Mobile Navigation
Kansas Counties »

Kansas Counties » Reno - Russell

Reno County

  • County Seat: Hutchinson
  • County Code: RN
  • Established: February 26, 1867
  • Organized: January 1, 1872
  • Region in Kansas: South Central

Origin of Name: Jesse L. Reno, a captain in the United States Army and a major-general of the United States Volunteers, who was killed in battle September 14, 1862, at South Mountain, Maryland.

Did you know?

  • Pretty Prairie is home to Kansas' Largest Night Rodeo, which began in 1937 and lasts three days each July.
  • Hutchinson has the longest single-head grain elevator in the world. It is 230 feet high, 127 feet deep, 2,577 feet long and has a capacity of 18.2 million bushels of grain.
  • Prairie Dunes Country Club, near Hutchinson, is frequently ranked among the best golf courses in the United States and hosted the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) U.S. Women's Open in 2002 and the Professional Golf Association (PGA) U.S. Senior Open in 2006.
  • Hutchinson is home to two of the original Eight Wonders of Kansas: the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center and the Kansas Underground Salt Museum.
  • Yoder was established in 1906 as an Amish settlement. The town is a quaint mixture of past and present, as horse-drawn buggies are intermingled with motorized vehicles.
  • Nestled in Nickerson, Hedrick's Exotic Animal Farm Bed and Breakfast provides an opportunity to get close to more than 30 varieties of exotic animals, including zebras, kangaroos and ostriches.
  • Portions of the Hutchinson Salt Mine are used for archival storage of movie and television films, data tapes and permanent business records. The mine currently houses the original copies of The Wizard of Oz, Gone with the Wind and Star Wars, among many others. The mine offers perfect conditions for archival storage, as the temperature and humidity remain constant.
  • Hutchinson hosts the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Basketball Tournament each March.
  • The Kansas State Fair is held each September in Hutchinson and celebrated its 100th anniversary at its present location in 2012. The 10-day annual event draws thousands of visitors from all 105 Kansas counties and several neighboring states.
Kansas Cosmosphere image
Space suit exhibit inside the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center in Hutchinson
Photo courtesy of the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center

Republic County

  • County Seat: Belleville
  • County Code: RP
  • Established: February 27, 1860
  • Organized: September 7, 1868
  • Region in Kansas: North Central

Origin of Name: Republican River that extends through the county, so named because many years ago the valley of that stream was the seat of the Pawnee Republic, a designation given to a principal division of the Pawnee Indians.

Did you know?

  • Belleville claims to have the world's fastest half-mile dirt track at the historic 1910-era Belleville High Banks Racetrack.
  • Belleville is home to one of the few art deco courthouses in Kansas. The impressive Republic County Courthouse was completed in 1940 after the original courthouse burned down.
  • Many of the early settlers in Republic County were from Scandinavia or Czechoslovakia. Cuba was named for Kuba, a city in Bohemia. Scandia was settled by Swedes, and Norway by Norwegians.
  • The Pawnee Indian Village State Historic Site near Republic is a museum that tells the story of the Pawnee Indians. The museum is built around the floor of an excavated round lodge house that was part of a fortified village that was inhabited by the Republican Pawnees in the late 1700s and again in the 1820s. The grounds outside the museum are dotted with the imprints of other lodges and numerous artifacts inside the museum tell the story of the once powerful Pawnee Nation. The site was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1971.

Rice County

  • County Seat: Lyons
  • County Code: RC
  • Established: February 26, 1867
  • Organized: August 18, 1871
  • Region in Kansas: Central

Origin of Name: Samuel A. Rice, brigadier-general of the United States Volunteers, who was killed at Jenkins Ferry, Arkansas, April 30, 1864.

Did you know?

  • Beside U.S. 56 west of Lyons there is a huge cross and a historical marker in honor of Father Juan Padilla. He first came to Kansas with Coronado in 1542 and was later killed by Indians. Father Padilla is considered to be the first Christian martyr in North America.
  • In 1905 Cooper College (now Sterling College) played against Fairmont College (now Wichita State University) in Wichita. The game was played at night under gas lamps as a demonstration by the Coleman Company and was the first night football game played west of the Mississippi River.
  • The first Dillon's grocery store was located in Sterling.
  • Independence Day is a big event in Sterling. Its annual Old Fashioned 4th of July Celebration is a two-day event that features sporting events, a parade, carnival, community barbeque and turtle races, culminating with a fireworks extravaganza that draws thousands of viewers from nearby communities. The event has taken place for more than 75 years.
  • Scenes from the movie Picnic were filmed in Sterling.
Father Padilla Cross image
Father Padilla memorial outside of Lyons
Photo courtesy of Todd Caywood

Riley County

  • County Seat: Manhattan
  • County Code: RL
  • Established: August 25, 1855
  • Organized: August 25, 1855
  • Region in Kansas: Northeast

Origin of Name: Fort Riley, the adjacent military post that was established in 1853 and named in honor of General Bennett Riley of the United States Army.

Did you know?

