The land upon which the Sedan town-site was located originally belonged to F. G. Bowers. The Sedan Town Company obtained the land for the town.
In 1870, Thomas Scurr came into the valley with a load of lumber with which to build a store. He thought the area looked like his home in Sedan, France, therefore, he named it Sedan.
In 1871, a post office was established in Sedan. Due to lack of patronage, it was closed and moved to Ross City which was located on a cliff across from Danny William's home. The post office was reestablished in Sedan in 1874. At that time, Sedan had a store, a blacksmith shop, and a school. Lots were given to anyone who would build on them. At that time, the population was 200.
The Kansas Legislature divided Howard County into Chautauqua County and Elk County in 1875. At the time, Howard County was having financial difficulties. The legislature named Sedan the county seat of Chautauqua County, and Howard was named the county seat of Elk County. The citizens of Sedan started immediate construction of their county courthouse. This was done because, before the division of Howard County, the county seat was moved many times. In fact, Peru was the county seat at one time.
On April 3, 1876, prominent men of Sedan filed a petition with District Judge W. P. Campbell for the town to be incorporated. The first mayor was A. B. King, and five councilmen composed the governing body. The first twenty-three mayors were elected annually, but after 1909 they were elected every two years.
A petition was presented to the city council on May 6, 1904, asking them to consider installing a sanitary sewer system. At that time, there was a water works petition also being circulated. On June 10, 1904, there was a special election for the purpose of issuing bonds to build a waterworks and sewer system. The water works system cost $18,000 and the sewer system cost $12,000. The original water works system had a pump station at the foot of Douglas Street near the river, and a reservoir on the Heimbaugh Hill. The original sewer system started at the county jail, and ran south to the Bradford Hotel corner, thence east through the alley behind the stores on the north side of main street to the opera house, thence south. Another line was in the alley behind the stores on the south side of Main Street, and the two branches met and drained toward Big Creek, where it emptied into a septic tank.
The water system was finished in 1905, however it was only used for domestic purposes - not for drinking water. Most homes had wells and cisterns at that time. This system was used until 1935, when the lake was built. Water was carried by lead pipes to a new filter plant and a water tower was built. The sewer system was constructed at the same time as the water system.
In 1921 - 1922, paving the business district was discussed by council. Paving the main thoroughfares was necessary because dirt streets could not be maintained or kept in decent condition under heavy traffic.
This information was provided by Chautauqua County Historical and Genealogical Society.
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