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

Barber Roy Northcutt with daughter Mildred
circa November 1929

7005 Jephta L _Roy_ Northcutt  with daughter Mildred Barber Shop Bluff City, KS circa November 1929 Janeen Miller.jpg

Jephta “Roy” Northcutt ran a barber shop in Bluff City, KS and is pictured here with daughter Mildred in November 1929.

Barber Roy Northcutt with a customer
circa 1913

7003 Jephta L _Roy_ Northcutt  with customer Barber Shop Bluff City, KS circa 1913 Janeen Miller.jpg

Jephta “Roy” Northcutt ran a barber shop in Bluff City, KS and is pictured here with a customer in 1913.

Dale Milton Pease
circa late 1915

2019a Dale Milton Pease circa late 1915 Inv. 23-080145 unknown donor museum.jpg

Dale Milton Pease was the son of Thomas Pease. Photographic print on a cabinet card.