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Cowley County, Kansas

Cowley County was organized on February 28, 1870, by N. J. Thompson; William Quimby; James Renfro; T. B. Ross; John and Joseph Stanbury; F. W. Schwartz; S. B. Williams, and B. F. Murphy.Named for First Lieutenant Matthew Cowley, C. I, Ninth Kansas Cavalry, who was killed at Little Rock, Arkansas, in August, 1864, the county contains the cities of Udall, Arkansas City, Geuda Springs (part), Dexter, Atlanta, Burden, Cambridge and Winfield.

Many interesting Kansans hail from Cowley. E. C. Manning, the founder of Winfield, who also built the first structure there (an all purpose log building), was a member of the original town company and obtained the approval of Winfield as the county seat. Governor Robert Docking (1967-1975). U. S. Senator James. M. Harvey (1874-1877). Congressmen Jeremiah Botkin (1897-1899). Alfred Jackson (1901-1903), Kansas Supreme Court. Benjamin Clover (1891-1893), Kansas Supreme Court. Justice John C. Pollock (1901-1903), Kansas Supreme Court. United States District Judge George Templar (1987)

Coronado is said to have camped near the site of Bliss Mill in his search for the cities of gold. An Indian supposedly placed a curse on the river that a whirlpool should claim one life per year.

Margaret Hill McCarter's book, Masters Degree, 1913, is primarily about Winfield and Southwestern College.

Interesting sites include the Jarvis House, Cowley County National Bank, Magnolia Ranch and the Elmo Hotel.

For more information see the Cowley County website. The archives of the Cowley County Historical Museum, Winfield, contain government, local, and family information.

Entry: Cowley 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.