The town of Nicodemus, Kansas (in red on the map), was founded in the 1870s by freed African-American settlers looking for a better life. Within just 10 years, the settlers had built a nice town with stores, churches, newspapers, a bank, and even an ice cream parlor! But by the year 1888, the town was in serious trouble. By September of 1888, all the stores had closed and the town of about 600 people was nearly deserted. Why might this be?