Altamont is a city in Labette County, Kansas. The population was 1,092 at the 2000 census. Altamont is located very near the exact center of the county, at the junction of highways 59 and 96. The town is located 12 miles South of Parsons.


The Early History of Altamont
by William G. Cutler (1883)
The village of Altamont is situated at the exact geographical center of the county, about twelve miles west of the city of Oswego, on the St. Louis & San Francisco Railroad. The town was laid off in the summer of 1879, by a town company, of which I. N. Hamilton was president. Scott Noble erected a dwelling in the fall of 1879, which was the first house built in the town. During the winter of 1879-'80, Ben Jones also built a dwelling, and Samuel Shoup erected a house during the next summer, which he used for a hotel. In March, 1880, Jones, Burns & Wright opened a general store, and about the same time S. J. and W. R. Hurshberger started the second general store.

McCormick started a shoe shop, L. F. Baker a blacksmith shop during the summer of 1880. In January, 1881, M. V. B. Watson built a store room, in which he opened a stock of general merchandise, and in April following H. C. Blanchard started a similar establishment. E. M. Rockwood and James Daniels began the dry goods business in January, 1881, and, about the same time, G. E. Brassfield started a general store, which he changed in about a year to a hardware store, then to a grocery.

In the summer of 1882, C. & S. Bonebrake began dealing in groceries, queensware, boots and shoes; and in September of the same year, C. S. Newlon and G. Bush began the drug trade. Later in the fall, H. E. Hammer and Dr. Lake also began the sale of drugs, which they closed out in a few months. Mrs. Jane Huston then started a drug store, but soon closed out her stock to Newlon & Bush, and is now handling confectionery. A livery barn was opened by the Walters Brothers, in the fall of 1881, which they soon afterward sold to J. A. Jones.

The Avenue Hotel was built in the summer of 1881, by Samuel Shoup, which was first run as the Shoup House, and then as the Avenue Hotel, but is now used by John Huston for a residence. The Altamont House was built in the winter of 1881-'82, and opened for the reception of guests in the spring of 1882, by J. J. Giles.

The Presbyterian Church was erected in the fall of 1880, and the Methodist Church in the fall 1882. Both are small frame buildings. There are also Baptist and Christian societies, which have no church houses. In the summer of 1882, C. B. Jones opened a shoe shop and in August of that year J. C. Murphy and M. Jones began business dealing in hardware.

The school district within which the town was included, had been organized for some time. The school building was erected 1872. In the fall of 1880, a new house was built, and the old one sold and reconstructed into a residence. The school district at present has a population of about 100.

The only manufacturing establishment in Altamont is the Altamont steam flouring mill, which was built and put in running order, December 14, 1881. These mills were built and are now owned by M. A. Renner and D. Reed. The building is a two-story frame, and contains three run of buhrs propelled by a thirty-five house engine.

A postoffice called Elston was established at a town by that name, in 1870. The town was started in the fall and winter of 1869, and stood about two miles and a half east of the present site of Altamont. Internal dissension among its population strangled the town in its infancy, and it was move piece-meal to other surrounding towns.

After the demise of Elston, and the laying off of Altamont, the location of the office was changed to the last named place, and called Altamont postoffice, and was kept by Mrs. Jane Huston, who has since held the position of Postmistress.

At the first election for the locating of the county-seat, Altamont, as the center of the county, received a number of votes, although no town had yet been started. The hope of its sometime being made the seat of government for Labette County, was more than any other the cause for its being started, a hope which remains with many of its inhabitants to this day.

When the railroad was constructed, Altamont became a station, and is a point from which considerable shipments of grain, etc., are make. A good agricultural country surrounds the town, which supports a fair and stable trade.

Altamont is located at 37°11'23N, 95°17'37W (37.189803, -95.293529). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.2 km² (1.6 mi²), all land.

As of the census of 2000, there were 1,092 people, 427 households, and 303 families residing in the city. The population density was 261.9/km² (677.1/mi²). There were 458 housing units at an average density of 109.8/km² (284.0/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 96.43% White, 1.37% Native American, 0.18% Asian, 0.09% from other races, and 1.92% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.55% of the population.

There were 427 households out of which 35.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.0% were married couples living together, 8.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.0% were non-families. 26.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.51 and the average family size was 3.05.

In the city the population was spread out with 29.0% under the age of 18, 6.3% from 18 to 24, 25.5% from 25 to 44, 20.7% from 45 to 64, and 18.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 87.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 82.8 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $32,431, and the median income for a family was $40,987. Males had a median income of $30,694 versus $22,019 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,895. About 5.2% of families and 9.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.2% of those under age 18 and 21.2% of those age 65 or over.

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