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Records from Sedgwick County

Creator: Sedgwick County (Kan.)

Date: 1870 - 1984

Level of Description: Coll./Record Group

Material Type: Government record

Call Number: Unavailable

Unit ID: 216582

Space Required/Quantity: Microfilm + volumes and 7 boxes.

Title (Main title): Records from Sedgwick County

Administrative History

Administrative History:

An early camping ground of the Osage and Wichita tribes, Sedgwick County is thought to have been on the route of the celebrated Spanish explorer Coronado and the site of an 1827 encampment of the frontiersman, Kit Carson. The act establishing the county in Kansas was passed on February 26, 1867. The following year, the County had its first election when thirty five voters selected their first school officials. After an attempt to organize a county government was declared void by the governor in 1869 due to "irregularities and informalities," a census was taken which determined that the county had the requisite number of inhabitants. The Governor then designated three Commissioners with the power to complete the organization and in April, 1870, the first county officials were elected. Wichita was also selected as the county seat, instead of neighboring Park City.

Like many other fledgling Kansas counties during this era, the county was named for a Civil War hero, Major General John Sedgwick of the Union Army, who was killed on May 9, 1864 during the battle of Spotsylvania Courthouse in Virginia. Sedgwick had spent ten years in Kansas prior to the war and had most likely traversed the land that was to become his namesake. Only one other county, in the state of Colorado, bears the General's name.

Wichita remains the county seat, as well as the largest city in the state of Kansas; Bel Aire and Haysville are two suburbs of Wichita. Townships in Sedgwick County include Afton, Attica, Delano, Eagle, Erie, Garden Plain, Grand River, Grant, Greeley, Gypsum, Illinois, Kechi, Lincoln, Minneha, Morton, Ninnescah, Ohio, Park, Payne, Riverside, Rockford, Salem, Sherman, Union, Valley Center, Viola, Waco, and Wichita Township (now defunct).

Scope and Content

Scope and content: The majority of the records from Sedgwick County, Kan., held at the state archives are from the Probate and District Courts. The Probate Court oversaw estate administration for those who died leaving behind wills and for those who died intestate, as well as handling related guardianship, adoption, and mental capacity cases and marriages. The state archives holds a comprehensive collection of case files, marriage records, and other documents from this court. District Court records, particularly journals of the regular proceedings of the court, civil case files, selected case files relating to notable figures in Sedgwick County's frontier era, a final record book from the early days of the County, and appearance dockets, are also part of the records in the state archives, along with some other miscellaneous series from Sedgwick County government. These records include tax assessment rolls and death certificates. There are also some records from the cities of Maize and Wichita, including ordinances and City Council or Commission meeting minutes. The majority of the records from Sedgwick County are in volumes or on microfilm.

Portions of Collection Separately Described:


No Locators Identified

Related Records or Collections

Indexes: District Court General index, vol. A, on microfilm roll MS 163.


Finding Aid Bibliography:
Kansas State Historical Society. "Kansas Counties -- Sedgwick County, Kansas." http://www.kshs.org/genealogists/places/counties.php?county=SG (accessed 26 May 2009).

Sedgwick County Information Network. "History of Sedgwick County." http://www.sedgwickcounty.org/about/history.htm (accessed 26 May 2009).

Index Terms


    Sedgwick County (Kan.) -- History
    Sedgwick County (Kan.) -- Management -- Records and correspondence
    District courts -- Kansas -- Sedgwick County
    Probate courts -- Kansas -- Sedgwick County
    Probate records -- Kansas -- Sedgwick County

Creators and Contributors

Agency Classification:

    Local Government Agencies. Sedgwick County.