In July of 1877 a small group of men who help to organize and officially established Nicodemus arrived on the town site from Topeka. Zach Fletcher the postmaster and his wife Jenny, the first woman to arrive on the townsite and a few other settlers were among this first group. In 1877, 1878, and 1879 other settlers arrived in three subsequent large groups. The majority of these settlers had roots in Scott and Fayette counties Kentucky. Some were from Tennessee and others were from Mississippi. Small groups and individual families arrived, settling even later in the century.
Morris Bell of Mt. Olive Baptist Church of Dry Run helped to organize the group. About 300 pioneer settlers boarded the train at Sadieville heading north to Cincinnati, Ohio and then west to Kansas. Five days later they arrived at Ellis, still a two day walk from Nicodemus. Some of the families included in this group were: John/Caroline Scott, John, Jerry, and Tom Welton, John Niles, Raz Kirtly and wife, Mr. & Mrs. Davenport and family, John Dorsey and family, Rang Harris and Family, Mr. & Mrs. Tom Johnson and family, Mr. & Mrs. Charles Baxter, Mr. & Mrs. Steven Lilly, Mr. & Mrs. John Vaughn and Family. There were 60 families in the group, but some return.
Scott County Group
This group of about 150 travelled by train to Ellis and arrived in Nicodemus during March 1878. Rev. Daniel and Willianna Hickman were among the group. Many were from his former church Mt. Olive near Georgetown. Several in group had measles and were quarantined before making the walking trip to Nicodemus. Once they arrived, many were disappoined and returned immediately. Some like the Neal and Vinegar families made their homes in Ellis.
“There is Nicodemus!” Being very sick, I hailed this news with gladness. I looked with all the eyes I had. “Where is Nicodemus? I don’t see it.” My husband pointed out various smokes coming out of the ground and said, “That is Nicodemus.” The families lived in dugouts. We landed and once again struck tents. l The scenery time was not at all inviting, and I began to cry. Willianna Hickman 1878
This group was organized and Led by John Samuels. They arrived in prairie schooners. Families included were: Samuel Garland, Henry Hall, Amanuel Napue, Meridee Sadler, Clark Samuels, Hiram Travis. A short time later another group from Leavenworth came, they were families of Swan Atkinson, Lewis Atkinson, William Burleigh, Taylor Turner, Henry Garret, Capt. Jiles Green and families (settled at Stockton), Henry Blue and Sam Truehart. Other settlers that came later were: Rhueben King, Allen Rollins (OH), Tandy Wilson and son Lawrence (KY), Levi Hobson (Miss), Henry Jones (MO). The Bates’(MO) and Sayers (NE) families were known to have arrived during 1880s.