In 1878 the Santa Fe Railroad established a flag station where the City of Holcomb is now. The Railroad determined that the location would be the proper distance from their station in Pierceville and established their flag station here. The station was named Sherlock, after the Director of the railroad. Sherlock was intended to be the prominent town in Finney County.
The post office was established in 1878, intially. The service was discontinued several times. The local school house was built in 1878 as well. During this time, Sherlock had a general store, restaurant and other businesses.
In 1879, an offer was made to all of the residents and businesses in Sherlock to move to Garden City, by the promoters of Garden City. The offer included moving of buildings and belongings to Garden City free of charge. Most took the offer, leaving Sherlock with little.
When the Garden City Company’s Sugar Beet Factory was built at the west edge of Garden City in 1906, things began to turn back around for Sherlock. The Garden City Company has been a key business in Southwest Kansas.
In 1909 Holcomb was officially platted. The Holcomb Post Office was established the same year. The town was named in honor of D.C. Holcomb, a local rancher.
In the 1950’s the Alfalfa Dehydrating Plant in Holcomb was established by the W. J. Small Company. The plant continued operation until 1985. The plant brought more people to Holcomb and increased enrollment in the Holcomb School District.
H. C. Wiley started the Holcomb State Bank in 1912 and the building still stands at the corner of Main Street and Douglass Avenue. That bank was robbed at least twice during its operation. The first was in 1917 and $1500 was taken. In 1930 the Fleagle gang robbed the bank the second time. The second floor was used as a social hall.
The City of Holcomb has exceeded 2000 residents as compared to 270 residents in the era of the 1950’s.