Go here to subscribe to My Fellow Kansans. This season, we look at the prospects of rural places.
COURTLAND, Kansas — Rural Kansas has a storied past, but decades of population decline stand poised to turn many once-vibrant places into ghost towns.
The struggle for survival reveals itself in emptied Main Streets, shuttered factories and tired-looking neighborhoods dominated by houses built before World War II.
An exodus that started more than 100 years ago and gained momentum during the Great Depression has now thinned the population of most of the state’s 105 counties to fewer than 10 people per square mile.