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Welcome to Schoenchen
Learn more about Schoenchen by following the links below:
St. Anthony Catholic Church
St. Anthony Catholic Church


(Say "Shen-Shen" and you're close. It's German, and the old timers say it means "pretty little place.")

The founders of Schoenchen were originally part of a group of Germans who came from Russia and began the village of Liebenthal in Rush County, Kansas. They came from several colonies along the lower Volga River in Russia and in the fall of 1875 they left their homes and traveled by way of Baltimore, Topeka and Hays. On February 22, 1876, they began to establish their new town near the Big Timber Creek. After several other groups arrived later in the summer and fall of 1876, a dispute about the arrangements for land, permanent location of the town and land that  was donated for the church caused some settlers to get angry and move their new houses four miles north and one mile west of Liebenthal.This became the location for their new town and included over 35 families or individuals from Liebenthal.

Originally the town was called San Antonio, but this name was not accepted by all the villagers because several of the town founders were from Schoenchen, Russia, and some came from Neu-Obermonjour, Russia. They wanted to name the new town after their native village in Russia. It was agreed to name the village Schoenchen, and dedicate the church to St. Anthony, who was the church patron of Neu-Obermonjour.

Unlike the other villages of German immigrants from Russia who settled in Ellis County, the people of Schoenchen did not congregate around a large village cross for a Sunday religious service.  Instead, they used homemade wooden crosses and gathered at their homes or attended Mass in Hays whenever a priest said Mass there. It was not until 1880 that the first church was completed in Schoenchen, but after a heavy rain, the foundation settled badly and the church was replaced by a frame structure built in 1881.

Today, Schoenchen is a quite and friendly community with much of the town's activities centered around the church.  We invite you visit the many explorer type sights and stop in Earl's Bar & Grill for some food or a cold drink.  

contact info
Adele Shaver
100 E. 19th
Hays, KS 67601
Phone: 785.628.8511
Kansas Sampler Foundation   Kansas Department of Commerce - Travel Kansas   Get Rural Kansas