Residents of this southern Dickinson county are convinced "There will always be "Hope" in Kansas." The masthead of the local newspaper, the Hope Dispatch, carried the message for many years, and the town's centennial song also has the same title.
Ridge Township was organized in 1872. A cluster of businesses and houses emerged as the nucleus of a village to meet the community's needs. In 1880 voters from the south half of the township petitioned for separation. Partition of the township was granted and Hope Township was officially organized. Election of officers was held in the Michigan schoolhouse. One statement recounts the township and the townsite, Hope, was named to honor Newell Thurstin's deceased son, another account mentions the name was suggested by the women of the United Methodist Church.
Thurstin, Founder of the town of Hope (700 Avenue & Oat Road) in Sections 2 and 3, 16-3, Hope Township, was a Michigan immigrant and pioneer merchant. He staked his homestead claim in the bounds of what became the town of Hope. Vending of his tock of merchandise was from his home until the business outgrew the space. He then built a store in the business section of the townsite. Thurstin's successor, in 1883, was J.W. Bradshaw who, with his son, handled general merchandise and farming implements until the turn of the century.
A post office was opened as early as 1871, but from 1874 until 1882 Thurstin handled the mail from his store. In 1886 a news item read, "Hope sends and receives more mail than all other towns on the Topeka, Salina, and Western Railroad put together." In 1962, a new post office was built in downtown Hope.
Ref: Past and Present Towns of Dickinson County Kansas 1999; Written by: Helen Dingler
Ref: Arvis Steimel, Hope
Reva Kendall, Enterprises
A Century of Hope, 1986
Kansas Historical Society Quarterly
Vol. 15 #3, 8-1992