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Jewell County, Kansas

Jewell County was organized on July 14, 1870, by William Harshberger and John Furrows. Cheyenne Indian raids in 1866 and 1867 forced these men and others to leave the county. The last Indian raid in the county occurred in 1870. On May 13, 1870, the early settlers built a fort of sod and lived there until June 1870 protected by the "Buffalo Militia." The county was named for Lieutenant Colonel Lewis R. Jewell, who died during the Civil War. It contains the cities of Jewell, Burr Oak, Mankato, Esbon, Formoso, Webber, and Randall.

In 1910 land speculation drove the population up to over 18,000 persons, the largest in the county's history. The first church was the Evangelical United Brethren of Jewell, 1871, and the first county fair was not held until August 1979, at Mankato. The first school was formed east of Jewell City in 1871.



The Jewell County Historical Society and Museum in Mankato has published information, some records, and photographs of the county's history.

This information came from the County History Project completed in 1987 as part of the state's 125th anniversary of statehood.  The project worked with individual counties around the state to record brief county histories.

Entry: Jewell 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.