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Kansas Counties

Wilson County, Kansas

Date Established: August 25, 1855
Date Organized: September 24, 1864
Location: Kansas map showing location of Wilson County
Boundaries: Wilson County as originally laid out was twenty-four miles square along the southern boundary of the state, the territory which today comprises Montgomery County. Later in the same year [1855], the legislature expanded the county 26 miles northward to its present northern line; in 1867, the southern half was carved off to form Montgomery County.
County Seat: Fredonia
Origin of Name: In honor of Col. Hiero T. Wilson (1806-1892), sutler, postmaster, and prominent citizen of Fort Scott.
History: When originally created, the county was within the Osage Reserve and not open to white settlement. However, settlers began arriving as early as 1857. No attempt was made to organize the county until 1864, when an ambitious New Yorker named Daniel C. Finn arrived in the region and began agitating the question. On 9 Sept 1864, Finn presented a petition for organization to the governor, who appointed the first slate of county officers. Several of those appointed failed to qualify, and the first meeting of the county commissioners did not take place until January 1867. The question of a county seat caused eight elections between 1867 and 1873; Coy's Store [Coyville], Kalida [Clifton], Twin Mounds [Fredonia], Neodesha, and Center each won at least one election. The matter was finally settled in Fredonia's favor.
Cities & Townships
PlacePopulation (2020 census)
Cedar Township  569 
Center Township  527 
Chetopa Township  157 
Clifton Township  323 
Colfax Township  389 
Duck Creek Township  76 
Fall River Township  328 
Fredonia (city)  2,151 
Guilford Township  189 
Neodesha (city)  2,275 
Neodesha Township  598 
Newark Township  234 
Pleasant Valley Township  178 
Prairie Township  102 
Talleyrand Township  206 
Verdigris Township  278 
Webster Township  44 
Total population: 8,624 

Township map of Wilson County, 2000
1860 (27)
1870 (6,694)
1880 (13,775)
1890 (15,286)
1900 (15,621)
1910 (19,810)
1920 (21,157)
1930 (18,646)
1940 (17,723)
1950 (14,815)
1960 (13,077)
1970 (11,317)
1980 (12,128)
1990 (10,289)
2000 (10,332)
2010 (9,409)
2020 (8,624)
Other Resources: Post offices in Wilson County
Cemeteries in Wilson County, As of 1906
Newspapers Available on Microfilm
Townships and Independent Cities in Wilson County
Kansas Memory
Links to Other Sites: Wilson County GenWeb
Early Kansas Maps [KanColl]
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