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Stevens County, Kansas

Stevens County was organized on August 3, 1885, by H. B. Kelly; Charles and Orin Cook; C. B. Freese; A, M. Donald; William Harklerodes; J. C. Harris; W. C. Rathbun; and Frank Kroh. Containing the cities of Hugoton and Moscow, the county was named for Thaddeus Stevens.

One of the more famous county seat wars occurred between Hugoton and Woodsdale. Woodsdale utilized the services of Samuel N. Wood as their attorney to acquire the county seat. When Wood was stopped by a mob in 1888 on his arrival violence occurred. It was not until the use of the militia, the installation of martial law, and new elections were held that the county seat was finally determined to be Hugoton in 1891. Wood was finally killed by one of the feuding factions.

The Hugoton Methodist church, founded in 1886, was the first and is still active. It is not known for certain when the first county fair was held, but one still continues in the county in Hugoton. The first school was the Fairview School, established in 1885.

For more information see the Stevens County website. The Stevens County Library has a small collections of materials relating to the history of the county.

Entry: Stevens 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 2017

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