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Kansas Counties
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Kansas Counties

Kansas has one hundred and five counties. Originally 33 counties were organized by the Territorial Legislature in 1855. The Chase County Courthouse in Cottonwood Falls, Kansas was built in 1873 and is the oldest operating courthouse in Kansas. As of January 1, 2009 Greeley County and the city of Tribune unified to form the Unified Government of Greeley County..

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Elk County, Kansas

Elk County Education, Geography, and HistoryElk County, Kansas Courthouse

Elk County is a county located in the state of Kansas. Based on the 2010 census, the county population was 2,882. Elk County was created on March 25, 1875 from Howard County. The county seat and most populous city is Howard. The county is named for the Elk River, which originates in the county.

Etymology - Origin of Elk County Name

 The county is named for the Elk river, which traverses its area from northwest to southeast.



County QuickFacts: Census Bureau Quick Facts

Elk County History

Elk county was formed, along with Chautauqua county, when Howard County was split into two counties on March 25, 1875.

Elk County, in the southeastern part of the state, is the fourth county west of the Missouri line and in the second tier north from Oklahoma. It is bounded on the north by Greenwood county, on the east by Wilson and Montgomery, on the south by Chautauqua, and on the west by Cowley and Butler. The county was established in 1875 by an act which divided Howard county into Elk and Chautauqua counties. Its history prior to that date will be as that part of Howard county which later became Elk.

Farming, ranching, and oil & gas production are all important to the local economy.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 650 square miles (1,700 km2), of which 644 square miles (1,670 km2) is land and 6.2 square miles (16 km2) (1.0%) is water.

 Elk county is located in southeast Kansas. The county is rolling and in some places hilly and bluffs. Bottom lands consist of 20 per cent. of the area. The timber consist of oak, cottonwood, elm, hackberry, box elder, maple, hickory, butternut, red-bud and sycamore. The main stream is Elk river, which enters the county in the northwest corner and flows southeast. The Fall river drains the northeast corner of the county; the southwest corner near Grenola has the beautiful Caney river valley. These various waterways have carved the whole county with big valleys and small canyons. Sandstone and limestone are found in abundance; marble of a fair quality and coal are found in limited amounts, and oil and gas are present in commercial quantities.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • North: Greenwood County
  • Northeast: Wilson County
  • Southeast: Montgomery County
  • South: Chautauqua County
  • Southwest: Cowley County
  • Northwest: Butler County


Unified School Districts

West Elk USD 282
Elk Valley USD 283

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