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Greeley County, Kansas

Greeley County was organized on July 6, 1888, by W. C. Gerald and W. L. Wright. The county is named for Horace Greeley, editor of the New York Tribune, and contains the cities of Horace 138 and Tribune.

On August 2, 1887, the Denver, Memphis, and Atlantic Railroad Company laid its track into the town of Horace. The railroad, later part of the Missouri Pacific, contributed to the settlement of the county.

A Methodist Episcopal church was founded in June, 1886, in Tribune. The first county fair was held on September 3, 1937, in the high school gymnasium in Tribune. Currently there is a 4-H fair held. The first school district was the Horace District Number 1, founded in September, 1888. The Greeley County Hospital opened in 1949.

Many interesting figures hail from Greenley County. George L. Reid, an attorney, gave 110 acres for the State Experimental Station and was from the county. D. R. Beckstrom, was a well-known abstractor, photographer, and teacher from the county. Simon Fishman was a Kansas state senator, instrumental in breaking the first sod for wheat planting. In the 1920s a large portion of the county's sod was broken to plant wheat, accounting for the extreme difficulties in the county during the 1930s dust bowl. Jess Taylor, a farmer and stock man, was a state representative and Speaker of the House.

There is a local legend called the legend of White Woman Creek, which tells the story of two white women who were captured by Indians in 1868 near Spillman Creek in Lincoln County. One of the two was later rescued and the rescuers told a story of a crazy white woman who wished to stay with the Indians and her involvement and influence with the Indians. She later took part in a battle against some soldiers from Fort Wallace. She encouraged the Indians but was killed herself, issuing a plea to the gods to protect her husband and the tribe. To this day it is said you can still hear her along the creek that bears her name--White Woman Creek. The legend is a lengthy story and can be read in Margaret Pile's book And Greeley County Began.

For more information see the Greeley County website.The Museum has some information on the county's history. A new county history has been written, History of Early Greeley County, and is available from the Greeley County Library in Tribune.

Entry: Greeley 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: April 2020

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