Located about 26 miles west of Atchison, the first town site was situated about 2 ½ miles northeast of the present town. It was surveyed by Dr. W. P. Badger and Major C. B. Keith, proprietors, who had settled there in the spring of 1856. 

The survey was completed in the fall of that year, and in 1858, Mr. Keith opened the first store. Dr. Badger soon became the local Indian Agent, a position he held from 1858 to 1862. The town name is of  Kickapoo Indian origin and means "beautiful prairie" or "prairie on fire." The village gained a post office in December, 1861. In 1867, the Union Pacific Railroad purchased land on the present-day town site with Dr. W.P. Badger acting as agent for the railroad. The land was surveyed that fall and the first general store was opened by a man named Armstrong. Soon, other residents and businesses moved closer to the tracks and the former town site was then referred to as "Old Muscotah."


 Congregational Church was built in 1869, which also served the congregation of the Methodist Episcopalians. A school was built in the 1870s and the Methodists built their own church in 1879. By the early 1880s, Muscotah had grown to the largest town in the county, boasting over 500 residents. it also had four general stores, a grocery store, three drug stores, three blacksmith shops, a bakery, meat shop, two shoemaker shops, two cabinet shops, one pump dealer, a nursery, three hotels, two livery stables, a grist mill, a school, one lawyer and three doctors.


By 1910, the town remained prosperous and continued to maintain a number of businesses. At that time its population was nearly 500. Like other small Kansas towns, Muscotah declined over the next century. Though it still maintains a post office and about 200 people, the village is filled with abandoned buildings. It is located about 26 miles west of Atchison on U.S. Highway 159.


Muscotah is a city in Atchison County, Kansas, United States. The population was 200 at the 2000 census.



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