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Rice County, Kansas


Rice County, Kansas

Rice County, Kansas
Map of Kansas highlighting Rice County
Location in the state of Kansas
Map of the United States highlighting Kansas
Kansas's location in the U.S.
Founded February 26, 1867
Named for Samuel Allen Rice
Seat Lyons
Largest city Lyons
 • Total 728 sq mi (1,886 km2)
 • Land 726 sq mi (1,880 km2)
 • Water 1.7 sq mi (4 km2), 0.2%
 • (2010) 10,083
 • Density 14/sq mi (5/km²)
Congressional district 1st
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5
Website .usricecounty
1915-1918 Railroad Map of Rice County
Samuel Allen Rice in 1864
1845 Santa Fe Trail crossing Rice County

Rice County (standard abbreviation: RC) is a county located in the U.S. state of Kansas. As of the 2010 census, the county population was 10,083.[1] The largest city and county seat is Lyons.[2] The county was named in memory of Samuel Allen Rice, Brigadier-General, United States volunteers, killed April 30, 1864, at Jenkins Ferry, Arkansas.[3]


  • History 1
    • 19th century 1.1
  • Geography 2
    • Adjacent counties 2.1
    • National protected area 2.2
  • Demographics 3
  • Government 4
  • Education 5
    • Unified school districts 5.1
    • Colleges and Universities 5.2
  • Communities 6
    • Cities 6.1
    • Townships 6.2
  • See also 7
  • Further reading 8
  • References 9
  • External links 10


19th century

For millennia, the land now known as Kansas was inhabited by Kansas became the 34th U.S. state. In 1867, Rice County was founded.

The Santa Fe Trail followed the route of present day U.S. Route 56. Ruts in the earth from the trail are still visible in several locations. (Ralph's Ruts are visible in aerial photos at .)[4]

In 1878, Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway and parties from Marion County and McPherson County chartered the Marion and McPherson Railway Company.[5] In 1879, a branch line was built from Florence to McPherson, in 1880 it was extended to Lyons, in 1881 it was extended to Ellinwood.[6] The line was leased and operated by the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway. The line from Florence to Marion, was abandoned in 1968.[7] In 1992, the line from Marion to McPherson was sold to Central Kansas Railway. In 1993, after heavy flood damage, the line from Marion to McPherson was abandoned. The original branch line connected Florence, Marion, Canada, Hillsboro, Lehigh, Canton, Galva, McPherson, Conway, Windom, Little River, Mitchell, Lyons, Chase, Ellinwood.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 728 square miles (1,890 km2), of which 726 square miles (1,880 km2) is land and 1.7 square miles (4.4 km2) (0.2%) is water.[8]

Adjacent counties

National protected area


Age pyramid

As of the census[14] of 2000, there were 10,761 people, 4,050 households, and 2,830 families residing in the county. The population density was 15 people per square mile (6/km²). There were 4,609 housing units at an average density of 6 per square mile (2/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 94.68% White, 1.15% Black or African American, 0.57% Native American, 0.33% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 1.84% from other races, and 1.39% from two or more races. 5.61% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 4,050 households out of which 31.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.10% were married couples living together, 7.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.10% were non-families. 27.80% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.30% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 2.97.

In the county the population was spread out with 24.70% under the age of 18, 13.30% from 18 to 24, 22.80% from 25 to 44, 21.30% from 45 to 64, and 18.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 92.20 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.20 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $35,671, and the median income for a family was $40,960. Males had a median income of $31,175 versus $18,968 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,064. About 8.50% of families and 10.70% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.60% of those under age 18 and 8.20% of those age 65 or over.


Although the Kansas Constitution was amended in 1986 to allow the sale of alcoholic liquor by the individual drink with the approval of voters, Rice County has remained a prohibition, or "dry", county.[15]


Unified school districts

  • USD 328, Lorraine, serves Bushton and northwestern areas of the county
  • USD 376, Sterling
  • USD 401, Chase
  • USD 405, Lyons
  • USD 444, Little River

Colleges and Universities


2005 KDOT Map of Rice County (map legend)



Rice County is divided into twenty townships. The cities of Lyons and Sterling are considered governmentally independent and are excluded from the census figures for the townships. In the following table, the population center is the largest city (or cities) included in that township's population total, if it is of a significant size.

See also

Further reading

Rice County
  • Standard Atlas of Rice County, Kansas; Geo. A. Ogle & Co; 75 pages; 1919.
  • Plat Book of Rice County, Kansas; North West Publishing Co; 44 pages; 1902.
  • Kansas : A Cyclopedia of State History, Embracing Events, Institutions, Industries, Counties, Cities, Towns, Prominent Persons, Etc; 3 Volumes; Frank W. Blackmar; Standard Publishing Co; 944 / 955 / 824 pages; 1912. (Volume1 - 54MB PDF), (Volume2 - 53MB PDF), (Volume3 - 33MB PDF)
  • History of the State of Kansas; William G. Cutler; A.T. Andreas Publisher; 1883/1976.
  • The Story of the Marking of the Santa Fe Trail by the Daughters of the American Revolution in Kansas and the State of Kansas; Almira Cordry; Crane Co; 164 pages; 1915.
  • The National Old Trails Road To Southern California, Part 1 (LA to KC); Automobile Club Of Southern California; 64 pages; 1916.


  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 28, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ "Rice County". Kansas State Library. Retrieved 2007-08-13. 
  4. ^ "Aerial Photos Topo Maps of Santa Fe Trail Ruts and Sites". Retrieved 2007-12-28. 
  5. ^ Marion County Kansas : Past and Present; Sondra Van Meter; MB Publishing House; LCCN 72-92041; 344 pages; 1972.
  6. ^ Fourth Annual Report of the Board of Railroad Commissioners for the Year Ending December 1, 1886 in State of Kansas; Kansas Publishing House; 1886.
  7. ^ Railway Abandonment 1968
  8. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990".  
  9. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  10. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 28, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved July 28, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 28, 2014. 
  13. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 28, 2014. 
  14. ^ "American FactFinder".  
  15. ^ "Map of Wet and Dry Counties". Alcoholic Beverage Control, Kansas Department of Revenue. November 2004. Retrieved 2007-01-21. 

External links

  • Rice County
General Information
  • Blue Skyways
  • Rice County Maps: Current, Historic, KDOT
  • Kansas Highway Maps: Current, Historic, KDOT
  • Kansas Railroad Maps: Current, 1996, 1915, KDOT and Kansas Historical Society
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