Edwards County Courthouse
County Seat: Kinsley
· 3,449 (2000)
· 3,787 (1990)
· 3,682 (1900)
Area: 620 Square Miles
Standard Abbreviation: ED
This is prairie country.
Much of Edwards County is covered with a sandy soil used to produce alfalfa.
Huge piles of hay are everywhere. Small hills that look like grass-covered
sand dunes are also common.
Organized in 1874.
County seat Kinsley.
Named in honor of John H. Edwards, of Ellis, State
Senator. Colonel Edwards removed from Kansas
to New Mexico.
Map and text from History of Kansas,
Noble Prentis, (Winfield: E.P. Greer. 1899)
Long before the county was settled, travelers used the Santa Fe trail
through this area. During the Mexican War, a detachment of soldiers
was attacked while using the trail near the site that was to become Kinsley.
By the 1870s, it was clear that a railroad would follow the trail,
and permanent settlers arrived. Edwards County was actually named for W. C. Edwards,
who built a block of buildings in Kinsley during its early days.
William G. Cutler's History of Kansas
, first published in 1883, tells about early Edwards County
The Special Collections of the Ablah Library at WSU contain historical images of
The Kansas State Historical Society also has
for Edwards County online including a rich bibliography and lists of
cemeteries, post offices, and newspapers.
Cities, Towns, & Villages of Edwards County
Town Population ZIP Year Elevation
================= ========== ========= ==== =========
Belpre 104 67519 2090
Kinsley 1,658 67547 1873 2170
Lewis 486 67552 1882 2140
Offerle 220 67563 1876 2270
Trousdale 1916 2085
Census Bureau Profile & Map
Special Places in Edwards County
- There is a roadside park in Kinsley where US-50 and 56 join; it
contains the county museum, AT&SF steam locomotive number 3424,
an old church, and a sod house. The park also has a red stone DAR marker
about the Santa Fe trail and public rest rooms.
- The stone and yellow brick Edwards County Courthouse in Kinsley has a neat
balcony over the front doors. It's well away from downtown at 3rd &
Massachusetts; you have to cross the tracks and US-56.
- East of Kinsley on US 50, there is a
historical marker describing the 1848
battle of Coon Creek. When you stop, notice the unusual little hills
- Fellsburg is almost gone, but it does have a new home and several nicely
maintained older ones. There is a brick building beside the paved road that
looks like it used to be a bank; it's still in use.
- Trousdale is almost a ghost town, but it still has a brick Methodist
church and an old elevator. On the east side of Trousdale there are the
ruins of two old shop buildings and a horse drawn road grader marked
"Adams Road Patrol No 4 / J. D. Adams & Co. Indianapolis USA"
For more about the town see Faded Dreams: More Ghost Towns of Kansas,
- Centerview, south, of Lewis has nearly vanished, but there is an interesting
palisade fence, and the steps up to a long-gone building. A church once here was
moved to the roadside park in Kinsley.
- Ardell, west of Kinsley on US 50, used to be a big enough town to have a station.
Now two rusting and abandoned "tin" elevators are all that's left.
- Holiday Festival -- First Saturday in December
Featuring Gift and Craft Bazaar, food vendors, free movie for kids, and Holiday Parade
- Midway Days
- Henry Laird Library (620) 995-3373
105 Larned / Belpre, KS
- Kinsley Public Library (620) 659-3341
208 E. Eighth St. / Kinsley, KS 67547
- Lewis Library (620) 324-5743
Main St. / P. O. Box 331 / Lewis, KS 67552
- Carnival Heritage Center
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM, Mon-Fri, Sat and Sun by appointment April-October
200 E. Sixth, Kinsley, KS
(620) 659-2201, (620) 659-2711, (877) 464-3929
- Edwards County Historical Society Museum (620) 659-2420
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM May-September
Highway 56-50 / Kinsley, KS 67547
- Edwards County Sentinel (620) 659-2080
218 E. Sixth / P. O. Box 39 / Kinsley, KS 67547
More Data About Edwards County
- Kearney, David M. Belpre, Kansas - The Story of a Small Town (Lewis: Lewis Press. 1978)
- Fitzgerald, Daniel, Faded Dreams: More Ghost Towns of Kansas
(Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1994)
Edwards County Offices
- Edwards County (620) 659-3121
312 Massachusetts Ave. / Kinsley, KS 67547
- Extension Service (620) 659-2149
212 E 6th St, Kinsley, KS 67547-1110
For more about Edwards County contact:
Last updated on
November 29, 2009
A service of the Kansas State Library
Graphics by John Howell,
photos by Susan Howell,
used by permission.