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McPherson County, Kansas

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Title: McPherson County, Kansas  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: List of townships in Kansas, Canton, Kansas, Galva, Kansas, Moundridge, Kansas, Windom, Kansas
Collection: 1867 Establishments in Kansas, Kansas Counties, McPherson County, Kansas, Populated Places Established in 1867
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McPherson County, Kansas

McPherson County, Kansas
McPherson County Courthouse in McPherson
Map of Kansas highlighting McPherson 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 James B. McPherson
Seat McPherson
Largest city McPherson
 • Total 901 sq mi (2,334 km2)
 • Land 898 sq mi (2,326 km2)
 • Water 2.3 sq mi (6 km2), 0.3%
 • (2010) 29,180
 • Density 32/sq mi (12/km²)
Congressional district 1st
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5
Website .usmcphersoncountyks

McPherson County (standard abbreviation: MP) is a county located in the U.S. state of Kansas. As of the 2010 census, the county population was 29,180.[1] The largest city and county seat is McPherson.[2] The county is named for Civil War General James B. McPherson.[3]

The McPherson,KS Micropolitan Statistical Area includes all of McPherson County.


  • History 1
    • Early history 1.1
    • 19th century 1.2
    • 20th century 1.3
  • Geography 2
    • Adjacent counties 2.1
    • Major highways 2.2
  • Demographics 3
  • Government 4
  • Education 5
    • Unified school districts 5.1
    • Colleges 5.2
  • Museums 6
  • Communities 7
    • Cities 7.1
    • Unincorporated communities 7.2
    • Ghost towns 7.3
    • Townships 7.4
  • See also 8
  • Further reading 9
  • References 10
  • External links 11


Early history

For many millennia, the Great Plains of North America was inhabited by nomadic Native Americans. From the 16th century to 18th century, the Kingdom of France claimed ownership of large parts of North America. In 1762, after the French and Indian War, France secretly ceded New France to Spain, per the Treaty of Fontainebleau. In 1802, Spain returned most of the land to France, but keeping title to about 7,500 square miles.

In 1803, most of the land for Kansas became the 34th U.S. state.

19th century

1845 Santa Fe Trail crossing McPherson County
1915-1918 Railroad Map of McPherson County

From the 1820s to 1870s, the Santa Fe Trail passed through, what is now McPherson County. The trail entered the county, east of Canton, then south of Galva, then north of Inman, and west towards Lyons. In 1855, Charles O. Fuller established a ranch adjacent to the Running Turkey Creek Crossing about two miles south and one mile east of Galva. Fuller's Ranch provided accommodations for travelers on the Santa Fe Trail and was probably the first white settlement in McPherson County.

Peketon County was established in 1860, by the passage of a bill by S. N. Wood: An act to establish Peketon County. Section 1. - That all that territory west of the sixth principal meridian and south of Township 16, in Kansas Territory, be and the same is hereby erected into a county, to be known by the name of Peketon County. On February 17, 1865, Peketon County was abolished, and McPherson County was made a part of Marion County, which extended from the west line of Chase County to the present western boundary of Kansas.

In 1868, Solomon Stephens and L. N. Holmberg were appointed Justices of the Peace - the first officers in what is now McPherson County. The next year (1869) occurred the first election for the township, now the county of McPherson. McPherson was regularly organized as a county in the spring of 1870, a mass meeting being held at Sweadal. Sweadal, the county seat thus selected, was located about one mile and a half southwest of the present site of Lindsborg. In September, however, the County Commissioners resolved to meet at the latter place, McPherson which had already been located some two years.

In April, 1873, a petition was filed for the county seat re-location. It was signed by 483 voters, and a special election was accordingly ordered for June 10. Upon that day, McPherson received 605 votes, New Gottland 325, King City 3 and Marion held a meeting to consider a branch railroad from Florence. In 1878, Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway and parties from Marion County and McPherson County chartered the Marion and McPherson Railway Company.[4] 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.[5] The line was leased and operated by the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway. The line from Florence to Marion, was abandoned in 1968.[6] 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, then connected with the original AT&SF main line at Ellinwood.

In 1887, the Chicago, Kansas and Nebraska Railway extended its main line from Herington to Pratt.[7] This main line connected Herington, Ramona, Tampa, Durham, Waldeck, Canton, Galva, McPherson, Groveland, Inman, Medora, Hutchinson, Whiteside, Partridge, Arlington, Langdon, Turon, Preston, Natrona, Pratt. In 1888, this main line was extended to Liberal. Later, this line was extended to Tucumcari, New Mexico and Santa Rosa, New Mexico, where it made a connection with the Southern Pacific from El Paso, Texas. The Chicago, Kansas and Nebraska Railway was absorbed by the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railway. This line is also called the "Golden State Route".

