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Kansas Counties » Saline - Sherman

Saline County

  • County Seat: Salina
  • County Code: SA
  • Established: February 15, 1860
  • Organized: February 15, 1860
  • Region in Kansas: Central

Origin of Name: Saline River, whose waters run through a large area of the county.

Did you know?

  • Salina was the location of the first garment factory of jeans maker Lee, which opened in 1889.
  • Salina has the world's largest battery manufacturer, Exide; the world's largest light bulb production facility, Philips Lighting; and the largest drill manufacturer in North America, Great Plains Manufacturing.
  • The Cozy Inn has been serving up "sliders" (mini hamburgers) at the same location in Salina and using the same grill since 1922. It expanded its operation and opened a location in Manhattan in 2011.
  • The Land Institute outside of Saline has been focused for nearly four decades on trying to devolpe sustainable agriculture and agriculture practices that would reduce natural ecosystem loss, soil erosion and chemical runoff.
  • Salina is home to the Kansas Highway Patrol Training Center and is a dispatch center for the entire state of Kansas, except for Topeka and the Kansas City area.
  • Saline County is home to the Great Plains Regional Training Center and Crisis City for first responders' training. The site also functions as a practice bombing range.

Notable Residents:

Steve Hawley, Gene Mauch, Terence Newman, George S. Robb, Wyatt Thompson

Scott County

  • County Seat: Scott City
  • County Code: SC
  • Established: March 20, 1873
  • Organized: June 29, 1886
  • Region in Kansas: West Central

Origin of Name: Major-General Winfield Scott, a hero in both the War of 1812 and the Mexican War, and commander-in-chief of the Union army at the beginning of the Civil War in 1861.

Did you know?

  • The beef industry is very important in Scott County, as it is the largest cattle-feeding county in Kansas. The joke is that cattle outnumber people in Scott County by 10 to 1 at any given time.
  • Scott County has only one incorporated town, that being county seat Scott City.
  • Like an oasis in the desert, the Lake Scott area stands out from the typical High Plains landscape of western Kansas, not only because of water, trees, and vegetation but also because of the unexpected relief of steep bluffs and craggy canyons in this overwise flat landscape. Lake Scott was built in the 1930s and offers year-round recreational opportunites. The area surrounding the lake offers nature trails for hiking and horseback riding and provide excellent opportunities to observe wildlife in natural habitats.
  • The El Quartelejo Pueblo ruins are located in Lake Scott State Park. The pueblo was the northernmost Indian pueblo and the only known pueblo in Kansas. It is believed that a group of Taos and Picuris Indians fled Spanish rule in New Mexico in 1696 in search of a new home among the Plains Apache. They built this seven-room pueblo but abandoned it in 1706 after being captured by the Spanish and forced back to New Mexico. The Spanish and French occasionally occupied the structure as a frontier outpost during the 18th century but abandoned it after 1763. Eventually the wall decayed and the structure was buried by drifting soil. It was rediscovered by archeologists in 1898 and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1964. All that remains of the structure is the foundation outline.
  • In 2011 Scott City was given an All-America City Award by the National Civic League. The award recognizes communities whose citizens work together to identify and tackle community-wide challenges and achieve uncommon results.

Sedgwick County

  • County Seat: Wichita
  • County Code: SG
  • Established: February 26, 1867
  • Organized: April 27, 1870
  • Region in Kansas: South Central

Origin of Name: John Sedgwick, a major-general in the Union army, who was killed in a Civil War battle May 9, 1864, in Spotsylvania, Virginia.

Did you know?

  • Wichita is known as the Air Capital of the World because of the numerous aircraft corporations that call Wichita home.
  • The first Pizza Hut restaurant was opened in Wichita in 1958.
  • Wichita has the second largest IMAX movie theatre in the world at its Warren Theatre West location.
  • Family Circle magazine named Derby one of the 10 Best Towns for Families in 2012.
  • Wichita is the largest city in Kansas with a population of nearly 385,000 as of the 2010 census.
  • Mulvane's Old Settlers Celebration is one of the oldest festivals in the state of Kansas, held annually since 1873 on the third weekend in August.
  • Wyatt Earp served as a lawman for a time in Wichita when it was a wild cowtown. Wichita served as a railhead destination for cattle drives from Texas on the Chisholm Trail until the cattle quarantine line was moved west to Dodge City.
  • Park City received unwanted national attention as being the home of the BTK (bind, torture, kill) serial killer Dennis Rader.
  • Corporations such as Coleman, Mentholatum, Pizza Hut, White Castle, Taco Tico and Koch Industries were all founded in Wichita.
  • The Tanganyika Wildlife Park in Goddard is a privately owned zoo specializing in the breeding of endangered species. Visitors can interact with various animals that would normally be off limits at other zoos.
  • Derby was originally named El Paso when the town was laid out in 1871. In 1880 the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway changed the town name to Derby to avoid confusion with El Paso, Texas. The name was not officially changed until 1957.

