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Chase County, Kansas

Chase county was organized on February 11, 1859, by M. R. Leonard; B. McCabe; J. Lane; M. Coyne; A. Howell; C. T. Hegwer; William Osmer; William Dixon; Walter Watson; A. B. Wentworth; Milton Ford; James Fisher; Nathan Curey; Daniel Holsinger; Gabriel Jacobs; Willie Shart; and Samuel N. Wood. It contains the cities of Cedar Point, Cottonwood Falls, Elmdale, Matfield Green and Strong City. It was named for Salmon P. Chase, Governor and U. S. Senator from Ohio, and later Chief Justice of the U. S. Supreme Court.

The Methodist church of Cottonwood Falls was founded on January 12, 1859. The first fair was held in October 1881, at Cottonwood Falls and is still being held on the same site as the original. The first school, a subscription school, was founded in Cottonwood Falls in 1859. The first public school district was formed at Elmdale in the latter part of 1861.

Samuel N. Wood, of Cottonwood Falls, laid-out and platted the south part of the town, and had the county named for his friend Salmon Chase. Wood, who led a colorful life, was finally disbarred as an attorney and shot to death during the Stevens County Seat War. Also from the county was Congressman Dudley Doolittle (1913-1919).

In 1980 a TV film was made based on the life of Julia Breese, daughter of Lafe (Bud) Breese, entitled "Blessed, Blessed, Mama."

Interesting sites in the county include the Chase County Courthouse, the Spring Hill Ranch House on the Z-Bar ranch, the Samuel N. Wood House, the Lower Fox Creek School, the Clements Stone Arch Bridge, the Chase County National Bank Building the Carter Building, the Clover Cliff Ranch House, the Crocker Ranch Buildings and the Cottonwood River Bridge, at north edge of Cottonwood Falls.

For more information see the Chase County website. Chase County Historical Society, Cottonwood Falls, has a four volume set of family histories available, and additional volumes due out in the near future. The Historical Society also has microfilm of all available Chase County newspapers.

Entry: Chase County, Kansas

Author: Kansas Historical Society

Author information: The Kansas Historical Society is a state agency charged with actively safeguarding and sharing the state's history.

Date Created: February 2010

Date Modified: October 2015

The author of this article is solely responsible for its content.