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Codell, Kansas facts for kids

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Codell, Kansas
Codell Community Park (2016)
Codell Community Park (2016)
KDOT map of Rooks County (legend)
Country United States
State Kansas
County Rooks
Time zone UTC-6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code 785

Codell is an unincorporated community in Township 12, Rooks County, Kansas, United States.


Codell was established as a Union Pacific Railroad depot in 1887. Union Pacific could not reach agreement with the nearby town of Motor, so Union Pacific established the town of Codell three-quarters of a mile west of Motor. The Motor Post Office, originally established as Floreyville in 1875, was moved to Codell in 1888. The frame buildings in Motor were moved to Codell and Motor was soon abandoned.

Early in its history Codell had a school, two churches and numerous businesses including: the Codell State Bank, telephone central office, two lumber yards, grain elevator, machine shop, harness shop, implement company, hardware store, hotel, restaurant, three stores, a doctor and a barber.

Codell is notable for its exceptional tornado history which earned it mention in Ripley's Believe It or Not!. The town was hit by tornadoes on May 20 in three successive years: 1916, 1917 and 1918.

The 1916 tornado was an F2 passing west of town in the early evening. The 1917 tornado was an F3 passing east of town also in the early evening. In 1918, Codell took a direct hit from an F4 tornado just after dark. The school, M. E. church, hotel and several residences were completely destroyed. Many more buildings were badly damaged. Although the school was rebuilt and a new high school was built in 1938, the town never fully recovered from the devastation of the 1918 tornado.


Codell lies in the middle of the double township of Paradise, south of the city of Stockton (the county seat of Rooks County) and near the southeastern corner of Rooks County. The community lies along the banks of Paradise Creek and an abandoned railroad line. The nearest city, Plainville, lies approximately 9 miles (14 km) away to the northwest by road; the community is connected via 24 Road to a state highway, K-18, which lies approximately 1 mile (1.6 km) to the north.

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