BEFORE THE “BIG
Town square in Old Randolph. Picture shown left shows the gazebo that is similar to the one in city park today.
In 1855, Gardner Randolph believed he had laid a claim in the Big Blue River Valley. It wasn’t even a year later that J.K. Whitson decided he wanted to lay claim to the same area. The two men fought. As it turned out neither man had followed all the necessary laws for claiming the land. After winning a race home from the claim office, Whitson was declared the rightful claim holder. He had the town of Randolph’s name changed to Waterville. Later, a Legislative Act in 1876 was signed to change Waterville’s name back to Randolph.
In 1886, Randolph’s population reached 293 and was incorporated as a third class city. The city was settled by many Swedish and German descendants. Many of the people were great limestone builders from the old country and this is why you may see many original rock structures pictured within the web site. Randolph grew into a beautiful and progressive little city through the years in the Blue Valley at the mouth of Fancy Creek. However, it did not live on forever.
In 1960, the Tuttle Creek Reservoir Dam ended Randolph and ten other neighboring towns. All the towns along the river in the counties of Riley, Pottawatomie, and part of Marshall are now under the water of the Tuttle Creek Reservoir. Some traditions, families, friendships, land, farming economy, and memories were lost. However, many people said that their life and town wasn’t going away, just moving.
Although Randolph rebuilt, the town is in no way near the size it was as Old Randolph.