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Williamsburg, in the southwest part of Franklin County along Old Hwy 50 and I-35 with a population of 397 was established as a railroad town in 1868.  William Schofield and James F. Dane platted the town, and Schofield promoted a railroad, the Kansas City, Burlington, and Santa Fe, which ran down from Ottawa.  The Dan Fogle family, who arrived in 1869, were important citizens, operating a general store and involving themselves in other local industries, such as coal mining.  At one time the Williamsburg Coal Company had a capacity of 25-30 tons of high grade coal a day which was marketed daily to consumers within a 20 to 50 miles radius.  There are several interesting homes and churches to view within the area.  In recent years, a barbeque restaurant, Guy & Mae's Tavern, has brought state and regional recognition to the community.  Southwest of Williamsburg stood Silkville, a silk ribbon producing commune founded by Earnest Valeton de Boissiere, a wealthy native of Bordeaux, France.  Mulberry trees, planted to feed the silkworms, can still be seen.

Welcome Letter from the Mayor of Williamsburg

On behalf of the City Council and Staff, I would like to extend a heart-felt welcome to our town.  Williamsburg with a population of 392 citizens is situated close to Interstate 35 and is a prime living area for many that commute to work and enjoy small town living, but want to be close enough for big-city amenities as we are within one hour driving distance to many metro cities such as Topeka, Kansas City, Lawrence, and Emporia.  Williamsburg is home to Guy and Mae’s Tavern, a BBQ restaurant/tavern famous for its ribs served on foil and newspaper.    Many people come from all directions to try these tasty ribs.  Even celebrities such as Doc Severson, Bill Self, George Brett, and many others.  Williamsburg is also home to Prairie Star Ranch, a retreat center for the Archdiocese of Kansas City.  Prairie Star Ranch is over 290 acres of beautiful rolling hills and lush forest open year round for retreats, special events, and camping.  Williamsburg has a unique history behind it and many find us who live here to be very welcoming and friendly.

Williamsburg has a rich history when it was first settled in 1855 and incorporated in 1867 by Englishman William Schofield.   In 1867 Schofield purchased a large tract of land (34,000 acres) which was land of the Sac and Fox Indians that includes the town site of Williamsburg.  That same year a Charter of Incorporation for The Williamsburg Town Company was drawn up.  The Charter was filed on July 28, 1867 and was to be good for a duration of ninety-nine years.  For many years Williamsburg developed and became a booming community with many businesses established.  Although much different today, our heritage is still much part of us who call Williamsburg home.

Today Williamsburg is still a vibrant community as we continue to make progress towards opportunities.  For a small community that we are Williamsburg offers many amenities such as a state of the art library system, a historical society and museum that is full of Williamsburg history, parks where children can play and parents can visit and relax, partnerships with our local recreation commission that provide various recreational activities for our youth and adults, and most important a way of simple living.

We are proud to be part of the USD 287 School system who offer our children an excellent public education at all levels.  Williamsburg is home to Williamsburg Elementary where children Kindergarten through 5th grade attend for those who live on the south side of the USD 287 school district.  Williamsburg Elementary provides a successful curriculum all while promoting an agricultural, mechanical, and environmental emphasis.  The entire USD 287 school system strives for academic excellent to make our children the best they can be in all their programs.

A shared goal of the Mayor and City Council is to improving the quality of life in our town and I hope you all will use the Town’s website to become familiar with all the activities, programs, and special events that happen right here in Williamsburg.  For a small town like us we are very progressive to ensuring our citizens and visitors have the ability to attend many functions throughout the year.  If you ever have any questions or concerns, we encourage you to call City Hall at 785-746-5578.  Your involvement in Williamsburg also helps make our town a better place to live.  Whether you are here for a day, a month, a year, or forever, we welcome you to Williamsburg and are so glad you are here.


Jon M. Horne