About Gardner, KS

Known as where the Trails Divide, Gardner has a significant place in the history of the westward expansion of the United States.

Gardner is named in honor of Governor Gardner of Massachusetts.  Nearly all of the early settlers were Free State men and one of the first Free State conventions in the country was held in Gardner in 1858. Gardner was the first town in the State of Kansas to be raided by border ruffians from Missouri, called Bushwhackers.On October 22, 1861, Bushwhackers raided Gardner because of its support of freedom for slaves. Gardner was raided two other times between 1861 and 1863. On June 7, 1886, a petition with fifty signers was filed with the district court providing that Gardner should become an incorporated town of the third class.  On September 26, 2002, Gardner officially became a City of the Second Class.

In 2007, the City of Gardner celebrated it’s 150th Birthday – Gardner’s Sesquicentennial! This year long celebration culminated with the Festival on the Trails event held on September 14 and 15, 2007. It was a huge success and took many, many wonderful volunteers working together to make it happen.

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