Less than ten miles out in the endless wheat country from Harrington, Mohler sprang to life as a boom town on the Great Northern railway. Founded much earlier in history and named after Morgan Mohler, and at it’s prime had two stores, a saloon, market, blacksmith shop, hotel and five warehouses. By 1894 the Yarwood brothers had completed a general store at the Great Northern station. The Yarwood brothers owned land in Mohler before the train came through transforming a few farms into a thriving small boom town that was heralded as the place to see if you are ever out that way. It was described as physically small, but quaint and homey. Indeed, the merchants welcomed people with open arms into their stores and businesses. Just outside of town there were five storage warehouses used by the Great Northern to store and move wheat, the Great Northern owned two, the Yarwood’s one, and the other three privately owned, like most of the other businesses in the village.
Wheat business back at the turn of the 20th century was good, so good that the Great Northern decided to add a side track. The property they wanted to build on belonged to the Yarwood brothers, who asked an exorbitant price of 1000 usd. To the Great Northern not only was it an outrage to ask such a price but also an insult. If not for the train stop Mohler wouldn’t be the boom town it was. Instead of paying the price for the land the Great Northern acquired some land down the rail line about 10 miles where they moved their warehouse naming the new stop Downs. The Great Northern then offered the business owners a chance to move and their whole buildings were loaded on trucks and moved down to the new city. Not quite done with their form of payback, the Great Northern then refused to let the train stop at Mohler, and started building tracks to bypass it completely. By 1903 the only thing left was to remove the side track from Mohler to completely stop business to the town, or what was left of it. The feud didn’t last long though and by 1907 the Great Northern had replaced the line and added a small stop that would later grow back into the grain elevators seen today. But the town of Mohler never really came back the way it was in the boom days, and by 1915 Downs was also in decline. Today there is not much left of either towns. This school sits in Mohler slowly returning to the fields of wheat from which it sprang the towns vibrant history of lessons learned.
pictures of the Mohler school 2018