Celebrating El Dorado’s History

Deanna Bonn
Built in 1887, this building housed the original El Dorado City Hall.

The city of El Dorado is marking the 150th anniversary of Eldorado’s incorporation as a city. El Dorado incorporated as a city of the third class on Sept.12, 1871.

In celebration of this historic occasion, many events are being planned throughout the 150th year which officially begins on Sept. 12, 2020 and extends through Sept. 12, 2021.

As part of this year-long event, Everyday El Dorado will be turning back the clock of time on a hunt for history through a podcast series with host Deanna Bonn and co-host Suzanne Walenta. Walenta is the Curator of the Butler County Historical Society Home of the Kansas Oil Museum.

The series “Celebrating 150 Years in El Dorado” will air on KBTL 88.1 The Grizz each Wednesday at 12 p.m. beginning on September 9, 2020, and is produced through a partnership with Everyday El Dorado, the Butler County Historical Society Home of the Kansas Oil Museum, KBTL 88.1 and series sponsor Linda Baines, Realtor with SunGroup Real Estate and Appraisals.

While September 12th is the day officially recognized as El Dorado’s founding, and will be observed by businesses, organizations and events throughout the year-long celebration, it was not the first time the town was incorporated.

El Dorado was first incorporated as Eldorado Town Company on February 6, 1858 under an act by the Governor and Legislative Assembly of the Territory of Kansas.

Eldorado was incorporated, again, on February 25, 1868 under an act of the State of Kansas then revised and amended to be a city third class on March 2, 1871. However, due to the failure of election for officers, the election was officially held on September 12, 1871 and this has become the date now recognized.

The City of El Dorado was eventually incorporated as a city of the second class on July 15, 1885.

Settled and founded through the struggle to establish Kansas as a Free State, El Dorado has a rich history that has been buried and lost to the passage of time.

The ongoing series will unearth those forgotten stories and revive the ghosts of El Dorado and Eldorado’s past.