On April 2, 1878, the town company, which had been formed at Wichita for the purpose of laying out a town at some point near the center of this beautiful county, arrived at Harper City and engaged the services of B. F. Lee, afterward County Surveyor, but then a resident of Harper and a member of the town company. Under his guidance they reached the site of the lone house that had served for "Bluff City, the largest place in the county". Following Spring Creek, they reached a point several miles northwest of the present town and began to mark out the streets by running lines with a plow. Lee and Dr. H. Owens were not satisfied with this location and went on horseback to a point near where Anthony now stands. Returning, they induced the party to move to a camp one mile south of Anthony. Here they found a beautiful town site, but also discovering that they were on a school section (Section 36) they moved one mile north, where, on April 6, 1878, they located the present town.
The town site was made to cover 320 acres, and the town company, officered by O. Jennings, President, St. Clair Gray, Secretary, and B. H. Stedman, Treasurer, proceeded to enter the land for pre-emption as a town site. On June 10, 1878, they proved up through Judge E. Evans, of Sumner County. The first work of the town company was to build a barracks 18x30 for the accommodation of emigrants, and to dig three public wells. About a dozen box houses sprung up at once, and B. F. Lee moved from Harper the house which was already framed for raising at that place. The first store of any size was erected by Cornell & Wright, and filled with general merchandise. F. M. Hester opened the first hardware store, C. A. Miller the first drug store. H. H. Kirkpatrick was the first physician, and his brother, W. R. Kirkpatrick, the first attorney in the town. The new town grew rapidly and has now a population of 500. This is well backed by the rural population of this part of the county, and when, as she soon must, Anthony has a railroad, her growth will be something wonderful.
Early in 1879, a petition for the incorporation of Anthony as a city of the third class was drawn up and presented to the Governor. This petition defines the location of the town and states that it has a bona fide population of 275. The petition was granted and an election set for July 18, 1879, resulted in the choice of Henry Holmes, Mayor; Jackson Brock, Police Judge; Jacob Hummel, G. W. Vickers, George P. Morgan, Simpson Van Winkle and David Hinsey, Councilmen. F. N. Hester was appointed City Clerk. Brock failed to qualify, and on November 10, 1879, R. H. Lockwood was appointed Police Judge, and G. W. Moffett, City Clerk. February 9, 1880, J. Brock was appointed Police Judge.
On April 5, 1880, occurred the first regular election, but the vote was said to be fraudulent, and the Council, at their meeting April 7, refused to canvass it. There were then two sets of officers and two Councils, each claiming to be legally elected. On April 29, Acting Mayor Vickers and the Council met in response to a mandamus from the Supreme Court, and proceeded to count the ballots cast on the 5th. Their return showed that Jackson Brock had been elected Mayor and W. S. Cade, Police Judge. These officers then took their seats and George Vickers was appointed City Clerk.
A straight fight was in order from this time forward, and July 5 Vickers was removed and A. S. Lindsay appointed City Clerk. The "outs," however, got the best of the contest, and July 22 we find an entry to the effect that H. N. Kirkpatrick was elected Mayor on April 5 and L. S. Webb Police Judge. These officers secured their seats and appointed G. W. Bennett City Clerk. S. Adams became Mayor in 1881, and J. B. Forbes in 1882. J. D. Brown was elected Police Judge in 1881 and re-elected in 1882. G. W. Morgan has been City Clerk for the past two years.
Anthony Post Office was started in the summer of 1878, and G. W. Maffett appointed Postmaster. The office was supplied by a stage, which ran from Wichita to Anthony once a week. Later this service became daily, and when the railway reached Harper a short line was put on from that point and the Wichita line discontinued. Another line runs daily between Anthony and Caldwell. J. M. Lapham followed Maffett and was in turn succeeded by A. S. Lendsay, the present Postmaster. The office was made a money order one in 1880, and the first order purchased August 2 of that year by A. R. Blackburn.
