Mulvane, Kansas History

Mulvane Downtown has a long and rich community history. Mulvane was named after Joab Mulvane, a railroad official who was essential in getting the depot started and putting Mulvane on the map as a train stop.

Mulvane was first laid out in August 1879 and the Mulvane Town Company’s Certificate of Incorporation was filed on September 20th, 1879. The original town was built at the junction of five Santa Fe rail lines. The very first train to ever pull into Mulvane arrived from Wichita, Kansas, on September 29, 1879. The Mulvane Station was two box cars, set end to end on the west side of the tracks. The following day, a train from Wellington arrived, and both trains, pulling flat cars with railroad ties for seats, were loaded with approximately 4,000 people. Leaving Mulvane, the trains traveled on to Winfield, Kansas, to celebrate the new addition to the railroad. The two box cars were used as the Mulvane depot until 1910, when a new brick depot was built. This depot is now home to the Mulvane Historical Society.

Downtown was once home to a furniture store, three dry goods and grocery stores, two restaurants, two saloons, one hotel, two blacksmith shops, one butcher shop, two physicians, two grain and stock dealers, and two boarding houses. At one time there was an opera house on the top floor of a hardware/grocery store on the south side of Main Street.  It was there for several years.  The building stands empty there today and is privately owned.

The Mulvane Downtown Co-Op started out as the Mulvane Mill in 1895. The mill changed hands several times in the early 1900’s and was purchased by the Mulvane Co-Operative Union in 1921.  It is still in operation today.

Amos Skinner started the Mulvane Bank is 1883. The Mulvane State Bank started next is 1886. The Farmers State Bank started in 1906 and lasted until the last part of the 1920’s, ending in a tragic closing for many of the Mulvane community. The bank has been operated by the current owners, the Carson family, since 1949. In 2008, the name was changed to Carson Bank. The main bank is in Mulvane with three full service branches in the cities of Mulvane, Derby, and Wichita, Kansas.

For more information about the history of Mulvane, view the photo gallery below and visit the City of Mulvane and the Mulvane Historical Society web sites.


“The Mulvane Town Company” Filed Sept. 20, 1879

H. C. Helbert
Mulvane, Sedgwick County, Kansas

John Loper
Sedgwick County, Kansas

Joab Mulvane
Shawnee County, Kansas

N.E. Dickson
Shawnee County, Kansas

Alden Spears
Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts