Mica Marriott
Special to The Gardner News
Several townships and communities that dotted the southwest Johnson County landscape 130 years ago are no longer in existence.
Mount Pleasant, which was better known by its nickname, “Four Corners,” was located near the intersection of 167th Street and Four Corners Road. In the late 1800s, according to older maps of the area, 167th Street was known as McCann Road and Four Corners was known as T.G. Marshall Road. The roads were named after early community farmers.
The township consisted of three churches, one school house, a blacksmith, a general store, a cemetery, and Bellflower Grange No. 621.
The people of Mount Pleasant wore several different hats.
In addition to being a farmer, T.G. Marshall served as Mount Pleasant’s undertaker, preparing bodies for burial. S.H. Ayers, also a farmer, kept a first aid kit and was called upon to set a broken bone or stitch up a wound.
Farmers also often doubled as preachers and pastors for local churches.
The late Margaret Squires Gay was one of the last known denizens of the Mount Pleasant Township. In 1976, she researched and wrote the book, “The History of Four Corners-Mount Pleasant, Johnson County, Kansas.” Her family, the Squires, was one of the founding families of the township in the 1860s.
Margaret attended grade school at Mount Pleasant’s one-room school house. In her late teens, she was the school’s teacher during the Great Depression.
The school house was located on the southeast corner of 167th and Four Corners.
“I rang the bell at 8:30 in the morning, I guess to wake everybody up, then school began at nine, Margaret told The Gardner News in 2011.
Mount Pleasant School District, No. 98, held many fundraisers, such as pie suppers and basket dinners.
Union Church, German Baptist Church and Christian Church attended to the spiritual needs of Mount Pleasant residents.
Trustees of the Mount Pleasant Christian Church purchased a plot of land for the Mount Pleasant burial grounds. Residents planted pine trees along the backside of the graveyard, located north of 167th Street and a half mile east of Four Corners Road.
William Easdale is the last-known person to be buried there. Easdale lived in Olathe at the time of his death, but his body was returned to his former township in a horse-drawn hearse for burial on Feb. 2, 1908.
Now the cemetery is overgrown, and cattle have grazed over the graves for decades.
The Johnson County Fair was held at Mount Pleasant in the late 1870s. Col. G. M. Waugh, who commanded troops in the Civil War, made a speech during one year of the fair. The county fair, sponsored by Grange organizations, eventually moved to Edgerton and to Gardner.
The Bellflower Grange no. 621 building was northwest of Mount Pleasant. Bellflower was a very prosperous grange organized in December of 1873. It held meetings once a month and was an enormous social event for the farmers.
In September of 1896 the Bellflower Grange won second place for their float in the Olathe Parade and received a prize of $5.
The young men of Mount Pleasant organized a boxing club at one point, and others created a literary society. With the help of the local grange, the literary society funded a library for Mount Pleasant.
In 1928, a light beacon was constructed next to the school house to help guide mail planes at night.
As time marched forward, so did the people of this once-thriving community. The church congregations began to dwindle and merge with churches in Gardner. In 1920, Bellflower relinquished their charter and merged with Gardner Grange No. 68. The former church buildings became barns and eventually were demolished along with the school house.