  • Riley County was one of the 33 original Kansas Territory counties created by the first act to establish counties passed by the first Territorial Legislature of 1855.
  • The first land grant college in the United States created under the Morrill Act, Kansas State Agricultural College (today Kansas State University) was founded in Manhattan in 1863.
  • Manhattan’s Aggieville, founded in 1889, is reputed to be the oldest shopping center in Kansas. It was established close to the Kansas State Agricultural College campus and catered to students, thus “Aggieville.” It is home to the longest continuously operating Pizza Hut restaurant in the world.
  • Manhattan is the site of the Country Stampede Music Festival, Kansas' largest annual music festival. It began in 1996 and is held the last weekend in June, featuring some of the top performers in country and classic rock music.
  • Manhattan is nicknamed The Little Apple as a play on New York City's nickname, The Big Apple.
  • The Flint Hills Discovery Center in Manhattan explores the geology, biology and cultural history of the Flint Hills - the last remaining tallgrass prairie in North America. The Center aims to educate everyone about the unique ecosystem of the tallgrass prairie, inspire visitors to become actively engaged in exploring the Flint Hilss region and become better stewards of this important ecosystem.
  • Several notable individuals come from Riley County: Elvira, Mistress of the Dark (Cassandra Peterson), was born in Manhattan on September 17, 1951; Inger Stevens, the star from The Farmer's Daughter television show, grew up in Manhattan; Erin Brockovich attended Kansas State University, and a famous movie was made about her involvement in the legal case against the Pacific Gas and Electric Company of California in 1993; and Eric Stonestreet, Emmy Award winner and star of ABC TV's Modern Family, is a Kansas State University graduate and worked at Bramlage Coliseum during his college career.
  • In 2009 the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced that it would locate the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) in Manhattan. The NBAF is scheduled to open between 2015 and 2017 and will be a federal lab to research biological threats involving human, zoonotic (transmitted from animals to humans) and foreign animal diseases.

Notable Residents:

Del Close, Bobby Douglass, Anna Seaton Huntington, George H. Mallon, Jordy Nelson, Clementine Paddleford, Cassandra Peterson, Deb Richard, Bill Snyder, Inger Stevens

Rooks County

  • County Seat: Stockton
  • County Code: RO
  • Established: February 26, 1867
  • Organized: November 26, 1872
  • Region in Kansas: North Central

Origin of Name: Private John C. Rooks of Company I, 11th Kansas Infantry, who died December 11, 1862, in Fayetteville, Arkansas, from wounds received during the Battle of Prairie Grove on December 7, 1862.

Did you know?

  • Rooks County is one of two Kansas counties named after a private. (See Osborne County).
  • Rooks County is home to one of the oldest and largest county fairs in Kansas. The Rooks County Free Fair, known to locals as the "Fair of Champions," began in 1879.
  • St. Joseph's Church in Damar is a beautiful example of classic Romanesque design and is a glowing example of the importance that early settlers to Rooks County placed on religion. The church had its first mass celebrated in 1917 and was officially listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2005.
  • Rooks County has unique ethnic diversity, including two communities (Damar and Zurich) that are known for their French-Canadian heritage.
  • Stockton gathered some acclaim in the early 20th century by being hit by tornadoes on May 20 of three successive years: 1916, 1917 and 1918.
  • Webster State Park, near Stockton, offers a prairie setting of rolling hills and spacious skies. The park occupies 880 acres contained in two tracts on the shores of Webster Reservoir. Located in the central flyway, Webster Reservoir is a stopping place for many species of waterfowl and shorebirds and offers excellent opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts for hunting, viewing and photography.

Rush County

  • County Seat: LaCrosse
  • County Code: RH
  • Established: February 26, 1867
  • Organized: December 5, 1874
  • Region in Kansas: Central

Origin of Name: Captain Alexander Rush of Company H, 2nd Kansas Colored Infantry, killed April 3, 1864, at Jenkins Ferry, Arkansas.

Did you know?

  • Rush County has been called the Barbed Wire Capital of the World. LaCrosse houses the only museum in the world dedicated solely to the "devil's rope."
  • Otis is home to the second largest helium extraction plant in the world. The county has a history with helium extraction dating back to 1943, during which time the helium produced was in large demand for use by the United States military. Today the plant provides helium for balloons in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.
  • The Rush County Fair has been held annually for more than 100 years.

Russell County

  • County Seat: Russell
  • County Code: RS
  • Established: February 26, 1867
  • Organized: July 18, 1872
  • Region in Kansas: North Central

Origin of Name: Civil War veteran Avra P. Russell, a captain in Company K, 2nd Kansas Cavalry, who died December 12, 1862, in a field hospital near Prairie Grove, Arkansas, of wounds received in battle December 7, 1862, at Prairie Grove.

Did you know?

  • Paradise has the only limestone water tower in Kansas.
  • Lucas was named the Grassroots Art Capital of Kansas due to the number of sites in the community devoted to local folk art and features a public restroom building that is shaped like a toilet bowl and is covered in mosaic artwork. The Bowl Plaza idea came about because of the lack of public restrooms for the 10,000 plus visitors that come to visit the Lucas attractions each year.
  • The city of Lucas is home to the Garden of Eden. This mausoleum was constructed by Civil War veteran S.P. Dinsmoor, who used more than 100 tons of concrete.
  • U.S. senators Bob Dole (Kansas) and Arlen Specter (Pennsylvania) both called Russell home, and graduated from Russell High School in 1941 and 1947, respectively.
  • Russell holds a Prairiesta festival every 10 years as a celebration of Russell County history, heritage and culture. The event first started in 1941.

Notable Residents:

Philip Anschutz, Bob Dole, Arlen Specter

Garden of Eden image
Garden of Eden in Lucas
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia