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Wyandotte County, Kansas

Wyandotte County, Kansas
Wyandotte County Courthouse in Kansas City
Map of Kansas highlighting Wyandotte County
Location in the state of Kansas
Map of the United States highlighting Kansas
Kansas's location in the U.S.
Founded January 29, 1859
Named for Wyandot people
Seat Kansas City
Largest city Kansas City
 • Total 156 sq mi (404 km2)
 • Land 152 sq mi (394 km2)
 • Water 4.6 sq mi (12 km2), 2.9%
Population (est.)
 • (2013) 160,384
 • Density 1,039/sq mi (401/km²)
Congressional district 3rd
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5
Website .org.wycokckwww

Wyandotte County (; county code WY) is a county located in the U.S. state of Kansas. As of the 2010 census, the population was 157,505,[1] making it the fourth-most populous county in Kansas. Its county seat and most populous city is Kansas City,[2] with which it shares a unified government.

Wyandotte County lies immediately west of Kansas City, Missouri and is included in the Kansas City, MO-KS Metropolitan Statistical Area.


  • History 1
    • The Wyandot 1.1
    • Other historical facts 1.2
  • Law and government 2
  • Geography 3
    • Topography 3.1
    • Watersheds & Streams 3.2
    • Adjacent counties 3.3
  • Demographics 4
  • Economy 5
  • Education 6
    • Colleges and universities 6.1
    • School Districts 6.2
    • Private schools 6.3
    • Other schools 6.4
  • Communities 7
    • Incorporated cities 7.1
    • Unincorporated communities 7.2
    • Townships 7.3
  • See also 8
  • References 9
  • Further reading 10
  • External links 11


Wyandotte County, Kansas 1899 Map

The Wyandot

The county is named after the Wyandot (also known as Wyandott or Wyandotte) Indians. They were called the Huron by the French in Canada, but they called themselves Wendat. They were distantly related to the Iroquois, with whom they sometimes fought. They had hoped to hold off movement by white Americans into their territory and had hoped to make the Ohio River the border between the United States and Canada.

One branch of the Wyandot moved to the area that is now the state of Ohio. They generally took the course of assimilation into Anglo-American society. Many of them embraced Christianity under the influence of missionaries. They were transported to the current area of Wyandotte County in 1843, where they set up a community and worked in cooperation with Anglo settlers. The Christian Munsee also influenced early settlement of this area.

The Wyandot in Kansas set up a constitutional form of government that they had devised in Ohio. They set up the territorial government for Kansas and Nebraska. It was one of their own who was elected as territorial governor.

Other historical facts

The county was organized in 1859.[3] Tenskwatawa (Tecumseh's brother), "the Prophet", fought at the Battle of Tippecanoe in 1811. He was buried at Shawnee Native American historical site Whitefeather Spring (located at 3818 Ruby Ave., Kansas City, which was added in 1975 to the National Register of Historic Places). The Kansas City Smelting and Refining Company employed over 250 men around the 1880s. The ore and base bullion is received from the mining districts of the mountains and is here crushed, separated and refined.

The Delaware Crossing (or "Military Crossing"; sometimes "the Secondine") was where the old Indian trail met the waters of the Kaw River. Around 1831, Moses Grinter (one of the earliest permanent white settlers in the area) set up the Grinter Ferry on the Kansas River here. His house was known was the Grinter Place. The ferry was used by individuals (such as traders, freighters, and soldiers) traveling between Fort Leavenworth and Fort Scott on the military road. Others would cross this area on their way to Santa Fe.

The Diocese of Leavenworth moved its see from Leavenworth, Kansas to Kansas City, Kansas on 10 May 1947. It became an Archdiocese on 9 August 1952.

Law and government

Wyandotte County was a prohibition, or "dry", county until the Kansas Constitution was amended in 1986 and voters approved the sale of alcoholic liquor by the individual drink with a 30% food sales requirement. The food sales requirement was removed with voter approval in 1988.[4]

The county has one of the highest rates of law enforcement killings in the nation.[5]


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 156 square miles (400 km2), of which 152 square miles (390 km2) is land and 4.6 square miles (12 km2) (2.9%) is water.[6] It is the smallest county by area in Kansas.[7]


The natural topography of the county consists of gently rolling terrain. The Kansas River forms a portion of the southern boundary of the county. The elevation generally increases from north to south as the distance from the Kansas River and Missouri River increases.

Watersheds & Streams

Mission Creek watershed

The county is drained by the watersheds of the Kansas River which is part of the Missouri River watershed. Being located in northeastern Kansas, the county receives plentiful rainfall.

