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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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Jefferson County, Kansas

Jefferson County Education, Geography, and HistoryJefferson County, Kansas Courthouse

Jefferson County is a county located in the state of Kansas. Based on the 2010 census, the county population was 19,126. Jefferson County was created on August 25, 1855. The county seat is Oskaloosa. The county is named in honor of Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), the author of the Declaration of Independence and the third president of the United States.

Jefferson County is included in the Topeka, KS Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Etymology - Origin of Jefferson County Name

The county is named in honor of Thomas Jefferson, third President of the United States and the author of the Declaration of Independence.


County QuickFacts: Census Bureau Quick Facts

Jefferson County History

Jefferson County, one of the counties formed and organized by the first territorial legislature, is situated in the northeastern part of the state, the second county west from the Missouri river and the third south from the Nebraska line. It is bounded on the north by Atchison county, on the east by Leavenworth, on the south by the Kansas river, which separates it from Douglas county, and on the west by Shawnee and Jackson counties.

Jefferson is one of the older settled counties of the state and some of the most important events in the history of Kansas took place within its borders. The area of Jefferson county is 568 square miles or 363,520 acres.

Kansas' first settlement was established in 1827 in Jefferson County by Major Daniel M. Boone, son of the famous frontiersman. The county was heavily involved in the struggle over slavery that brought the state the name "Bleeding Kansas". The battles of Hickory Point and Slough Creek were fought here.

William G. Cutler's History of Kansas, first published in 1883, tells about early Jefferson County.

The Special Collections of the Ablah Library at WSU contain historical images of Ozawkie, Valley Falls, Oskaloosa, & Nortonville.

The Kansas State Historical Society also has more historical data for Jefferson County online including a rich bibliography and lists of cemeteries, post offices, and newspapers.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 557 square miles (1,440 km2), of which 533 square miles (1,380 km2) is land and 2.4 square miles (6.2 km2) (4.3%) is water.

Jefferson county is located in east Kansas. The county is rolling prairie with a few rough places. The bottom lands along the creek beds and the Kansas river make up about 15 per cent. of the total acreage. The Kansas river flows east along the southern border except for about 6 miles of the southeast corner. The Delaware river enters on the northern border about 4 miles from the west line and flowing south joins the Kansas at Perry. This stream is large enough to furnish power for mills. Big Slough creek is the main branch of the Delaware. Muddy creek crosses the southwest corner of the county.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Atchison County (north)
  • Leavenworth County (east)
  • Douglas County (south)
  • Shawnee County (southwest)
  • Jackson County (northwest)


Unified School Districts

Valley Falls USD 338
Jefferson County North USD 339
Jefferson West USD 340
Oskaloosa USD 341
McLouth USD 342
Perry-Lecompton USD 343

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