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Sedgwick County history collection

Date: 1870-1949

Level of Description: Coll./Record Group

Material Type: Manuscripts

Call Number: Manuscripts Collection 728
Wichita Township records ... 1870-1873: MICROFILM MS 167, available thru interlibrary loan

Unit ID: 40728

Abstract: The collection consists of assembled materials from various sources providing information on the history of Sedgwick County, Kan. It includes original and typed transcripts of grand jury records from 1887 thru 1889 with information regarding selected jurors, witness statements, etc. (the major focus of the materials appears to be the consumption of illegal alcohol, gambling, prostitution, and other moral crimes); a copy of a brief article, Wichita skeleton by Dick Long, with accompanying notes & photocopies of 1880s newspaper articles regarding this grand jury; gathered historical materials, including legislation, memoranda & correspondence, reports, and other such materials related to the development of the Wichita - Sedgwick County Department of Public Health during the 1940s; town shares & school bonds; a report from the Sedgwick post office for the year 1871; a justice of the peace Docket, 1870-1873, from Wichita Township (on microfilm roll MS 167); Wichita city records, 1871-1881 (on microfilm roll MS 168.01); and other misc. materials.

Space Required/Quantity: 0.4 ft. (1 box) + 1 microfilm reel ; 35 mm.

Title (Main title): Sedgwick County history collection

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 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 this 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

Portions of Collection Separately Described:


Locator Contents
000-00-00-00  Wichita Township records ... 1870-1873: MICROFILM MS 167 


  • MS 167: Wichita Township, Sedgwick County, records ... 1870-1873


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


    Wichita-Sedgwick County Dept. of Public Health
    Records and briefs
    Sedgwick County (Kan.) -- History
    Wichita (Kan.)
    Wichita (Sedgwick County, Kan. : Township)
    Gambling and crime -- Kansas -- Sedgwick County
    Grand jury -- Kansas -- Sedgwick County
    Grand jury -- Kansas -- Sedgwick County -- History -- 19th century
    Justices of the peace -- Kansas -- Wichita (Sedgwick County : Township)
    Prohibition -- Kansas -- Sedgwick County
    Prostitution -- Kansas -- Sedgwick County
    Public health -- Kansas -- Sedgwick County

Additional Information for Researchers

Use and reproduction: Information on literary rights available from the Kansas Historical Society (Topeka)

Wichita Township, Sedgwick County, records, 1870-1873: Microfilm. Topeka, Kan. : Kansas State Historical Society, 1960; roll MS 167, available for research or inter-library loan.

Wichita records, 1871-1881: Microfilm. Topeka, Kan. : Kansas State Historical Society, 1960; roll MS 168.01, available for research or inter-library loan.

Holder of originals:
Microfilmed records: Sedgwick County District Court (Wichita, Kan.), City of Wichita (Kan.)
Remainder of collection: Kansas Historical Society (Topeka)