Nicodemus, Kansas is a small community in north central Kansas, named after an escaped slave who bought his way to freedom. On April 18, 1877, six freed slaves and one white man, W.R. Hill, formed the town council. They would recruit over 350 ex-slaves who came by train and foot to start the town. With limited resources like timber to build adequate homes, the people lived in dugouts that caused major issues like infestation, ventilation and leaky roofs.
As the town took shape, a full city was built that included a hotel, stores and retail shops. However, the town was lacking a railroad system that was needed to transport goods for merchants. As a result, many residents moved to nearby towns, causing a majority abandonment of Nicodemus.