Welcome to the online archive of the history of Derby, Kansas. Here you will find photos, newspaper articles, videos, etc.


After the end of the Civil War, the area of land now known as Derby was opened up for settlement. In spring of 1869, Alexander and Margaret Garrett became the first of many settlers to put down roots in the area of Spring Creek.  The town of El Paso was established in July 1871 when John Hufbauer and J. Hout Minnich each decided to give close to 40 acres of land for the creation of a town. A majority of the settlers were farmers but early businesses in the area included a grain dealer, hotel, feed stable, post office, blacksmith, dry goods and grocer, and a doctor.

The name of the train depot was changed by the Santa Fe railroad from El Paso to Derby in the 1880s when the mail for El Paso, Kansas and El Paso, Texas kept getting mixed up. This was an unofficial change as the town was still listed as El Paso in the county records. When the town was incorporated as a third class city in June 1903, the petition had to be filed under El Paso and not Derby. The name was not officially changed until August 1956 after a petition of 978 legal voters was submitted to the county.

Recently Added Items

Juanita Rogers
circa 1910

1972 Juanita Rogers cabinet card circa 1910 Inv. 23-080119 unknown donor museum.jpg

Juanita Rogers circa 1910. The photographer was Harry Pottenger. On the back is written Juanita Rodgers. Photographic print on cabinet card

Cornelia Hall
Superintendent 1911 - 1914

1971 Cornelia Hall teacher at Vernon circa 1904 Inv. 23-080118 unknown donor museum.jpg

Cornelia Hall taught at Vernon School circa 1904. She later became Derby's first female superintendent in 1911 and stayed through 1914 before getting…

Unknown baby
in an old fashioned baby dress
circa 1890s

1906 unknown baby in an old fashioned dress cabinet card circa 1890s INV. 23-080117 unknown donor museum.jpg

Unknown baby dressed in an old fashioned baby dress, possibly a baptism gown. Written in blue ink across the top is “Old fashioned baby dress.” The…