Meet Liebenthal, Kansas
The town of Liebenthal, established in 1876, was founded by immigrants of the Saratov/Volga region of Ukraine in Russia. The entire town sits on 72 acres with a current population of 93 residents. Take the Hays, Kansas exit on Interstate 70, exit 159, and drive 17miles south on US-183. Pat’s Beef jerky will be on your right.
Liebenthal, on Big Timber Creek, is one of the oldest settlements in Rush County, founded by the immigrants of the Saratov/Volga region of the Ukraine in Russia, who were under the jurisdiction of Francis Joseph I, Austrian Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. In 1875 the Czar of Russia sent out a decree that the German colonists had lost their 100 years of special privileges and must fulfill the same duties and military obligations as all other Russian citizens.
The colonists arranged to come to the United States, leaving Saratov, Russia, on October 24, 1875, and on November 2, 1875 the first group boarded the steamship, "Ohio", at the Port of Bremen, Germany, landing 21 days later at the Port in Baltimore, Maryland. Of these immigrants, fourteen families, about 60 persons, founded Liebenthal on February 22, 1876. The town was named after Liebenthal (love valley), Russia. The next group of 59 persons came soon after and settled about a half-mile north of the present town. The Liebenthal settlers could not agree and separated into two settlements. One group moved north a few miles and founded Schoenchen, on the south bank of the Smoky Hill River. Both are named after their towns in the Ukraine.
The is information has been obtained from The Official Home Page of Rush County and the communities within. Rush County Economic Development © 2007-2010, all rights reserved.
ANOTHER LIEBENTHAL LANDMARK
St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Liebenthal, Kansas was established in 1876 by German speaking Russian immigrants from the Volga region of the Ukraine in Russia. They completed their first church building in 1878, but as the community grew, a larger church was needed.
The present building was designed by the German born church architect, Viktor Klutho, from St. Louis and built by the members of the community from native post rock. The construction took three years and the new church was dedicated on May 28, 1905. St. Joseph's had to be partially rebuilt following fires in the 1920s and 1960s. The interior is less ornate since the second fire. The interior walls were restored and repainted in 2014.
The beautiful structure, with its tall single spire and three arched doorways, stands proud over the Kansas countryside and can be seen for miles around. The traditions and achievements of St. Joseph's Church are celebrated during Liebenfest each August, usually on the third Saturday.