Duluth, Kansas

Most people who live in Duluth, Minnesota know about Duluth, Georgia. Just today, however, I discovered that there is a third Duluth — Duluth, Kansas. I had no idea.


It’s located approximately 120 miles from Kansas City. Unsurprisingly, it’s a very small town, and there isn’t much information about it on the internet. Here’s a brief history of the town, which doesn’t give a whole lot of useful information, probably because there isn’t much useful information to give.

This map gives a pretty good idea of the town’s size. That’s the whole town. I’ve had some trouble finding the actual population of the town, but the population of Pottawatomie County is 21,604 according to the 2010 census.

So there you are. Next time you find yourself driving aimlessly through northern Kansas, stop in Duluth and snap a few pics. We’ll post them here and give our namesake an online presence.

22 Comments

johnm

about 9 years ago

Of all the places I drive aimlessly ... northern Kansas isn't likely to be on the list.  Though a planned detour on the way to "Manhattan" might be warranted.

TimK

about 9 years ago

I wonder how they ended up naming it Duluth. There is a connection to Daniel Greysolon in Duluth, Georgia as well as our fair city.

Danny G

about 9 years ago

My family and I lived in Wichita for about year a decade or so ago.  When I would tell people I was from Duluth, MN they would get confused and some even thought I was from Duluth, KS.  The confusion would really kick in when I would tell them that the wife was from Minneapolis (Minneapolis, KS isnt too far from Wichita).

Barrett Chase

about 9 years ago

According to the page I linked to above the original name was Doelitz, but was later changed (morphed?) to Duluth.

Andrew

about 9 years ago

Lots of German town and street names, like Doelitz, were changed during and soon after World War I. Not sure if that's the case here, but it could be. Maybe "Duluth" was picked because it sounded similar.

pH

about 9 years ago

The history of Duluth KS is spare, however by filling in the gaps:  Duluth, KS was settled by the Doelitz family from Prussian province of Pomerania.   They changed to town name Duluth in 1909. Why?  Perhaps they had hopes of replicating go-go Minnesota Duluth (1909); as coldly unsentimental Kansans have a history of changing town names, solely for promotional purposes.  Or maybe they just wanted to swindle new immigrants looking for land.  The town was dissolved six years later when the settlers' adorable pet dogs turned on the town folk.  The non-stop yipping, while never quite bad enough to call the Sheriff, was heard as far away as Topeka.

Tom

about 9 years ago

I have to admit, I'm disappointed in the people who haven't ever heard of Duluth, Kansas.

Considering the size of the town, I'd be surprised if they were trying to take after our Duluth.  Even in the early 1900s, Duluth was significantly larger than Doelitz.  I also couldn't possibly imagine why a farming community in Kansas would name itself after a port city in Minnesota.

If there's anyone here who's got some time on their hands, it would be cool to do some investigative reporting.  Maybe try to get in contact with someone in Duluth or nearby Onaga and try to solve the mystery of the name.

Or maybe somebody in Duluth, Kansas will do a Google search for "Duluth Kansas," see this post, and enlighten us.  (As of now, this PDD post is already the 4th result on Google.)

hbh1

about 9 years ago

TimK, there is no Daniel Greysolon connection to Duluth, Georgia. They named Duluth, Ga after our Duluth because of the Proctor Knott speech, as sort of a joke and because of a RR connection. 

If you read the same website I did, the confusion comes when they refer to the City of Duluth (MN) and the town of Duluth (GA). The writer of the website makes it sound like the Sioux and Saulters (?) lived in Georgia. They did not. It's just a poor editing job, I think.

hbh1

about 9 years ago

Also, it looks like the Wikipedia page makes the same confusion, because they copied their text from duluthga.net.

Chris Julin

about 9 years ago

pH seems to be correct that settlers from Doelitz in Prussia gave Doelitz, KS its original name. Genealogy records show a bunch of folks from Doelitz, Pomerania settling in Pottawatomie County in the late 1800s. 

By 1912, the renamed Duluth KS had a post office. The Duluth P.O. closed in 1986. That's about all I can find.

I just searched the electronic editions of two ginormous books of Kansas history and neither book makes a mention of either Duluth or Doelitz. Likewise, the Kansapedia at the Kansas Historical Society has no entry for either name.

Andrew

about 9 years ago

I searched the U.S. Geological Survey's online place names index, and in addition to the Duluths already mentioned, found:

- Duluth Mine in Clear Creek County, Colorado
- Duluth, a closed post office and, I assume, a former community in Madison County, Kentucky
- The Duluth Snowden Pond Dam in Lauderdale County, Mississippi
- Duluth, a "populated place" in Grant County, Nebraska, reportedly named after Duluth, Minn.
- Duluth or Duluth Camp, a mining boom town that quickly became a ghost town in Nye County, Nevada. Had a post office and, according to a Google Books search, also briefly had a newspaper in 1907 named, oddly enough, the Duluth Tribune
- Duluth, a "census designated place" in Clark County, Washington, just north of Portland, Oregon

Eric

about 9 years ago

Did you know there is also a Minneapolis, KS? Coincidence or conspiracy?

Danny G

about 9 years ago

Never heard of it.

pH

about 9 years ago

Was it ever Du Lhut, MN?  Reckon if the anglos  wanted to fully de-French it, could have made it 'Dull Hut'.  I think we did alright.

vicarious

about 9 years ago

Amazingly, there are towns named Proctor in at least eight states.

matilda

about 9 years ago

I looked into this and there are MANY towns called Lakeside.  They must truly admire our community.

Tom

about 9 years ago

Anyone care to take a crack at how Suk-ed-Duluth, Dhamar, Yemen got it's name???

Gina

about 9 years ago

I believe I have been there (had a period of self-imposed exile to Kansas a while back). I took photos, but it was pre-digital days. I'll scan them if I can find them someday.

Paul Lundgren

about 5 years ago

Duluth Kansas

Apparently the town was big enough at one point to support a mercantile. This is the only piece of Duluth, Kansas memorabilia I have ever seen.

Samantha Nolte

about 4 years ago

I live in Duluth now right next to the train track. It is very uneventful there. But a nice place to live since it is quiet. And just 5 miles from Onaga.

Michael Eisenbarth

about 2 years ago

As some one from the area, this should help give a little bit more history about Duluth, Kansas. 

Lost Kansas Communities: Duluth, Pottawatomie County

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