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Wichita County, Kansas

Wichita County was organized on December 24, 1886, by George Edwards; Edward Rhoades; Lilburn Moore; R. E. Jenness; S. W. MCall; and W. D. Brainard. Named for the Wichita Indians, the county contains the city Leoti.

In 1885 the county had only seven houses, but because of speculation in land by 1886-1887 settlement was rapid reaching a population large enough for county organization. A group of cattlemen did not wish to see the county organized, and two different messengers sent to Topeka with the census were never seen again. A personal envoy of the governor finally came for the census in 1886.

Wichita County fair in 1887The first church was a rural Methodist established in 1886. The first fair was held in 1899. The first school district was formed as District 1 in Leoti in 1887.

During an Indian attack in 1860, a hospital wagon was captured and a white woman passenger carried off. When the Indians camped on a little stream the woman, to avoid her fate, hanged herself from a tree along the creek. Ever after the Indians referred to the stream as White Woman Creek.

Wichita county has many interesting sites, including the Wichita County Courthouse, the W. B. Washington House and the Leoti Newspaper Building.

For more information see the Wichita County website.

Entry: Wichita County, Kansas

Author: Kansas Historical Society

Author information: The Kansas Historical Society is a state agency charged with actively safeguarding and sharing the state's history.

Date Created: February 2010

Date Modified: September 2012

The author of this article is solely responsible for its content.