags for Old Arcadia at Finley. The postmaster of Old Arcadia, Joe Nelson, then had to travel between the two settlements to gather and drop off the mail. He soon tired of this, and supposedly, one dark night he and some railroad men, hosted the postoffice at Old Arcadia and moved it to Finley on the corner of Main and Race streets. The next morning the citizens of Finley woke up to see a new building with "Arcadia Post Office" in big letters on a large sign on the building. Since Finley didn't have it's own postoffice at the time, this crafty switch caused Finley to lose it's name and the present day Arcadia was born. Arcadia was issued a city charter in 1882 and was platted in 1883 by Lewis L. Jewell, son of Charles Jewell, by forming the Arcadia Town Company. Charles Jewell had enlisted in the Civil War and was killed in the battle of Cane Hill in Arkansas. Lewis L. Jewell, also a Civil War veteran, founded the first newspaper in Arcadia, "The Arcadia Reporter" Franklin A. Jewell, son of Lewis, taught school and was postmaster for about 25 years. He also served in the Kansas Legislature. He died in 1955.

Bank of Arcadia
- no postmark (c1901-1907)
Arcadia Public School Building
- postmarked 1908

More About Arcadia

"Arcadia is situated in the northeast part of the county, in a healthy location, near Coxe's Creek. Formerly it was a stopping-place on the old military road between Fort Scott and Fort Gibson. This was before the war. In 1862, there was a double log tavern at Arcadia. Now this town is on the Ft. S., S. E. & M. Railroad. When this road was constructed by the Gulf road as a branch simply for coal, into Lincoln Township, Arcadia took the name of Findlay City, after a certain coal contractor. It has now taken back the old ante-bellum name, Arcadia. Before the war Arcadia consisted of only the double log hotel, which is even now well remembered by every one who passed in either direction through the town when it existed. The town has broad and clean streets lined on both sides with neat and tasty buildings. Among the business houses of Arcadia are five general stores, one hardware store, three blacksmith and wagon shops, one harness shop, one bakery, one shoe shop, one grist-mill, one grain elevator, one lumber yard, two drug stores, two hotels and two churches. The prosperity of the town is attributed to the tact of its shrewd business men. It contains a population of about 300, and is surrounded by some of the best farming lands, and the most picturesque country anywhere to be found." - History of the State of Kansas, William G. Cutler, 1883 by A. T. Andreas, Chicago, IL
"An incorporated town of Crawford County, is a station on the St. Louis & San Francisco RR, about 15 miles northeast of Girard, the county seat, and near the Missouri state line. It has a bank, a good graded public school, a fire department, a weekly newspaper, planing mills, brick and textile factories, a hotel, churches of several of the leading denominations, and in 1910 reported a population of 694. Communication with other places is maintained by telegraph and telephone in addition to the facilities offered by the post office, which issues international money orders and supplies the surrounding rural districts with mail through the medium of four free delivery routes." - Kansas - A Cyclopedia of State History, Embracing Events, Institutions, Industries, Counties, Cities, Towns, Prominent Person, Etc., Frank W. Blackmar, editor, copyright 1912.
Map of Arcadia, "The Official State Atlas of Kansas," L. H. Everts & Co., Philadelphia, PA, 1887