Adjacent counties


Wyandotte County's population was estimated to be 159,129 in the year 2012, a increase of 1,624, or +1.0%, over the previous two years; it is the fourth largest county (in population) in the state of Kansas.

As of the 2000 census, there were 157,882 people, 59,700 households, and 39,163 families residing in the county. The population density was 1,043 people per square mile (403/km²). There were 65,892 housing units at an average density of 435 per square mile (168/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 58.18% White, 28.33% Black or African American, 1.63% Asian, 0.74% Native American, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 8.17% from other races, and 2.91% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 16.00% of the population.

By 2007, 48.1% of Wyandotte County's population was non-Hispanic whites. 26.3% of the population was African-American. Native Americans made up 0.6% of the population. Asians were 1.8% of the population. Latinos made up 21.7% of the county's population.

There were 59,700 households out of which 32.60% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.10% were married couples living together, 17.80% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.40% were non-families. 28.90% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.00% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.62 and the average family size was 3.24.

In the county the population was spread out with 28.50% under the age of 18, 10.40% from 18 to 24, 29.50% from 25 to 44, 19.90% from 45 to 64, and 11.70% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 95.40 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.30 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $33,784, and the median income for a family was $40,333. Males had a median income of $31,335 versus $24,640 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,005. About 12.50% of families and 16.50% of the population were below the poverty line, including 23.00% of those under age 18 and 11.10% of those age 65 or over.

Approximately 1.4% of the county's residents use public transportation to get to work. This is the highest percentage in the state.[13]


Village West, located at the intersection of Interstates 70 and 435 has significantly fueled growth in KCK and Wyandotte County. Anchored by the Kansas Speedway, its attractions and retailers include Hollywood Casino,[14] The Legends At Village West, Schlitterbahn Vacation Village, Cabela's, Nebraska Furniture Mart, Great Wolf Lodge, CommunityAmerica Ballpark, home to the Kansas City T-Bones of the American Association, and Sporting Park, home of Sporting Kansas City of Major League Soccer.

Also within the area are The Woodlands (race track) (featuring both greyhounds and horses which closed in 2008), Sandstone Amphitheater, the National Agricultural Center and Hall of Fame, Wyandotte County Park, and Sunflower Hills Golf Course.


Colleges and universities



School Districts

  • Turner USD 202
  • Piper USD 203
  • Bonner Springs USD 204
  • Kansas City USD 500

Private schools


  • Resurrection Grade School (formerly St. Peter's Cathedral Grade School)
  • St. Patrick's Grade School
  • Christ the King Grade School


Other schools


Incorporated cities

Unincorporated communities


Wyandotte County has a single township. The cities of Bonner Springs, Kansas City, and Lake Quivira are considered governmentally independent and are excluded from the census figures for the township. 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.

Township FIPS Population
Population Population
/km² (/sq mi)
Land area
km² (sq mi)
Water area
km² (sq mi)
Water % Geographic coordinates
Delaware 17475 Edwardsville 4,200 141 (364) 30 (12) 1 (0) 3.97%

The 2010 census lists the city of Edwardsville as also governmentally independent, with the size of the remaining township dropping to a population of 31 persons living on only 2.43 sq mi of land (and 0.36 sq mi water) resulting in a population density of 12.76 / sq mi (4.93 / km²). The departure of Edwardsville is also confirmed by the Kansas State Historical Society.[15]

See also


  1. ^ a b
  2. ^
  3. ^ History of Wyandotte County Kansas and its people; Perl W. Morgan; Lewis Publishing; 1911.
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^ [1]
  14. ^
  15. ^ Kansas State Historical Society

Further reading

  • "Historic Preservation". Kansas City, Kansas, Urban Planning & Land Use
  • Sween, "Argentine Pictures". Interactive Genealogy. Pictorial History of Wyandotte County, KS.
  • "Historical Wyandotte County". Kansas Heritage, Kansas Community Network.
  • "Wyandotte County". Kansas State Library.
  • "Views of the Past". Kansas City, Kansas Bicentennial Commission.
  • Sween, "Bonner Springs and Edwardsville". Virtual Bonner Springs, KS.
  • Kansas City, Kansas; Joe H. Vaughan; Arcadia Publishing; 2012; ISBN 978-0-7385-9399-9.
  • 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)

External links

  • Unified government for Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas
  • Kansas City, KS/Wyandotte County Convention and Visitors Bureau
  • Wyandotte Economic Development Council
  • Wyandotte County Kansas History and Heritage Project
  • Wyandotte 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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