Washington County History
From the 1876 "A New Centennial History of Kansas," Charles Tuttle:
Washington County was organized in 1860, and no
American needs to be told for whom the county is named. The area of
the county is 900 square miles, and the population in 1875 was
8,621, of which 4,566 were males. Farming employs eighty-six
per cent, of the settlers, and manufactures and mining six per
cent. Washington, the county seat, is ninety miles northwest
from Topeka. Timber is very light in this county, and bottom
land only eight per cent., but the prairies are fertile in good hands.
The principal streams are the Little Blue, Mill, Coon, Pete's,
Parson's, and other creeks tributaries of the Little Blue and the
Republican rivers. Coal has been found, but in inconsiderable
seams and of poor quality; still the search has not been
abandoned, and indications are favorable. Building stone, pottery
clay and gypsum are found in different paits of the county.
Limestone quarries have been opened at several points, and the
pottery clay is being utilized at Hanover. The St. Joseph and
Denver City Railroad has a principal station at Hanover. The
Little Blue affords excellent water powers, but they have not been
worked. Mill creek is fully employed three-fifths of the year.
The manufactures of the county include a water power flouring
mill, pottery, brewery and brick factory at Hanover; a water
power flouring mill at Hollenberg; a water power grist mill at
Mill Creek ; two water power saw mills, a steam saw mill, a cheese
factory, furniture factory, two water power flouring mills, and
water and steam jDOwer flouring mill at Washington ; and a wind
grist mill at Strawberry township. There is one bank in
Washington. There are two papers, both weekly, published one at
Washington and the other at Hanover. Eighty-six school houses
have been erected and furnished at a cost of $57,970, and there
are in all 108 school districts. There are three church edifices
and other properties valued at $4,600, and libraries in two
townships give a total of 590 volumes. After the locust plague, this
county had 1,600 people in want of clothing, and 600 unable to
procure food for themselves.
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This website created June 15, 2011 by Sheryl McClure.
© 2011 Kansas History and Heritage Project