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Kansas Counties

Calhoun County, Kansas [defunct]

Date Established: August 25, 1855
Date Organized: September 24, 1855
Date Defunct: February 11, 1859
Location: Kansas map showing location of Calhoun County
Boundaries: Originally the county comprised approximately 1,140 square miles north of the Kansas River, with Riley County on the west, Nemaha and Brown on the north, and Jefferson and Atchison on the east. In 1857, the western boundary was moved eleven miles east, placing it between the first and second tiers of sections in Range 12 East. In the same year, a strip of land one mile wide and ten miles long was detached from Jefferson County and added to Calhoun.
County Seat: Holton
Origin of Name: Most probably named in honor of John C. Calhoun (1782-1850), statesman, U.S. senator from South Carolina, and vice-president of the United States. It may, however, have been named for John Calhoun (1806-1859), the first surveyor-general of Kansas and Nebraska and ex-officio registrar of the land offices therein (appointed 1854), who was a proponent of slavery in Kansas Territory and a member of the Lecompton constitutional convention.
History: The location of the town of Calhoun was in the extreme southeast corner of the county. The county was formally organized by its commissioners: William Alley, Richard Price Beeler (sometimes listed as Richard D. Beeler), and James Kuykendall.

Their first official act was an order naming the voting places for the election of a delegate to Congress; the second was a resolution to build a courthouse in the town of Calhoun "out of brick." That resolution was rescinded on 19 May 1856. Instead, a small frame structure was constructed that year out of native logs, standing two stories high at a cost of $2500.

James Kuykendall, perhaps the most influential man in the history of Calhoun County, came from Platte County, Missouri, where he had held the office of sheriff for four years. In Calhoun County, he was probate judge, chairman of the county commissioners, registrar of deeds, and prosecuting attorney. After the Free Soil party gained control over county politics, his name was soon forgotten.

On 11 October 1858, an election was held to permanently locate a county seat. The selection of Holton signaled the end of the town of Calhoun's prosperity. By the time the 1859 Legislature changed the county name to Jackson, the town of Calhoun had lost its postoffice, and it soon faded into oblivion.
Population: No Data Available.
Other Resources: Post offices in Calhoun County
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