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Kansas Counties

Kansas has 105 counties, the sixth-highest total of any state. No Kansas county has two words in its name. Wyandotte County and the city of Kansas City operate as a unified government, and Greeley County and the city of Tribune are in the process of converting to a similar system.

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Wabaunsee County, Kansas

Wabaunsee County History, Geography, and Demographics

County Seat: Alma
Year Organized: 1859
Square Miles: 798
Court House:

215 Kansas Street
County Courthouse
Alma, KS 66401-9797

Etymology - Origin of County Name

The county was created in 1855. Colonel "Dick" Richardson, of Illinois, for whom the county was first named, was the leader in the House of Representatives on the Democratic side in the debate on the Kansas-Nebraska Bill. In February, 1859, the name was changed to Waubaunse, that being the name of a chief of the Pottawatomie Indians.

Demographics:

County QuickFacts: Census Bureau Quick Facts

County History

Wabaunsee County, in the eastern part of the state, is located a little north of a central line running east and west and about 75 miles west of the Missouri river, it has an area of 804 square miles; is bounded on the north by Riley county and the Kansas river which separates it from Pottawatomie and Jackson counties; on the east by Shawnee and Osage counties; on the south by Lyon and Morris, and on the west by Morris, Geary and Riley counties. The northern boundary is extremely irregular, following the winding course of the Kansas river, the northeast corner being 6 miles south of the northwest corner. Wabaunsee was one of the 33 counties crested by the first territorial legislature in 1855, and at that time was named Richardson, but as such never had any officers and was attached to Shawnee county for all revenue and judicial purposes. In 1859 the legislature changed the name from Richardson to Wabaunsee in memory of the Pottawatomie chief "Wabonsa," signifying "The Dawn of Day."

Geography

The east and west portions of the county are undulating prairie, but the central and northern portions are hilly, breaking into bluffs along the streams. The valleys, ordinarily, are about a mile wide and cover about one-fifteenth of the area. The timber belts along the streams vary in width from a few rods to half a mile, and consist of walnut, cottonwood, white and burr-oak, mulberry, dog-wood and locust. Corn is the principal cereal, though winter wheat, potatoes, millet, Kafir corn and alfalfa are raised. The county leads in the production of sweet potatoes and ranks high in live stock. In 1907 there were 70,000 bearing fruit trees. Thick ledges of limestone underlie the whole county cement rock of good quality is found near Alma and thin veins of coal have been found in different places. The northern and central portions of the county are drained by the Kansas river, which forms the northern boundary, Mill creek and its branches, while the southern and eastern portions are drained by Rock, Elm, Dragon and Mission creeks.

Neighboring Counties:

  • Pottawatomie County (north)
  • Shawnee County (east)
  • Osage County (southeast)
  • Lyon County (south)
  • Morris County (southwest)
  • Geary County (west)
  • Riley County (northwest)
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