In the fall of 1882, a school house containing only one room was built on the corner of Randolph and Locust Streets. A Mr. Muth was the first teacher. L. H. Gorrell and H. B. Smith were the first blacksmiths. W. J. Steele located the first hardware store here, but in 1889 H. B. Adams and Chas. Mendell purchased his stock and building. The first newspaper was established in 1883 and was known as the Moran Herald. Henry Armstrong was the first editor. In 1892 the school house had been enlarged to five rooms. Union church services were first held in the depot, but after the school was built, services were held there.In December 1892 the Presbyterian Church was organized with nineteen members led by Rev. E. S. Miller. Records are not clear where this service was held. However in 1883 they built a church which was dedicated July 20, 1884. In 1884 the Methodist Protestant Church was organized with about twenty members. Their first pastor was Mr. Wayland. The Methodist Episcopal Church was organized in 1882 with thirty-five members. Their first minister was Rev. Anderson. In the summer of 1883 the Christian Church was organized by J. Shively at the school house with a membership of fifteen. Henry Martin was the first pastor. In 1887 they built their first church. The Baptist Church organized in 1892 with about twenty members with Elder Trout as their pastor. In the early days of Moran a German Reformed Church was also organized.
Another street scene
Where Moran now stands corn and oat fields were producing excellent grain. Landowners north of the railroad tracks wanted the business section of the town there, while other prominent men of the community hoped to see it south of the railroad tracks. George McLaughin secured the services of G. Dewitt, and had the land south of the track surveyed and recorded as Moran, while the railroad company had their men do the surveying north of the track and it was recorded Moran City. On October 10, 1881, when application for a post office was made, it was named Morantown. Not until May 6, 1889 was the name changed to Moran Post Office. L. M. West was the first postmaster. Charles Dawson, father of the late Howard Dawson of Bronson, was the first child born in Moran. The new town had a healthy growth. Businesses sprang up such as a lumber yard owned by David Mitchell which was later sold to Sam Varner, one of the big promoters of the city. The Farmers Restaurant was the first building erected. E.F. DeHart and Son had a stock of general merchandise and J. C. Hobby opened a grocery about the same time. Mr. Southard erected the first frame building on the west side of Cedar Street. In the low attic of this building, his daughter Abbie taught the first private school in Moran.
Eagle Hotel, Moran, Kans.
In the summer of 1881, the Missouri Pacific Railroad Company built the long desired railroad through Allen County. Citizens of Marmaton Township, eager for improved facilities, had voted the necessary bonds. This company agreed to locate a depot within a mile of the middle of the township. Through the influence of Dr. Henry M. Strong, the company decided on the location for the MKT depot.
Moran street scene
Early in Moran history, the banks were not successful. The first bank opened and
closed in 1888. Sam Varner established the People's Bank in 1888 and it closed in 1896.
The Moran Bank, after five or six years existence, went into the hands of a receiver in 1898.
In 1899 the Moran State Bank was incorporated. This bank also closed a number of years
later. The year 1897 was a disastrous one for Moran. Several fires did much harm, but the
worst one occurred in August when nearly all the buildings on the west side of Spruce
Street east of Randolph were destroyed.
Few towns the size of Moran possessed so many musical and music loving people. In 1882
or 1883, the Moran orchestra was organized by P.J. McGlashan. Charter members were
McGlashan, Wm. Wheeler, S. N. Steele, H. B. Smith and Miss Abbie Southard. Upon the
retirement of Miss Southard, Miss Floy McGlashan filed her position as pianist. W. H. DeHart organized a brass band; later, S. N. Steele organized another. Miss McGlashan taught music in her home as did Miss Mabel Ford some years later. (In 1968, Debbie Barnes of Moran won the title of Miss America with her piano rendition of "Born Free.") In 1905, Moran voted bonds for a new schoolhouse and on June 30 the corner stone was laid for the new school. In 1906, Eastern Kansas Oil Company built an oil refinery four miles east of Moran with a capacity of 100 barrel output per day. On January 22, 1909, the Moran Post Office advanced to a third class post office. On September 9, 1908, Moran celebrated with an Agricultural Fair. Gubernatorial candidate, Hon. W. R. Stubbs was here to address the people.
"This is a nice early real photo postcard of Cedar Street looking north in Moran, Kansas. Located in Allen County. You can see H.B. Smith's Implements, Vehicles, Pumps and Harness store. Photographer: Unknown. The postcard is postmarked 1909.” (Postcard thanks to Jeff King.)