Appleton was laid out by J.H. Lewis as a village in the spring of 1888. It was situated on the north side of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway and the station was named after the village. Appleton was prone to flooding.
Mills Voris was the surveyor. It contained a freight and express office, two stores, a grain elevator, a blacksmith shop, a carpenter shop, a lumber yard and nine dwellings. E.J. Steffln was the postmaster. Some grain and a large quantity of stock are shipped from here annually. W.H. McElwain shipped more than fifty cars of hogs. Persifer Town Hall cost over $600 ($18,700 today), and held one of the six Sunday schools in Knox County.
The village site is empty, except for several paved streets that served the village. The size of the village dwindled during much of the 20th century. The few houses left in the original village were relocated to higher ground after the Great Flood of 1993.
Compiled by Dr. Neil Gale, Ph.D.