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..

Cherokee County, Kansas

Cherokee County Education, Geography, and HistoryCherokee County, Kansas Courthouse

Cherokee County is a county located in Southeast Kansas. Based on the 2010 census, the county population was 21,603. Cherokee County was created on August 25, 1855. The county seat is Columbus, and its most populous city is Baxter Springs. The county is named in honor of the Cherokee Native Americans, whose lands borders the county in nearby Indian Territory.

The communities of Baxter Springs, Columbus, Galena, and Riverton are located in the Ozarks of Kansas.

Etymology - Origin of Cherokee County Name

Cherokee county was first named McGee in 1855, for E. McGee of Missouri, who was a member of the Territorial Legislature. In 1866 the name Cherokee was adopted, from the fact that a large portion of the "Cherokee neutral lands," reservation of that tribe of Indians, was included in the geographical area of the county.


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

Cherokee County History

Cherokee County, located in the extreme southeastern part of the state, was created by the first territorial legislature and named McGee, but as Mabillon W. McGee, for whom it was named, was a pro-slavery man, the free-state legislature of 1860 changed the name to Cherokee in honor of the Cherokee Indians. At the present time the county is bounded on the north by Crawford county; on the east by the State of Missouri; on the south by the State of Oklahoma, and on the west by Labette county. It has an area of 589 square miles.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 591 square miles (1,530 km2), of which 588 square miles (1,520 km2) is land and 3.5 square miles (9.1 km2) (0.6%) is water.

Cherokee county is located in southeast Kansas. The country is rolling prairie. A water-shed extends through the county from north to south dividing it into two nearly equal parts. The eastern half is drained by Spring river and its streams, the most important of which are Cow, Shawnee and Brush creeks, and the western portion is drained by the Neosho river and its streams, the largest of which are Lightning, Cherry, Fly and Four Mile creeks.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • North: Crawford County
  • East: Jasper County, Mo.
  • Southeast: Newton County, Mo.
  • South: Ottawa County, Okla.
  • Southwest: Craig County, Okla.
  • West: Labette County


Unified School Districts

  • Cherokee USD 247 is a 300-square-mile (780 km2) school district primarily covering portions of Crawford and Cherokee counties, but also includes small portions of Labette and Neosho counties. It serves over 800 students in grades Pre-K through 12. Southeast High School (the "Lancers") is located just west of the city of Cherokee (where the district office is located). In Cherokee County the district serves the cities of Weir and West Mineral.
  • Riverton USD 404
  • Columbus USD 493
  • Galena USD 499
  • Baxter Springs USD 508

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