DeGeer Corner & Maria DeGeer Statue

MARIA DE GEER – The Woman Who Founded Scott City, Kansas – 1885

 It is quite possible that Maria DeGeer is the only woman to found a town in the State of Kansas.  And the town she founded is alive and well, all these years later!

“We left Garden City on the 28th of September, 1884, taking with us a double-seated, lightwagon, a large keg of water, buffalo robes, food, matches, some kindling wood and a spade and hatchet and my daughter, Mrs. Eastman, and myself,… accompanied by C.J. Jones, who needs no introduction to the people of this State,.... We pitched our tents in Scott County that night, sleeping on the prairie, or rather watching for and listening to the coyotes who became our close and noisy neighbors…. Next morning I improved the north west quarter…and Mrs. Eastman the southeast quarter…cornering on the geographical center of Scott County, and with our own hands dug the four corner foundations of our future claim houses. Mrs. Eastman and myself never gave up. I had faith in God and Kansas and she had faith in her mother and Scott County.” -M.E. DeGeer
Maria DeGeer was 55 when she and her daughter arrived in Scott County. Already a very outspoken and requested speaker in the Temperance movement, a leader of Prison Reform, and well astute in practicing law, Mrs. DeGeer climbed into a wagon to set a new precedent; good and upright people want to establish cities and towns devoted to honest and principled living.
This indelible legacy has been revived in an age where our history has struggled to survive. The town Maria DeGeer founded rides the shirttails of the legacy she established with a thriving and progressive community. Our schools, our businesses, our agricultural endeavors, and even many parts of Kansas; all reflect her image and yet we know little about this dedicated woman. DeGeer Corner has set bare and is due its full recognition.
Endeavoring to give the full honor Maria DeGeer deserves, the DeGeer Corner Committee has identified the site of her claim cabin and commissioned Jerry Thomas, artist and historian, to sculpt a heroic bronze statue of her to be placed on the very site. The DeGeer Statue Fund has been established to finance this venture.
We would like to invite you to be a part of this brilliant history as we bring back DeGeer Corner to its rightful place and honor the heritage of women of the frontier and our town founder, Maria Elizabeth DeGeer.