Just after the opening of Kansas territory in 1854, frontier entrepreneurs found a falls on the Grasshopper River that they believed would serve well in powering a mill. Mills would be replaced by elevators and for a century, grinding agricultural produce and serving the farm community was the main commerce.
Grasshopper Falls would be platted in 1855 and incorporated in 1869. The grasshopper invasion of the 1870s was devastating and not a good promotional tool for a new and aspiring town. Aided by Legislature, the name of the river was changed to the Delaware (an American Native tribe most dominant in the region) and the twice more named town, eventually became Valley Falls.