District No. 1, which includes the city of Anthony, was formed in 1879, and the public school system inaugurated on May 5, by the engagement of Misses Clara Sherwood and Sarah Bidwell as teachers. On September 29, C. M. Cade and Miss Mary Patton took charge of the school. G. H. Woodward became Principal on January 1, 1880, and remained until the summer of 1881. The school year of 1881-82 was supplied by Misses Ella S. Kelly and L. Belle Neel, and that of 1882-83 by J. A. Lynn, Miss M. E. Meigs and Mrs. H. Amey. A school building was completed in July, 1879, at a cost of $1,300. In the summer of 1882, two large wings were added at a cost of $1,000. Funds for both these outlays were secured by the issuance of district bonds, which were sold to the Secretary of State at par.
The first regular church society in Anthony was the Congregational, which organized in 1879, with a membership of nineteen. Its first pastor was Rev. Mr. Hobbs, who was succeeded by Rev. T. D. Childs, the present pastor, in October, 1880. The first services were held in the old court house, whence they were removed to the schoolhouse, and later to the church building. This building was put up in 1880, at a cost of $1,700, and has a seating capacity of 250. The society now numbers sixty. The Union Sabbath School, started in 1878, has always been connected with this church, and in 1882 had an average attendance of 120. A partition was effected January 1, 1883, and the school now numbers about seventy. It is in charge of O. Jennings.
The Methodist Episcopal Church at this point was formed in the fall of 1878, by Rev. W. H. Mock, who gathered nine members. Occasional services were held by W. H. Mock and J. D. Hamilton, the earliest being held at the residence of B. F. Lee. Later the old court house and the school building were put in requisition. In the fall of 1882, work was begun on a church edifice, which was completed in 1883, and dedicated January 28, at a cost of $2,500. J. W. Anderson, the church's first regular pastor, was followed by Revs. J. W. White, J. H. Shidler, J. W. Anderson and J. D. Woods, the present pastor. The society now numbers sixty-five. A Sabbath school, organized January 1, 1883, has an average attendance of sixty-five, and is in charge of Mr. L. G. Peck.
The Christian Church was organized in 1880, with eighteen members. It has been served by Revs. Embry, Collins and Culverson, but is at present without a pastor. Its membership is about twenty-five, but fully forty of this persuasion are in the immediate neighborhood, and would join the church were regular services held. The early services were held in the schoolhouse, but the latter in a building donated to the society by Mrs. Davis.
The Baptist Church was organized June 26, 1881, with seventeen members. Early services were held in the schoolhouse, and later in a rented store room in town, but are now conducted in the court house. The society had occasional services by Revs. J. C. Post and L. D. Robinson, but had no regular pastor until the coming of Rev. J. M. Wood, the present incumbent. The church membership is now seventy-six. A separate Sabbath school was started January 1, 1883, and is in charge of Mr. James Elgin. It has an average attendance of fifty.
The Journal. -The first number of the Anthony Journal appeared on August 22, 1878, as a five-column folio, and bore the name of J. S. Soule as editor and proprietor. On May 22, 1879, the paper passed into the hands of C. W. Greene, who ran it until April 8, 1881, when it was temporarily suspended. Meantime, several changes had been made, the paper enlarging August 15, 1879, to a six-column, and May 7, 1880, to a seven-column folio. In this latter shape it was resurrected October 27, 1881, by Fletcher Meredith. August 31, 1882, it was made a six-column quarto, and March 1, 1883, the office was leased to B. F. Widner for one year. The paper has a circulation of 350 and a good advertising patronage.
The Republican. -The Anthony Republican was started October 19, 1879, by Moffett & Metcalf. Its first appearance was as a six-column folio. This was changed January 8, 1880, to a seven-column, and December 23, 1882, to a six-column quarto. Metcalf's name disappears February 26, 1880, and that of George W. Moffett stands alone until May 27, of the same year when A. S. Lindsay became a partner in the business, which, August 5, of the same year passed into his sole possession. The paper is Republican, is issued Saturdays, and has a circulation of 450.
