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I'm a Poet & I Know It Because My Feet Are Longfellows - August 30, 2019

Grave of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Mount Auburn Cemetery, west of Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo from Wikipedia.)

Q: When it was founded in 1884, this western Kansas community was called Gopher (as in the burrowing rodent). A few years later, the townsfolk changed their minds. They renamed the place after the mother of Hiawatha in Longfellow's epic poem "The Song of Hiawatha." What's the name of this small town in Logan County?


A: Winona (Wenonah)
The western Kansas town of Winona was originally called Gopher, when it was founded in 1884. But a few years later, it was renamed after the character Wenonah, the mother of Hiawatha in Longfellow's epic poem "The Song of Hiawatha." The citizens used a different spelling for the name, hence Winona instead of Wenonah. Today, fewer than 200 people live in Winona, making it a truly small town.  Winona is a part of USD 275 Triplains. Winona schools were closed through school consolidation. Winona is now home to Triplains High School, a unification of Winona, Page City and Russell Springs schools. Their mascot is the Vikings. However, they are now combined with Brewster High School for sports and the high school mascot is the Triplains-Brewster Titans.

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