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A brief history of Gardner from the gardnerkansas.gov website
Gardner's 150 Years Old!
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.
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.
Some of the items that were presented to the City in recognition of this momentous occasion:
The Gardner Athena Club presented the City with a lovely crystal vase celebrating 150 years. The Gardner Grange created a wonderful plaque, congratulating the City on this milestone in history. Embarq presented a magnificent replica of the Ad Astra statue. This is a replica of Richard Bergen's 22 foot tall bronze sculpture that was placed atop of the Kansas Capitol dome in the fall of 2002. It is a sculpture of a Kaw Indian pointing his drawn bow at the North Star. Embarq also presented a framed certificate and notification that there will be a commemorative brick honoring Gardner's 150 year milestone placed in the Capitol Plaza area of the Kansas State Capitol in Topeka. Governor Kathleen Sebelius and Senator Karin Brownlee presented the City with Proclamations. Congressman Dennis Moore presented the City with a certificate and a Flag that had flown at the Capitol in recognition of Gardner's Sesquicentennial.