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..

Brown County, Kansas

Brown County Education, Geography, and HistoryBrown County, Kansas Courthouse

Brown County is a county located in the northeast portion of the state of Kansas. Based on the 2010 census, the county population was 9,984. Brown County was created on August 25, 1855. The county seat and most populous city is Hiawatha. The county is named in honor of Albert Gallatin Brown, (1813-1880), United States senator from Mississippi at the time of the Kansas-Nebraska Act or it is named for O. H. Browne, a member of that legislature.

Etymology - Origin of Brown County Name

 Brown county is named after Albert G. Browne, of Mississippi, who had been Senator and member of the House of Representatives from that state, was United States Senator at the date of the Act organizing Kansas Territory, was re-elected for six years in 1859, but withdrew with Jefferson Davis on the secession of the Southern states. The name is properly spelled with an e in the original statute, but on the county seal the e was left off--accidently, probably. All later statues present the name without the final e, or it is named for O. H. Browne, a member of that legislature.


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

Brown County History

Atchison county; thence north to the northwest corner of Atchison county; thence east with said north line of Atchison county to the southwest corner of Doniphan county; thence north with said west line of Doniphan county to the place of beginning."

In all the places where the name appears in the act of 1855 it is spelled "Browne." It was named for Albert G. Brown, United States senate from Mississippi, who spelled his name without the final "e." Dr. J. H. Stringfellow, a member of the Kansas legislature of 1855, stated that the county was named after O. H. Browne, a member of the house from the Third representative district, but the final "e" was dropped in the spelling of the name, by subsequent legislatures.

Brown county is bounded on the north by the State of Nebraska; on the east by Doniphan county; on the south by Atchison and Jackson, and on the west by Nemaha county. It has an area of 576 square miles.

Brown County is the location of the Kickapoo Indian Reservation of Kansas, the majority of the Sac and Fox Reservation and the majority of the Iowa Reservation of Kansas and Nebraska.

Brown is one of the leading agricultural counties, corn, winter wheat and oats being the largest crops. It is also a good horticultural region, and there are over 200,000 fruit trees of bearing age.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 572 square miles (1,480 km2), of which 571 square miles (1,480 km2) is land and 1.2 square miles (3.1 km2) (0.2%) is water.

Brown county is located in northeast Kansas. The Wolf River has its source in the county. Brown State Fishing Lake, formerly known as "Brown County State Park" is in the county, 8 miles (13 km) east of Hiawatha.

The surface of the county is gently rolling prairie. The principal types of timber are oak, walnut, honey-locust, hackberry, sycamore, elm, box-elder and basswood. Limestone is plentiful and sandstone of a good quality is found, both of which are quarried for local use. Two mineral springs in the western part of the county are claimed to have medicinal properties.

According to Morrill's History of Brown County, one of the overland routes, the "California Trail," (q. v.) "wound along the divides passing Drummond's Branch, crossed the western part of the present site of Hiawatha, followed the divide between the head waters of Wolf and Walnut, and left the county near the present site of Sabetha."

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • East: Doniphan County
  • Southeast: Atchison County
  • Southwest: Jackson County
  • West: Nemaha County
  • Northwest: Richardson County, Neb.


Unified School Districts

Hiawatha USD 415
Brown County USD 430

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