Notable Residents:

Kirstie Alley, Walter Anderson, Robert Ballard, James Bausch, Olive Ann Beech, Walter Beech, Mike Bell, Erwin R. Bleckley, Blackbear Bosin, Caroline Bruce McAndrew, Dan Carney, Frank Carney, Antoine Carr, Laura M. Cobb, William Coffin Coleman, Richard Cowan, Darren Dreifort, Wyatt Earp, Jeff Farrell, Paul F. Foster, Alan Fudge, Robert Gates, James Jabara, Don Johnson, Charles Koch, David Koch, Jim Lehrer, Cleo Littleton, Bat Masterson, Hattie McDaniel, William L. McGonagle, Kirke Mechem, Brian Moorman, Gale Norton, Clarence Pinkston, Jeff Probst, Jim Ryun, Barry Sanders, Gale Sayers, Arlen Specter, Darnell Valentine, Joe Walsh, Lynette Woodard

Warren Theatre IMAX image
The second largest IMAX theatre in the world at the Warren Theatre West in Wichita
Photo courtesy of Bo Rader/The Wichita Eagle

Seward County

  • County Seat: Liberal
  • County Code: SW
  • Established: March 20, 1873
  • Organized: June 17, 1886
  • Region in Kansas: Southwest

Origin of Name: William H. Seward, who was governor and United States senator of New York, and secretary of state under President Abraham Lincoln.

Did you know?

  • Liberal is home to National Helium, the largest helium plant in the world.
  • Liberal is famous for its annual International Pancake Day Race competition with Olney, England, held on Shrove Tuesday. Ladies race through the streets while flipping a pancake in a skillet to see which town has the fastest time. They have been doing this since 1950.
  • Liberal is home to the Land of Oz exhibit from the movie The Wizard of Oz. It contains movie-related memorabilia, a recreation of Dorothy's house, and the famed Yellow Brick Road featuring donated bricks bearing the names of such luminaries as former U.S. Senator Bob Dole, President Ronald and Nancy Reagan, and Liza Minnelli.
  • Liberal reportedly gained its name from the common response to the acts of kindness by early settler S.S. Rogers. Rogers became famous in the region for giving water to weary travelers. They in turn would tell him, "That's very liberal of you."
  • Seward County is home to the Mighty Samson of the Cimarron, a railroad bridge built in 1939 that is still used today. The bridge is 1,269 feet long and was built to avoid the flooding from the Cimarron River.
  • Seward County is made up of 1 square mile of water and 639 square miles of land (equal to 309,760 football fields).

Shawnee County

  • County Seat: Topeka
  • County Code: SN
  • Established: August 25, 1855
  • Organized: August 25, 1855
  • Region in Kansas: Northeast

Origin of Name: Shawnee tribe of Indians, as the area of the county had been Shawnee Indian lands before the treaty of 1854.

Did you know?

  • Shawnee 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.
  • Shawnee County is the proud home to the state capital, Topeka, with the beautifully renovated Kansas State Capitol building and the smallest governor's mansion sitting on the largest piece of property of all state governors' residences.
  • The first Native American U.S. vice-president, Charles Curtis, was born in Topeka and led the floor fight in the U.S. Senate to give women the right to vote.
  • The Topeka Zoo built the first indoor rainforest exhibit in the United States in 1974.
  • Washburn University, in Topeka, is the only municipally owned university in the country.
  • Topeka is the home of the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site. The site was designated to commemorate the landmark Supreme Court decision of May 17, 1954, which ended segregation in public schools. Topeka's Monroe School, the all-black school cited in Brown v. Board of Education, was converted to a national park detailing the court case and the integral role of the Brown decision in the Civil Rights Movement. The site opened in May 2003 with President George W. Bush speaking.
  • Author Rex Stout used many area names in his Nero Wolfe character's murder mysteries.
  • While he lived in Topeka, the Reverend Charles Sheldon wrote the book In His Steps, in which he asked the question, "What would Jesus do?" or WWJD.
  • Kerry Livgren, founder of the band Kansas, grew up in Topeka, as did the great jazz musician Coleman Hawkins and the Harlem Renaissance artist Aaron Douglas.
  • John Steuart Curry painted the famous John Brown painting Tragic Prelude in the Kansas Capitol, which the band Kansas used on the cover of its debut album.
  • The name Topeka means "to dig good potatoes" in the languages of the Kansa and Ioway Indians, referring to prairie potatoes, a perennial herb that was an important food for many Native Americans.
  • Topeka temporarily (and not legally) changed its name to "Google," Kansas, in 2010 in an attempt to bring to the city Google's fiber experiment, a fiber-optic-based broadband Internet infrastructure.

