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..

Sumner County, Kansas

Sumner County Education, Geography, and HistorySumner County, Kansas Courthouse

Sumner County is a county located in the state of Kansas. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 24,132. Sumner County was created on February 26, 1867.  The county seat is Wellington. The county is named for Charles Sumner (1811-1874), a United States senator from Massachusetts.

Sumner County is part of the Wichita, KS Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Etymology - Origin of Sumner County Name

The county is named for Charles Sumner, the distinguished Massachusetts Senator. In 1854 he was a leader in the opposition to extension of slavery into Kansas, as proposed in the Bill to organize the territory.


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

Sumner County History

Sumner County, one of the southern tier, is crossed east of the center by the 6th principal meridian, and hence is but a short distance east of a line dividing the state into halves. It is bounded on the north by Sedgwick county; on the east by Cowley; on the south by the State of Oklahoma, and on the west by Harper and Kingman counties. It was named in 1871 in honor of the Hon. Charles Sumner of Massachusetts. At that time many of his friends objected to applying the name of so great a man to what they deemed a worthless strip of territory.

Charles Sumner (1811-1874) was an abolitionist Senator from Massachusetts most famous for being severely beaten for his beliefs.

Early interest in the county was driven by the economic opportunities offered by the herds of cattle coming up the Chisholm trail from Texas. Later the Oklahoma land rushes created and then drained towns in Sumner County.

Mrs Susanna Madora Salter (born 3/2/1860) served as mayor of Argonia in 1887 She was the first woman mayor elected in the US. The Salter home at Osage & Garfield is now a museum.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,185 square miles (3,070 km2), of which 1,182 square miles (3,060 km2) is land and 3.0 square miles (7.8 km2) (0.3%) is water.

 Sumner county is located in southeast Kansas. The county is prairie, and in some places are nearly level. Bottom lands comprise 20 per cent of the total area. Timber consist of cottonwood, box elder, ash, willow, elm, hackberry, burr-oak, mulberry, coffee-bean and locust. Limestone, sandstone, gypsum and potter's clay are found in small quantities. Salt exists in large deposits. Sumner county is noted for the number and quality of its mineral springs. The main stream is the Arkansas river, which flows south along the eastern boundary. The Ninnescah enters in the north and flows southeast to the eastern border where it joins the Arkansas. The Chikaskia enters in the west and flows southeast.


Cattle, wheat, and railroads have defined Sumner County. The flat rich soil that covers much of the county produces vast amounts of wheat. As you drive through the county you can always see several grain elevators. The Santa Fe railroad runs east/west and the Union Pacific serves Peck, Riverdale, Wellington, Perth, Corbin, and Caldwell connecting Wichita and Enid, OK, over track once owned by the Rock Island. Highway US 160 runs across the county, and US 81/I-35 runs north/south.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Sedgwick County (north)
  • Butler County (northeast)
  • Cowley County (east)
  • Kay County, Oklahoma (southeast)
  • Grant County, Oklahoma (southwest)
  • Harper County (west)
  • Kingman County (northwest)


Unified School Districts

USD 263, Mulvane
USD 353, Wellington
USD 356, Conway Springs
USD 357, Belle Plaine
USD 358, Oxford
USD 359, Argonia
USD 360, Caldwell
USD 509, South Haven

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