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Records from Allen County

Creator: Allen County (Kan.)

Date: 1856 - 1989

Level of Description: Coll./Record Group

Material Type: Government record

Call Number: Unavailable

Unit ID: 216596

Abstract: This collection contains microfilmed registers and ledgers of vital statistics for residents of Allen County. The materials include marriage records 1856-1920, birth registers 1897-1989, death records 1897-1989, contagious disease registers 1897-1921, naturalization records 1871-1942, wills 1877-1921, and probate journals (1858-1919) from the county Probate Court or the City Clerk for Iola, Gas City, Moran, or La Harpe. Other volumes include deed records 1861-1902 with associated indexes from the county Register of Deeds. The records begin during the late territorial period and expand to the late 20th century. The bulk of the materials are from the late 19th to mid 20th century. The original volumes are kept by the Allen County government. Please use the paper finding aid for local government records on microfilm, located in the reference room at the Center for Historical Research, to find more detailed information on these rolls.

Space Required/Quantity: Microfilm.

Title (Main title): Records from Allen County

Administrative History

Administrative History: Allen County was established on August 25, 1855 and organized on May 07, 1856. It was named for William Allen (1803-1879), an Ohio senator and governor. The first settlement in the county was Richard J. Fuqua and family in January 1855, in the Neosho River valley. Fuqua build a trading post and farm in the northwestern part of the county, trading primarily with the Sac and Fox Indians.

The second settlement in the county was made by B.W. Cowden and H. D. Parsons, who arrived in March, 1855, and selected claims in the valley of the Neosho River, near the mouth of Elm Creek. The next settlement was made near the mouth of Deer Creek, the same spring, by Major James Parsons, and his two sons, Jesse and James, and Mr. Duncan. The creek on which they settled was so named from the large number of deer found in the timber along its banks. During the spring and summer settlement progressed quite rapidly, the most of it being along and near the Neosho River. Among the first settlers were H. H. Hayward, W. C. Keith, Henry Bennett, Elias Copelin, James Barber, Barnett Owen, A. W. J. Brown, J. S. Barbee, Thomas Day and Giles Sater. On Martin Creek the prominent settlers of that summer were Thomas Norris, Jesse E. Morris, Anderson Wray, George Hall, Dr. Stockton, A. C. Smith, Augustus Todd, Michael Kiser, Hiram Smith and Mr. Martin (for whom the creek was named).

Though many of the early settlers of the county were Pro-slavery men, few slaves were brought into the county. In the spring of 1855, a party of Pro-slavery men from Fort Scott formed a town company and laid out a town on the high land east of the Neosho River, a short distance west of the present railroad track, and about on the north line of Section 10, Township 25, Range 18 east. The town was named Cofachique, and James Barbee was elected the first president of the company. The first to settle on the new town site was James Barbee. In July, 1855, the Legislature passed an act incorporating the Cofachique Town Association. The incorporators were Daniel Woodson, Charles Passmore, James S. Barbee, Samuel A. Williams, and Joseph C. Anderson. The Legislature also empowered the Association to locate and hold a tract of land not to exceed nine hundred acres, around the proposed town site, and passed an act making Cofachique the permanent county seat of Allen County. Also in July of 1855, the Territorial Legislature fixed the boundaries as follows: commencing at the southeast corner of Anderson County, then south thirty miles, west twenty-four miles, north thirty miles, and east to the place of beginning.

The county seat was located at Cofachique from 1855 to 1857. Due to the decline in population of Cofachique, the county seat was moved to Humboldt in 1858. Humboldt was again the victor in 1860, but another county-seat election in 1865 resulted in the re-location of the county seat to Iola. The town company of Iola donated 100 lots to the county to aid in the construction of public buildings. The courthouse was purchased in 1877 for $1800 and the old courthouse was sold to the school district for $500.

The first railroads were built in Allen County in 1870--the Missouri, Kansas and Texas R.R. across the southwestern part and the Leavenworth, Lawrence and Galveston across the county from north to south on the east side of the Neosho River.

[Cutler, William G. History of the State of Kansas. Chicago: A. T. Andreas, 1883.]

[Kansas State Historical Society. "Kansas Counties - Allen County, Kansas." http://www.kshs.org/genealogists/places/counties.php?county=AL (accessed June 3, 2009.)]


No Locators Identified

Index Terms


    Allen County (Kan.) -- Genealogy
    Allen County (Kan.) -- History
    Allen County (Kan.) -- Records and correspondence
    Allen County (Kan.) -- Statistics, Vital

Creators and Contributors

Agency Classification:

    Local Government Agencies. Allen County.