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Galva, Kansas
Water Tower in Galva (2016)
Water Tower in Galva (2016)
Location within McPherson County and Kansas
Location within McPherson County and Kansas
KDOT map of McPherson County (legend)
Country United States
State Kansas
County McPherson
Founded 1879
Incorporated 1887
Named for Galva, Illinois
 • Type Mayor–Council
 • Total 0.50 sq mi (1.29 km2)
 • Land 0.50 sq mi (1.29 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
1,545 ft (471 m)
 • Total 834
 • Density 1,668/sq mi (646.5/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code 620
FIPS code 20-25200
GNIS ID 477203

Galva is a city in McPherson County, Kansas, United States. As of the 2020 census, the population of the city was 834.


Stouffer's Railroad Map of Kansas 1915-1918 McPherson County
1915 Railroad Map of McPherson County

Early history

For many millennia, the Great Plains of North America was inhabited by nomadic Native Americans. From the 16th century to 18th century, the Kingdom of France claimed ownership of large parts of North America. In 1762, after the French and Indian War, France secretly ceded New France to Spain, per the Treaty of Fontainebleau.

19th century

In 1802, Spain returned most of the land to France. In 1803, most of the land for modern day Kansas was acquired by the United States from France as part of the 828,000 square mile Louisiana Purchase for 2.83 cents per acre.

From the 1820s to 1870s, the Santa Fe Trail passed through, what is now McPherson County. In 1855, Charles O. Fuller established a ranch adjacent to the Running Turkey Creek Crossing about two miles south and one mile east of Galva. Fuller's Ranch provided accommodations for travelers on the Santa Fe Trail and was probably the first white settlement in McPherson County. The location is on private property with a marker nearby. The trail was active across McPherson County from 1821 to 1866.

In 1854, the Kansas Territory was organized, then in 1861 Kansas became the 34th U.S. state. In 1867, McPherson County was established within the Kansas Territory, which included the land for modern day Galva.

As early as 1875, city leaders of Marion held a meeting to consider a branch railroad from Florence. In 1878, Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway and parties from Marion County and McPherson County chartered the Marion and McPherson Railway Company. In 1879, a branch line was built from Florence to McPherson, in 1880 it was extended to Lyons, in 1881 it was extended to Ellinwood. The line was leased and operated by the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway. The line from Florence to Marion, became defunct in 1968. In 1992, the line from Marion to McPherson was sold to Central Kansas Railway. In 1993, after heavy flood damage, the line from Marion through Galva to McPherson was abandoned and removed. The original branch line connected Florence, Marion, Canada, Hillsboro, Lehigh, Canton, Galva, McPherson, Conway, Windom, Little River, Mitchell, Lyons, Chase, Ellinwood.

In 1887, the Chicago, Kansas and Nebraska Railway built a main line from Herington through Galva to Pratt. In 1888, this line was extended to Liberal. Later, it was extended to Tucumcari, New Mexico and El Paso, Texas. It foreclosed in 1891 and taken over by Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railway, which shut down in 1980 and reorganized as Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas Railroad, merged in 1988 with Missouri Pacific Railroad, merged in 1997 with Union Pacific Railroad. Most locals still refer to this railroad as the "Rock Island".

Galva was named by Mrs. J. E. Doyle, a native of Galva, Illinois. Galva was laid out on land belonging to the Marion & McPherson Railroad Company in September 1879, and it served as a shipping point for grain and cattle. By 1883, it contained nearly 100 people, several general stores, one drug store, one hotel, one lumber yard, a hotel and livery stable, and a good schoolhouse.


Galva is located at 38°22′59″N 97°32′13″W / 38.38306°N 97.53694°W / 38.38306; -97.53694 (38.383038, -97.536903). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.48 square miles (1.24 km2), all of it land. Galva is situated on relatively flat topography with a single stream that only runs during wet weather through the south part of town, flowing southwest. The land is highly productive agriculturally with wheat, milo, soybeans the principle crops. Oil is still produced within the city limits and in the fields north, south and east of town.


The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Galva has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 87
1890 255 193.1%
1900 300 17.6%
1910 322 7.3%
1920 350 8.7%
1930 358 2.3%
1940 463 29.3%
1950 426 −8.0%
1960 442 3.8%
1970 522 18.1%
1980 651 24.7%
1990 651 0.0%
2000 701 7.7%
2010 870 24.1%
2020 834 −4.1%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 870 people, 343 households, and 264 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,812.5 inhabitants per square mile (699.8/km2). There were 369 housing units at an average density of 768.8 per square mile (296.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 98.3% White, 0.2% African American, 0.3% Asian, 0.1% from other races, and 1.0% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.9% of the population.

There were 343 households, of which 37.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 66.5% were married couples living together, 6.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.8% had a male householder with no wife present, and 23.0% were non-families. 20.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.54 and the average family size was 2.90.

The median age in the city was 35.9 years. 27.2% of residents were under the age of 18; 6.5% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 28.9% were from 25 to 44; 25.6% were from 45 to 64; and 11.8% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 49.7% male and 50.3% female.


Christian Churches are composed of a United Methodist Church congregation and the Galva Christian Church (Disciples In Christ) congregation, within the city limits; Lone Tree Mennonite (Church of God in Christ - Holdeman) located six miles south, one half mile east and one quarter mile south of town; United Center Mennonite (Church of God in Christ - Holdeman) located three miles east and one mile north of town; Immanuel Lutheran Church (Missouri Synod) located seven miles south and five miles east.


The community is served by Canton-Galva USD 419 public school district. This school district includes:

  • Canton-Galva Jr/Sr High School (7-12), located in Canton
  • Canton-Galva Elementary School (K-6), located in Galva

Canton and Galva schools unified in 1972 forming Canton-Galva High School with the Eagles mascot. Prior to unification, the Galva High School mascot was Galva Chieftains.



  • Internet
    • Broadband connection is provided by Home Communications (HCI).
    • Wireless is provided by Pixius Communications and Rise Broadband
    • Satellite is provided by HughesNet, StarBand, WildBlue.
  • TV
    • Digital TV provided by Home Communications (HCI).
    • Satellite is provided by DirecTV, Dish Network.
    • Terrestrial is provided by regional digital TV stations.
  • Telephone
    • Landline provided by Home Communications (HCI).
  • Electricity
    • City is provided by City of Galva.
    • Rural is provided by DSO, McPherson BPU, Westar Energy.
  • Natural Gas
    • Service is provided by Kansas Gas Service.
  • Water
    • City is provided by City of Galva.
    • Rural is provided by RWD #4.
  • Sewer
    • Service is provided by City of Galva.
  • Trash
    • Service is provided by McPherson Area Solid Waste Utility.

See also

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