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..

Allen County, Kansas

Allen County Education, Geography, and HistoryAllen County, Kansas Courthouse

Allen County is a county located in southeast portion of the state of Kansas. It is 504 square miles, or 322,560 acres in size. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 13,371. Allen County was created on August 25, 1855. The county seat and most populous city is Iola. The county is named in honor of William Allen, United States Senator from Ohio and prominent supporter of westward expansion.

Etymology - Origin of Allen County Name

Allen county is named in honor of William Allen, of Ohio, who was for many years a member of the United States Senate from that Commonwealth, and also its governor. He favored the doctrine of popular sovereignty on the opening of the Territory of Kansas to settlement.


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

Allen County History

Allen County, one of the 33 counties established by the first territorial legislature, was named in honor of William Allen, United States senator from Ohio. It is located in the southeastern part of the state, in the second tier of counties west of Missouri and about 50 miles north of the state line. In extent it is 21 miles from north to south and 24 miles from east to west, containing 504 square miles. It is bounded on the north by Anderson, east by Bourbon, south by Neosho and west by Woodson county. The county was organized at the time of its creation, Charles Passmore being appointed probate judge; B. W. Cowden.

Upon the organization of the county in 1855, Cofachique was designated as the county seat, and as it was centrally located no strife was stirred up until Humboldt was located in 1859 by the free-state men who went before the state legislature early in 1858 and secured an act locating the county seat there.

Great dissatisfaction developed over the location of the county seat at Humboldt, and on March 26, 1860, an election was held to decide on a location, Humboldt and Iola being the principal contestants. The result of the election was 562 votes for Humboldt and 331 for Iola, with 78 votes scattered, but the people in the vicinity of Iola and the northern part of the county were not satisfied. The strife was kept up for some years until another election was ordered for May 10, 1865, when Iola received the largest number of votes. When the county seat was located at Iola

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 505 square miles (1,310 km2), of which 500 square miles (1,300 km2) is land and 5.0 square miles (13 km2) (1.0%) is water.

Allen County is located in the southeastern part of the state. The general surface of the county is level, the soil is fertile and highly productive. The valleys average a mile and a half in width and the timber belts about a mile. The main types of trees native to the county are black walnut, hickory, cottonwood, oak, hackberry and elm. The Neosho river, which flows through the western part of the county from north to south. Its tributaries are Indian, Martin's, Deer, Elm, and other small creeks. The Little Osage flows through the northeast and the Marmaton river through the southeastern part of the county.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • North: Anderson County
  • Northeast: Linn County
  • East: Bourbon County
  • South: Neosho County
  • Southwest: Wilson County
  • West: Woodson County
  • Northwest: Coffey County

Points of Interest

Biblesta - Held the first Saturday in October in Humboldt, KS since 1957. This event features a parade with a biblical theme, gospel music throughout the day and evening, other activities, food and a free bean feed.

Farm-City Days Held on the Iola, KS square the third weekend of October. A carnival runs throughout the celebration with a parade, arts & crafts show, car show, entertainment and other special events the day.

Buster Keaton Celebration Held the third weekend of September at the Bowlus Fine Arts Center located in Iola, KS.


Iola is the home to Allen County Community College, an 88 acre campus, full service community college, conveniently located between the major metro areas of Kansas City, Wichita, and Joplin.

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