The community of Nicodemus was founded in 1877 by a group of African Americans from Lexington; two years later there were over 600 people. The first families to arrive lived in dugouts, homes dug into the earth. The population continued to grow until the anticipated railroad bypassed the town, and then the population began to decrease. There are about 100 people living in the town today. Nicodemus is a National Historic Landmark, the only entirely African American community in Kansas. For more see Going Home to Nicodemus, by D. Chu and B. Shaw; and The Origins and Early Promotions of Nicodemus, by K. M. Hamilton.