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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..

Ellsworth County, Kansas

Ellsworth County Education, Geography, and HistoryEllsworth County, Kansas Courthouse

Ellsworth County is a county located in the state of Kansas. Based on the 2010 census, the county population was 6,497. Ellsworth County was created on February 26, 1867. The county seat and most populous city is Ellsworth. The county is named for Fort Ellsworth, a military post in the county near Kanopolis, itself named in honor of 2nd Lieutenant Allen Ellsworth of the Seventh Iowa Cavalry, who supervised construction of the fort in 1864.

Etymology - Origin of Ellsworth County Name

The county is named after Fort Ellsworth, a military post built on the bank of the Smoky Hill, in 1864. This fort was so called by General Curtis, in honor of the officer who constructed it, Allen Ellsworth, Second Lieutenant of Company H, Seventh Iowa Cavalry. When the name was adopted for the county it was supposed that the fort had been named in honor of Colonel E. E. Ellsworth of national fame.


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

Ellsworth County History

Ellsworth County, located nearly in the geographical center of the state, was created in 1867 with the following boundaries: "Commencing at the southeast corner of the county of Lincoln, thence west 30 miles; thence south 24 miles; thence east to the west line of McPherson county, thence north to the place of beginning." It was formed out of unorganized territory and has an area of 720 square miles. The county was named in honor of Allen Ellsworth, a lieutenant in the army, who built Fort Ellsworth on the Smoky Hill river in 1864. At the present time it is bounded on the north by Lincoln county, on the east by Saline and McPherson, on the south by Rice and on the west by Barton and Russell counties

Fort Harker near Kanopolis was a frontier Army post originally founded in 1864 as Fort Ellsworth. It was renamed Fort Harker in 1866 and was abandoned in 1872. The fort, the town, and the county were named for Lt Allen Ellsworth, Co. H, 7th Iowa Cavalry.

 The soil is well adapted to grains and the most important crops are corn and winter wheat, but oats, Kafir corn and prairie hay are also extensively raised. The county ranks high in live-stock raising and there are over 50,000 bearing fruit trees.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 723 square miles (1,870 km2), of which 716 square miles (1,850 km2) is land and 7.4 square miles (19 km2) (1.0%) is water. It is intersected by the Smoky Hill River.

Ellsworth county is located close to the center of Kansas. The country is varied and may be divided into "bottom" land, upland or rolling prairie and bluff land. The principal water course in the Smoky Hill river, which enters the county about 6 miles south of the northwest corner and flows in the southeasterly direction. Magnesium limestone is plentiful in the northeastern portion and red sandstone in the central and southwestern parts. Mineral paint of a good quality and outstanding potter's clay are found in many localities. Large quantities of gypsum exist in the high lands and in the central part are vast beds of rock salt which is extensively mined at Ellsworth and Kanapolis. Coal is the chief mineral product.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Lincoln County (north)
  • Saline County (east)
  • McPherson County (southeast)
  • Rice County (south)
  • Barton County (southwest)
  • Russell County (northwest)


Unified School Districts

Ellsworth USD 327
Central Plains USD 112

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