20th century

The National Old Trails Road, also known as the Ocean-to-Ocean Highway, was established in 1912, and was routed through Windom, Conway, McPherson.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 901 square miles (2,330 km2), of which 898 square miles (2,330 km2) is land and 2.3 square miles (6.0 km2) (0.3%) is water.[8]

Adjacent counties

Major highways


Age pyramid

As of the census[14] of 2000, there were 29,554 people, 11,205 households, and 7,966 families residing in the county. The population density was 33 people per square mile (13/km²). There were 11,830 housing units at an average density of 13 per square mile (5/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 96.53% White, 0.81% Black or African American, 0.34% Native American, 0.32% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 0.79% from other races, and 1.16% from two or more races. 1.94% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 37.1% were of German, 12.9% Swedish, 12.1% American, 6.7% English and 6.3% Irish ancestry according to Census 2000.

There were 11,205 households out of which 33.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 62.50% were married couples living together, 6.00% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.90% were non-families. 25.50% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.80% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.49 and the average family size was 2.99.

In the county the population was spread out with 25.40% under the age of 18, 10.30% from 18 to 24, 25.20% from 25 to 44, 21.80% from 45 to 64, and 17.30% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 95.90 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.90 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $41,138, and the median income for a family was $48,243. Males had a median income of $33,530 versus $21,175 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,921. About 4.20% of families and 6.60% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.20% of those under age 18 and 8.10% of those age 65 or over.


Following amendment to the Kansas Constitution in 1986, the county remained a prohibition, or "dry", county until 1996, when voters approved the sale of alcoholic liquor by the individual drink with a 30% food sales requirement.[15]


Windom, Kansas in McPherson County during the early 20th century

Unified school districts

  • USD 400, Smoky Valley
    • Marquette, Rural Areas
  • USD 418, McPherson
  • USD 419, Canton-Galva
  • USD 423, Moundridge
  • USD 448, Inman
District Office In Neighboring County
  • USD 411, Goessel
    • Rural Areas
  • USD 444, Little River-Windom




2005 KDOT Map of McPherson County (map legend)


Unincorporated communities

Ghost towns


McPherson County is divided into twenty-five McPherson 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

McPherson County
  • Through the Years: A Pictorial History of McPherson County; McPherson Sentinel' Heritage House Publishing Co; 1992.
  • McPherson County First Courthouse Built About 1869 or 1870; Lindsborg News-Record; March 30, 1959.
  • Pioneer Life and Lore of McPherson County, Kansas; Edna Nyquist; Democratic-Opinion Press; 1932.
  • A History of the Church of the Brethren in Kansas (includes McPherson College history); Elmer LeRoy Craik; McPherson Daily; Republican Press; 397 pages; 1922.
  • ;Portrait and Biographical Record of Dickinson, Saline, McPherson, and Marion Counties, Kansas Chapman Bros; 614 pages; 1893.
  • Standard Atlas of McPherson County, Kansas; Geo. A. Ogle & Co; 82 pages; 1921.
  • Plat Book of McPherson County, Kansas; North West Publishing Co; 50 pages; 1903.
  • Edwards' Atlas of McPherson County, Kansas; John P. Edwards; 51 pages; 1884.
  • History of the State of Kansas; William G. Cutler; A.T. Andreas Publisher; 1883. (Online HTML eBook)
  • 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 - Download 54MB PDF eBook), (Volume2 - Download 53MB PDF eBook), (Volume3 - Download 33MB PDF eBook)
Mennonite Settlements
  • Impact of Mennonite settlement on the cultural landscape of Kansas; Brenda Martin; Kansas State University; 1985/1988.
  • Mennonite settlement : the relationship between the physical and cultural environment; Susan Movle; University of Utah; 1975/1886.
  • Status of Mennonite women in Kansas in their church and home relationships; Eva Harshbarger; Bluffton College; 1925/1945.


  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 27, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. U.S. Government Printing Office. p. 195. 
  4. ^ Marion County Kansas : Past and Present; Sondra Van Meter; MB Publishing House; LCCN 72-92041; 344 pages; 1972.
  5. ^ Fourth Annual Report of the Board of Railroad Commissioners for the Year Ending December 1, 1886 in State of Kansas; Kansas Publishing House; 1886.
  6. ^ Railway Abandonment 1968
  7. ^ Rock Island Rail History
  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 27, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved July 27, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 27, 2014. 
  13. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 27, 2014. 
  14. ^ "American FactFinder".  
  15. ^ "Map of Wet and Dry Counties". Alcoholic Beverage Control, Kansas Department of Revenue. November 2006. Retrieved 2007-12-26. 

External links

  • McPherson County - Official Website
  • McPherson County - Directory of Public Officials
  • McPherson 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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