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A Brief History of De Soto

Founded in 1857, the City of De Soto will celebrate it’s sesquicentennial anniversary in 2007. Named for the Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto, several families of settlers first established the town around a steam saw mill on the Kansas River. Originally, Shawnee was the town’s main street, along which various business ventures, including a grocery store, blacksmith’s shop, boarding house and ferry service took root.

Abbott’s Hall, built by it’s namesake in 1865, was host to the small town’s dances and other social activities until the turn of the century. The stone building, still situated at the Southwest corner of Peoria and 83rd Streets, is now home to a local museum. De Soto became a third class city and established a mail route in 1902.

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Abbott Hall
Abbott Hall

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