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Victoria Kansas

Victoria was founded by Scottish and English settlers in 1873.

George Grant was a store clerk in Scotland who moved to London and made a fortune in the silk market.

Grant heard of thousands of acres of untouched land in Kansas and visited in 1872. Upon his return to Great Britain, he convinced parents of nobility to send their young people with him to raise sheep and cattle on the Kansas prairie.

He purchased more than 25,000 acres of land from the Kansas Pacific Railroad for $50,000.

The settlers came in 1873 and brought with them what is thought to be the first Aberdeen Angus cattle to the United States.

The colony, named for Queen Victoria, extended in checkerboard fashion from present-day Victoria south to the Smoky Hill River and between what is now Munjor and Pfeifer. The government had granted the railroad every other section in a 40-mile swath parallel to the tracks.

Eventually, the settlers' parents reduced their financial support, and many of the colonists returned to Britain.

Ethnic German immigrants from the Volga River region of Russia arrived in 1876 and founded the town of Herzog just north of Victoria. When the two towns merged and incorporated in 1913, the name Victoria was retained.

Grant's Villa, the original limestone house that Grant built in the style of an English manor, remains several miles south of Victoria.

He died in 1878, and his grave and a monument are located at the southeast edge of Victoria near the cemetery of the British colony.

Victoria is home to St. Fidelis Catholic Church, known as the Cathedral of the Plains.

The 2006 census estimate put the Victoria population at 1,214.

Source: "At Home in Ellis County, Kansas" 1991