Cunningham students attend school in the Cunningham Unified School District 332. Cunningham has an enrollment of 193 students. Students can participate in many activities including Scholar’s Bowl, basketball and cross country.
Cunningham is home to 475 residents (2013). Located right off of highway US-400, Cunningham enjoys easy commutes to surrounding cities. Cunningham is a quiet community that has access to many local attractions including the Kingman Historic Theatre.
Cunningham is located north of highway US-400. Kingman and Pratt both are 20 minutes from Cunningham. Downtown Hutchinson is under an hour away.
Cunningham Local Attractions/Activities
Cunningham is home to Linc’s Place, a local restaurant. Cunningham has three churches; the Christian Church, Sacred Heart Catholic Church and United Methodist Church. Kingman is only 20 minutes away and offers many attractions including the Kingman Historic Theatre.
This history of Cunningham begins with a history of Ninnescah. The Ninnescah Post Office opened August 20, 1885. Communities developed for a number of reasons. Some started with one family, joined by friends or relatives. Many grew around a church. A trading post, fort or a way station gave birth to others. In western Kansas, many towns were started by capitalists hoping to turn a profit. An evening spent with one of Fitzgerald’s Ghost Towns of Kansas books verifies that fortunes were made and lost in the business of town-building.
In the 1870’s and 1880’s, the arrival of a railroad often determined which towns survived and which faded into history. While more research is needed, the relationship of C.L. Severy and J. Geo. Smith and their involvement in the development of Ninnescah, Kansas can be gleaned from the early newspapers and books available. C.L. Severy was the son of Luther Severy, an Emporia cattleman with vast holdings in land who was also a director of the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe railroad. He invested in several town companies, including one named for him in Greenwood County. C.L. Severy was the secretary of the Ninnescah Town Company, a real estate agent and loan agent, and owner of the first hotel in Ninnescah. J. Geo.Smith was Severy’s partner in the Ninnescah Herald. He was also involved in real estate and loans. It appears that the two were partners in several ventures centering on promoting the town of Ninnescah.
On September 2, 1886, the partners sold the Herald to W. M. Bacheller, who published the paper until October 28, 1886, when J. Geo. Smith reappears as editor and publisher. During this time, Mr. Severy returned to Emporia and Mr. Smith became partners with T.N. Price in the “land, loan and insurance company of Price, Smith & Co.” Mr. Price was also a farmer, implement dealer, and owner of a hardware store in Ninnescah.
The first mention of Col. J. D. Cunningham in the Ninnescah Herald is on October 7, 1886. W.M. Bacheller writes: “Col. J.D. Cunningham of Chapin, Illinois, who has been in Ninnescah several weeks, has fallen in love completely with the west. He is largely interested in Kingman County and is one of the most sociable and pleasant gentlemen to be met anywhere and has met a host of friends who would gladly welcome him as a citizen. In behalf of our town we extend him the right hand of fellowship and tender him the welcome of all its citizens.”