Vermillion is located along the South Fork of the Black Vermillion River.
The city of Vermillion was plotted in the fall of 1869. Missouri Pacific Rail Road, Theodore Collier and George R. Kelly contributed 240 acres of land where Vermillion was to be established along the Central Branch of the Rail Road. The depot was constructed in 1869 as well as a side track.
The depot is constructed from the trees sawed and milled near the river. Most of the timbers and floors were of native Kansas Cottonwood. The labor was provided by the early settlers.
Vermillion has the oldest depot in Marshall County, Kansas. The rail service ended for Vermillion in 1972. The depot was purchased for $1.00 by Mrs. Maisie Lesley and the building was relocated in 1972 to the east and south of the present city building and library.
Early Vermillion Histroy – (This information was taken from the Then and Now Vermillion Centennial Book which was prepared for publication by Mrs. Leland Gerhardt.)
Vermillion is a pleasant little town of about 400 inhabitants, situated in the southeast part of Marshall County on the Central Branch Railroad. It is 117 miles from Kansas City, ninety miles from St. Joseph and seventy miles west of Atchison, according to information taken from Mrs. Porter’s history of Marshall County.
The town was laid out in the fall of 1869 by G. R. Kelley, Theodore Collier and the Railroad Company. The original townsite, consisting of 240 acres was owned as follows: Railroad Company, 40 acres; G. R. Kelley, 160 acres; Theodore Collier, 40 acres. Collier and Kelley gave one-half of their interests to the Railroad Company, which laid out the town, built a depot and side tracks.
The first building erected on the townsite was built by W. H. Dickinson in the spring of 1870 which was used as a store. Soon thereafter a large building was used as a hotel and managed by a Mr. Bryan until 1875.
The first birth in Vermillion was that of Frank, a son of Mr. and Mrs. Theodore Collier in August, 1870. The first marriage took, place in 1875, the contracting parties being Anderson Duffy and Eva Burt, who are still living in Vermillion, (1917 when Mrs. Porter’s book was published). The first death was that of George Collier in the spring of 1870. The first Post Office was established in 1870, with Theodore Collier as the Postmaster. J. L. Rogers was Postmaster in 1917 when this history was compiled.