Brickton

 

Formerly located six miles south of Hastings in the south east quarter of section 15, Ayr Township, Brickton was never incorporated and never had a post office. Its name derived from the brickyard that was located there. The brickyard was constructed about 1888 by the Hastings Dry Pressed Brick & Tile Company. John D. Crans & Archie Campbell operated the brickyard from their offices in Hastings. In the 1888 Hastings City Directory they are listed as dealers in sand, gravel and brick manufacturing. About a dozen houses and a store were built by the company for their employees. Harrison Bostwick, president of the City National Bank of Hastings was the principal financial backer. During the depression of the 1890s a run on his bank resulted in its closing and the decline of Brickton began. By 1898 all that remained in operation was a sand pit and a grain elevator.

In 1888 or 1889 Chas. H. Paul erected an grain elevator along the railroad near Brickton. The elevator, then owned by Updike & Co. burned in September, 1910.

It had long been known that the sands of the Little Blue River contain gold. In 1901 a group of Chicago investors set up machinery at Brickton to mine for gold. However they were unable to retrieve gold in sufficient quantities to make the operation pay. During the 1930s James Rinehart of Hastings, leased land along the 32 mile creek near Brickton where he installed equipment to separate gold from the sand. He did get gold, but not enough to cover the costs of the operation. The sand and gravel was sold; some of it was used to gravel Highway 281 which ran nearby.

In 1906 W. H. Ferguson began operating a sand pit at Brickton. Later owners were E. Stockham Grain Company and A. H. Farrens. About a car load of sand a day was removed from the pit.

In 1915 the Burlington Railroad set a box car along the tracks to serve as a depot. It is not know how long it remained.

School district #76, later called the Brickton school, was organized in 1885, about a mile east of the site of Brickton. The school consolidated with the Ayr district in 1958.


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