24 years ago, August 2, 1902, Kiowa County was formed. On
August 2nd, thousands of men camped along the imaginary city, waiting for
a most spectacular auction to begin.
Colonel Andy Jones, auctioneer representing the United States government
in the largest “blue sky” town lot promotion scheme ever devised, began
the historic sale of lots in Hobart. Bidding was spirited. Nobody knew what
lay in store for the 320 acres of raw prairie land – but men fought for
the privilege of buying lots blindly – and without foresight – as no one
was able to foresee just what direction town development – if it ever came
– would take.
They pledged a “gambler’s hunch”, as truly as ever a gamester was willing
to back his luck at the card table. Everybody won. The bleak prairie blossomed
forth into a seething city of white canvas and flimsy shacks. Hectic days
of town booming, suggestive of torn down hornet’s nests, followed. The long
tedious struggle between the forces of good and evil set in, and, as always,
the forces of good predominated and the undesirable element of humanity
that infested the town was routed-------------
So begins a front page article in the Hobart Democrat Chief, dated August
4, 1925, the 24th anniversary issue.
The Hobart Republican, dated August 1901, the first and official newspaper
of Kiowa County listed on it’s front page the record of lots sold to date.
These were the successful bidders for the business lots as of that date,
3 p.m. The remainder to be sold the next day, then the sale of residential
lots was to begin.
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Web Page December 11, 2002
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