In the 1870s and 1880s, African American Exodusters from Mississippi and Louisiana settled in Ritchie Addition, which became known as Mud Town due to the frequent over-flooding of the Kansas River and the mud it left in the neighborhood. Despite the challenging conditions, Mud Town thrived, with homes, churches, schools, and small stores like the Johnson and Hopkins grocery. Some residents worked at the nearby Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway.