Kansas History and Heritage Project- Washington County History

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