Anthony Lodge, No. 200, A., F. & A. M., was organized July 24, 1880, with thirteen members, and chartered February 17, 1881. Its first officers were: O. F. Casteen, W. M. ; L. J. Rinehart, S. W.; W. P. Olmstead, J. W.; O. F. Northrop, Treas.; H. O. Meigs, Secretary. The lodge now numbers thirty-six members, and has the following officers: F. C. Hull, W. M.; C. A. Miller, S. W.; T. F. Pryor, J. W.; W. P. Olmstead, Treas; B. F. Smith, Secretary. Meetings are held on each Monday, on or before full moon.
Anthony Lodge, No. 2253, K. of H., was organized June 25, 1880, with eleven members, and the following officers: I. B. Forbes, P. D.; R. J. Simpson, D.; A. R. Blackburn, V. D.; E. M. Watrous, A. D.; G. W. Bennett, Rep.; G. M. Keller, F. R.; E. G. Wright, Treasurer; B. F. Lee, Guide; M. W. Halsey, Chaplain. The lodge is now extinct. Its last officers were: R. J. Simpson, P. D.; H. O. Meigs, D.; G. N. Bennett, V. D.; A. R. Blackburn, A. D.; M. W. Halsey, F. R.; G. M. Keller, Med. Ex.
Benton Post, No. 61, G A. R., was organized May 28, 1882, with twenty- four members, and the follwing officers: M. W. Halsey, C.; T. H. Stevens, S. V. C.; O. C. Howe, J. V. C.; G. M. Keller, Surgeon; E. D. Bowen, Quartermaster; A. H. Broadstone, O. D.; C. S. Matteson, O. G.; John F. Goggin, Adjt. The Post now number thirty-six, and has the same officers, except W. H. Mock, O. G.; and J. A. Du Bois, Adjt. Meetings are held on the second and fourth Saturdays of each month in the court house.
Anthony Council, No. 13, National Union, was organized in the spring of 1882, and the following officers elected: I. B. Forbes, Pres.; Mrs. J. Knapp, V. P.; Mrs. I. B. Forbes, Treas.; F. Meredith, Secretary. The organization has practically disbanded, and no other officers have been elected, nor are any meetings held.
Odd Fellowship. -No lodge of Odd Fellows exists at this place, but a petition has recently been forwarded to the Grand Lodge, and a lodge will probably soon be instituted. This petition is signed by J. S. Cade, G. B. Stevens, F. P. Privet, Jacob Hummel, C. N. Bulger, S. Adams and J. G. Ghio.
Banking. -The first and only bank established at Anthony was started in July, 1879, by P. Anderson, who began business in a small frame structure standing in the street. The stone building now in use was at once begun, and pushed to completion at a cost of $2,500. The bank has a capital of $20,000, but as a private concern makes no staetment sic of resources.
Globe Mills. -These mills were built in 1880-81, and put in operation February 22, of the latter year, by Holdridge, Connelly & Co., the present owners. The mill building is of brown sandstone, 38x40 feet, and has three stories and a basement. It is fitted with five run of buhr-stones, one set of rolls, and an engine of seventy horse-power. The capacity of the mills is 150 barrels of flour per day, and their total cost a trifle over $25,000. A large trade is had with points in the Indian Territory, as well as with surrounding towns.
Anthony is located at 37°9'14N, 98°1'46W (37.153902, -98.029396). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.0 km² (1.5 mi²), all land.
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,440 people, 1,059 households, and 659 families residing in the city. The population density was 615.7/km² (1,597.4/mi²). There were 1,215 housing units at an average density of 306.6/km² (795.4/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 96.19% White, 0.29% African American, 0.98% Native American, 0.20% Asian, 0.53% from other races, and 1.80% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.48% of the population.
There were 1,059 households out of which 28.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.0% were married couples living together, 7.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.7% were non-families. 34.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 21.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.25 and the average family size was 2.91.
In the city the population was spread out with 25.8% under the age of 18, 7.5% from 18 to 24, 21.9% from 25 to 44, 20.7% from 45 to 64, and 24.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 90.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.3 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $24,730, and the median income for a family was $37,321. Males had a median income of $27,042 versus $17,604 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,540. About 12.8% of families and 16.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.8% of those under age 18 and 8.4% of those age 65 or over.