Notable Residents:

Nancy Landon Kassebaum Baker, Chris Barnes, Annette Bening, Gwendolyn Brooks, Lisa Carey, Aaron Crow, Samuel Crumbine, Charles Curtis, Bob Davis, Aaron Douglas, Melvin Douglas, Joan Finney, Georgia Neese Clark Gray, Coleman Hawkins, Cyrus K. Holliday, Donald Hudson, Anna Seaton Huntington, Lon Kruger, Alfred Landon, Kerry Livgren, Karl Menninger, Billy Moore, Margaret Murdock, Frank E. Petersen, Kathleen Sebelius, Charles Sheldon, Marilynn Smith, Mike Torrez, Gary Woodland

Sheridan County

  • County Seat: Hoxie
  • County Code: SD
  • Established: March 20, 1873
  • Organized: June 2, 1880
  • Region in Kansas: Northwest

Origin of Name: U.S. Army Lieutenant General Phillip H. Sheridan, of the Civil War era, who prosecuted the later years of the Indian wars of the Great Plains and was instrumental, both as a soldier and as a private citizen, in the development and protection of Yellowstone National Park.

Did you know?

  • The Cottonwood Ranch near Studley was a sheep farm built in the 1880s and modeled after cottages from Yorkshire, England, where the builders originated. It was first built out of sod and later rebuilt from nearby stone and timber. It remains relatively unchanged from its original construction and is now a state historic site.
  • The original county seat of Sheridan County was a small town named Kenneth. In 1886 all of the buildings in Kenneth were moved two miles south and one-half mile west to the town-site of Hoxie when it was learned that the Missouri Pacific Railway would run through this area. In July 1886 Hoxie officially became the county seat and the courthouse in Kenneth was moved to Hoxie.
Cottonwood Ranch image
Cottonwood Ranch State Historic Site near Studley
Photo courtesy of the Kansas Historical Society

Sherman County

  • County Seat: Goodland
  • County Code: SH
  • Established: March 20, 1873
  • Organized: September 20, 1886
  • Region in Kansas: Northwest

Origin of Name: General William Tecumseh Sherman, who served in the Union army under General Ulysses S. Grant and succeeded Grant as the commanding general of the U.S. Army when Grant assumed the U.S. presidency in 1869.

Did you know?

  • The first helicopter in the United States was built and patented by William J. Purvis and Charles A. Wilson of Goodland in 1909.
  • Just outside of Kanorado is the Beaver Creek excavation site where artifacts have been found that date back more than 12,000 years, making it the oldest evidence of humans on the High Plains.
  • Kanorado is the western-most town in Kansas, being only a half mile from the Colorado border.
  • Sherman County is one of four Kansas counties in the mountain time zone.
  • Sherman County was the site of the Kidder Massacre in 1867. Lieutenant Lyman Kidder, 10 enlisted soldiers and an Indian scout were en route to deliver dispatches from General William Sherman to Lieutenant Colonel George A. Custer when they were attacked and killed by a war party of Sioux and Cheyenne Indians.
  • Goodland is home to a giant reproduction of Vincent van Gogh's 3 Sunflowers in a Vase. This replica is part of the Big Easel Project that began in 1996. The painting is 24 feet by 32 feet sits on an 80-foot-tall easel.

Notable Residents:

William J. Purvis, Charles A. Wilson

Van Gogh painting image
Vincent Van Gogh's 3 Sunflowers in a Vase in Goodland
Photo courtesy of Jared Stump