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..

McPherson County, Kansas

McPherson County Education, Geography, and HistoryMcPherson County, Kansas Courthouse

McPherson County is a county located in the state of Kansas. Based on the 2010 census, the county population was 29,180. McPherson County was created on February 26, 1867. The county seat is McPherson. The county is named for Civil War General James B. McPherson.

The McPherson,KS Micropolitan Statistical Area includes all of McPherson County.

Etymology - Origin of McPherson County Name

The county is named in honor of Major-General James B. McPherson, United States Volunteers, who was killed in battle at Atlanta, Georgia, July 22, 1864.


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

McPherson County History

McPherson County, one of the best wheat producing counties of the state, is located a little to the south of the center of the state, and in the first tier of counties west of the 6th principal meridian. It is bounded on the north by Saline county; on the east by Marion; on the south by Harvey and Reno, and on the west by Rice and Ellsworth. The Santa Fe trail ran through McPherson county and the first ranch for the accommodation of travelers was established on the east branch of Turkey creek, about 7 miles east of the present city of McPherson, in 1855. It was kept by Charles Fuller. The first settler was Isaac Sharp, who took a claim in the winter of 1860 on the creek which bears his name. He brought with him his father and mother from Pennsylvania. Mrs. Sharp died and was buried on the creek. Sharp trapped, hunted and traded with the Indians. When the war broke out and the Indians became troublesome he moved to Council Grove. It is interesting to note that when Sharp became a candidate for governor ten years later that out of 198 votes cast in McPherson county he received but one or two. From the time of Sharp there were no settlements of any consequence for several years, although the county was visited by trappers and traders. One of these, Lewis by name, located a claim on the Smoky Hill river, which he improved to some extent. A man by the name of Peters located on Sharp's creek, but died shortly afterward. A man by the name of Wheeler built a stone corral at the crossing of the Santa Fe trail over the Little Arkansas river in 1865. The next year Col. Grierson with the Seventh Kansas cavalry encamped with his troops at this place. They built a stockade of cottonwood logs for a headquarters, and put up huts to live in.

McPherson county was originally a part of Peketon county, which was established in 1860 and contained all the territory in Kansas west of the 6th principal meridian and south of township 16. This county was abolished in 1865 and McPherson was made a township of Marion county, which covered a territory similar to Peketon, except that its eastern boundary extended to the west line of Chase county.

The city and county of McPherson were named for General James Birdseye McPherson, the highest ranking Union officer to die on the battlefield during the Civil War.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 901 square miles (2,330 km2), of which 898 square miles (2,330 km2) is land and 2.3 square miles (6.0 km2) (0.3%) is water.

 McPherson county is located close to the center of Kansas. The county is rolling prairie, somewhat broken in the north and level in the central part. The timber consist of cottonwood, box-elder, ash, oak, mulberry, hackberry, coffee-bean and willow. The Little Arkansas crosses the southwestern corner, and the Smoky Hill river flows through the northwestern section. Limestone, sandstone and gypsum are plentiful.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Saline County (north)
  • Dickinson County (northeast)
  • Marion County (east)
  • Harvey County (southeast)
  • Reno County (southwest)
  • Rice County (west)
  • Ellsworth County (northwest)


Unified School Districts

USD 400, Smoky Valley -Lindsborg, Marquette, Rural Areas
USD 418, McPherson - McPherson, Rural Areas
USD 419, Canton-Galva - Canton, Galva, Rural Areas
USD 423, Moundridge - Moundridge, Rural Areas
USD 448, Inman - Inman, Rural Areas

District Office In Neighboring County

USD 411, Goessel - Rural Areas
USD 444, Little River-Windom - Windom, Rural Areas


McPherson College, in McPherson
Bethany College, in Lindsborg.
Central Christian College, in McPherson

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