Just after the opening of Kansas territory in 1854, frontier entrepreneurs found a falls on the Grasshopper River that they believed would serve well in powering a mill. Mills would be replaced by elevators and for a century, grinding agricultural produce and serving the farm community was the main commerce.
Grasshopper Falls would be platted in 1855 and incorporated in 1869. The grasshopper invasion of the 1870s was devastating and not a good promotional tool for a new and aspiring town. Aided by Legislature, the name of the river was changed to the Delaware (an American Native tribe most dominant in the region) and the twice more named town, eventually became Valley Falls.
Settled by Free Staters, the town suffered burning by border ruffians and later sent its finest to fight in the Civil War.
Isaac Cody, father of the famous Buffalo Bill Cody, built a saw mill at Valley Falls. Wild Bill Hickok was noted in the local press as having dance with the ladies on one of his visits through town as an employee of the Majors Freight Company.
Valley Falls was served by three railroads and two large hotels were the center of the comings and goings in the pre-World War II era. The Meyer Creamery produced powdered milk for the war effort and was the major employer during the first half of this century.
During more than 14 decades, livery stables and blacksmith shops gave way to gasoline stations and automobile repair shops. Mud streets were replaced by bricks and asphalt.
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