Pop. 946

Jacob Kambitsch first settled Genesee in 1871 and found the soil to be rich and fertile. As word spread of the area’s ideal agricultural qualities, settlers arrived in droves. The town’s name, however, has nothing to do with the area’s soil, but instead is the result of an innocent comment. Legend states that as merchant banker, John Vollmer, and an associate were riding through the area, the associate mentioned that it reminded him of New York State’s Genesee Valley. The comment stuck, and when journalist, Alonzo Leland, began calling the valley Genesee, the town adopted the name as well.

When the railroad was erected one mile away from the townsite in 1888, Genesee’s residents were forced to relocate near the railroad if they cared about the town’s future. Until 1898, Genesee served as the line’s terminus, but when the railroad extended its route, the town’s population began to decline.

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