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Edwards County Courthouse in Kinsley, Kansas. Photo by Susan Howell.
 Edwards County Courthouse

Edwards County

Location in Kansas of Edwards County
 
County Seat: Kinsley 
Founded:  1874 
Population:
    · 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.

History

Map of Edwards County, KS in 1899
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 Trousdale, Lewis, Belpre, and Kinsley.
 
The Kansas State Historical Society also has more historical data 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
    =================   ==========  =========   ====  =========
    Ardell                                              2225
    Belpre                     104  67519               2090
    Centerview                                          2158
    Fellsburg                                           2128
    Hodges                                              2220
    Kinsley                  1,658  67547       1873    2170
    Lewis                      486  67552       1882    2140
    Nettleton                                           2120
    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 around you.
  • 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, page 218.
  • 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.

Special Events

  • Holiday Festival -- First Saturday in December
    Featuring Gift and Craft Bazaar, food vendors, free movie for kids, and Holiday Parade
  • Midway Days

Libraries

  • 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

Museums

  • 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

School Systems

Hospitals

Newspapers

  • Edwards County Sentinel   (620) 659-2080
    218 E. Sixth / P. O. Box 39 / Kinsley, KS 67547

More Data About Edwards County

Economic Development Health Data

Genealogy

References

  • 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:

 
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Last updated on November 29, 2009 by COUNTIES@KSLIB.INFO
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