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County Seat: Ulysses
Founded: 1888
    · 7,909 (2000)
    · 7,159 (1990)
    ·    422 (1900)
Area: 575Square Miles
Standard Abbreviation: GT

Grant County

Grant County Courthouse in Ulysses, Kansas


Except for the extreme northeast corner, Grant County is what the Kansas Geologial Society calls the High Plains. This area does not get a lot of rainfall but, with irrigation, supports big farms. The Hugoton natural gas fields underlie much of the county.
Sand Arroyo Creek joins the North fork of the Cimarron River in western Grant County. The two forks of the Cimarron wander around and come together in the southeast part of the county. The joining of the two rivers does not guarantee that there is water in the combined stream.
The Cimarron Valley railroad serves all of the towns in Grant County using tracks that were once part of the AT&SF.


Map of Grant County, KS in 1899
Organized June 9, 1888.  County seat Ulysses.  Named in honor of General Ulysses S. Grant.
Map and text from History of Kansas, Noble Prentis, (Winfield: E.P. Greer. 1899)
The Cimarron cutoff on the Santa Fe trail passed through Grant County, turned south and crossed the path of modern highway US 160 just east of Ulysses. It continued south and crossed the Cimarron in the southern part of the county.
The county was named for Ulysses Grant, Union general in the Civil War and president of the United States. As in many other Kansas counties, the struggle to determine which town would become county seat was fierce.
"At the height of the county seat contest between Ulysses and Appomattox in 1888, Ulysses boasted a population of 2,000 and supported twelve restaurants, four hotels, several other businesses, six gambling houses, and twelve saloons . . . "
- from a brochure distributed by the Grant County Museum
The battle was so expensive that the town of Ulysses went deeply into debt. In 1909, the buildings of the town were moved three miles to the present site to prevent foreclosure at the old townsite. Only a masonry school was left behind for the East Coast bondholders.
The Special Collections of the Ablah Library at WSU contain historical images of Grant County towns: Ulysses and New Ulysses.
The Kansas State Historical Society also has more historical data for Grant County online including a rich bibliography and lists of cemeteries, post offices, and newspapers.
Brief histories of some of Grant Counties vanished towns are available:

Cities, Towns & Villages of Grant County

    Town                Population  ZIP         Year  Elevation
    =================   ==========  =========   ====  =========
    Appomattox                   0
    Hickok                                              3055
    Old_Ulysses (moved)          0              1885
    Ryus                                                3025
    Stano                                               3146
    Ulysses                  5,960  67880       1909    3057
Census Bureau Profile & Map






  • Ulysses News (weekly)   (620) 356-1201
    218 N. Main, Ulysses, KS

Special Places in Grant County

More Data About Grant County

Economic Development
  • Kansas County Profile Reports
    A wealth of statistical data from The Institute for Public Policy and Social Research, the University of Kansas
Health Data


Web Links

  • Pioneer Communications, Telephone, Cable, Internet Access
    (620) 356-3211 / (800) 308-7536
    120 W. Kansas Ave., Ulysses, KS 67880


  • Fitzgerald, Daniel Ghost Towns of Kansas -- A Traveler's Guide ( University Press of Kansas. 1988)
  • WPA The WPA Guide to 1930s Kansas ( Lawrence: University Press of Kansas. 1984 )

Grant County Offices

  • Grant County   (620) 356-1335
    108 S. Glenn St., Ulysses, KS 67880
  • Extension Service   (620) 356-1721   Fax: (620) 356-1076
    204 East Grant, Ulysses,KS 67880

For more about Grant County visit:

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