The first settlement of Peabody was originally called Coneburg and was developed in autumn 1870 by a small group of colonists from Wisconsin. By June of 1871 the main line of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad had reached the townsite and soon the directors of the railroad passed through the town on their way up the Arkansas River Valley. As an honor to F.H. Peabody of Boston, vice president of the Santa Fe, the new town was named for him. In 1874 he presented to the new growing settlement, a library building, furniture, and a collection of 2000 books for free public use. This library was the first free public library in the state of Kansas. By 1914 the little building had been outgrown and the present Carnegie Library was erected. The original library building was rescued for use as the Peabody Historical Museum during the Kansas Centennial year of 1961 by the newly formed Peabody Historical Society. Call 620-983-2174 or email Shane Marler.