A thriving town of a grist mill and businesses that became a short lived oil boom town when the first oil well, the Carrie Oswald  #1, come in just a short walking distance away.

The grist mill was one of the most interesting things about Fairport. A unique feature of this old mill was a mill-race passing through  a huge hill. In about 1898,  mill owner Bill Potter, decided to dig through the hill and not go around it. A local man Ben Hopper owed Potter a large sum of money. It was agreed he would void the loan if Hopper dug the one-half mile long tunnel at the rate of one dollar a day.   He dug by hand from both ends and luckily the tunnels met in the middle of the hill only a few feet out of line  The river was then diked west of the hill until the water was high enough to pour through the mill-race and out the east side of the hill where it was used to turn the water-wheel.

Fairport, Kansas


The Russell County
   Historical Society & Genealogy Society

Russell County Historical Society and Genealogy Society
P. O. Box 245 or 331 Kansas Street Russell, Ks 67665
Phone (785) 483-3637
E-mail rchs@russellks.net

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