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Location Labette County Courthouse in Oswego, Kansas.  Photo by Susan Howell.

Labette County

 

 

County Seat: Oswego
Founded: 1867
Population:
    · 22,835 (2000)
    · 23,693 (1990)
    · 27,387 (1900)
Standard Abbreviation: LB

History

Map of Labette County, KS in 1899
 
Map and text from History of Kansas, Noble Prentis, (Winfield: E.P. Greer. 1899)
Legally organized in 1867.  County seat, Oswego.  Originally part of Dorn county after Colonel Earl Van Dorn, of the regular army (he was also a Confederate officer), but changed from Dorn to Neosho in 1861 after name of the principal river in southern Kansas.  Labette county has a peculiar history, not generally known, or at least not found in the books.  Prior to the summer of 1866 all that part (and being the south half) of Neosho county, now comprising Labette, was sparsely populated.  In the spring of 1866 there was a great rush of immigration to that locality, and the new settlers proceeded to organize a government of their own.  They gave the name Labette (then writen La Bette), and called a convention, nominated a full set of county officers, and a representative to the State Legislature, and elected them at the November election, and started a county government--for all of which no authority of law whatever existed.  The "Representative" so elected was Charles H. Bent, who reported at Topeka with a petition, "signed by John G. Rice and 224 other citizens of Labette county," asking that Mr. Bent be admitted to a seat in the House.  He was admitted, and afterwards submitted a Bill to "organize and define the boundaries of Labette county," which passed, and was approved the 7th of February, 1867.  The word La Bette is French, and signifies "the beet."
 
 
Pierre Labette was an early trader in southeast Kansas; a creek was named for him. Later, the county was named for the creek.
 
The early history of Labette County was marred by a mysterious and murderous family named Bender who were never brought to justice.
 
William G. Cutler's History of Kansas, first published in 1883, tells about early Labette County.
 
The Special Collections of the Ablah Library at WSU contain historical images of Altamont, Chetopa, Oswego, Parsons.
 
The Kansas State Historical Society also has more historical data for Labette County online including a rich bibliography and lists of cemeteries, post offices, and newspapers.

Cities, Towns, & Villages of Labette County

                 2000
  Year  Elev  Population Name              ZIP
  ====  ====  ========== ================ =====
  1875   910       1,092 Altamont         67330
         790             Angola
         890         124 Bartlett         67332
         975             Brownstone
  1857   824       1,281 Chetopa          67336
         923             Dennis           67341
         979         423 Edna             67342
         941             Fern
         838             Garvin
         917             Grove            66846
         965          68 Labette
         843             Laneville
         855             Montana
         830         418 Mound Valley     67354
         900             Orchard Park
  1866   900       2,046 Oswego           67356
  1870   907      11,514 Parsons          67357
         840             Penfield
         836             Stover
         850             Strauss
         855             Valeda
         870             Winway
Census Bureau Profile & Map

Special Places in Labette County

  • You can watch canes being turned into syrup during October at Golden Mill Sorghum near Bartlett. Call (620) 226-3368.

Libraries

  • Altamont Public Library   (620) 784-5530
    P. O. Box 218 / Altamont, KS 67330
  • Chetopa City Library   (620) 236-7194
    312 Maple / P. O. Box 206 / Chetopa, KS 67336
  • Edna Public Library   (620) 922-3470
    Box 218 / Edna, KS 67342
  • Mound Valley Public Library   (620) 328-3441
    P. O. Box 179 / Mound Valley, KS 67354
  • Oswego Public Library   (620) 795-4921
    704 Fourth Street / Oswego, KS 67356
  • Parsons Public Library
    311 S 17th / Parsons, KS 67357

Museums

  • Chetopa Historical Museum (620) 236-7195
    419 Maple / Chetopa, Kansas 67336
  • Oswego Historical Museum & Log Cabin   (620) 795-4500
    410 Commercial / Oswego, KS
  • Parsons Historical Society   (620) 421-3382
    401 S. Corning / Parsons, KS
    Furniture, tools, clothing, & pictures
  • Iron Horse Musueum   (620) 421-1959
    18th & Corning / Parsons, KS
    History of Railroads

Labette County School Systems

Colleges

Health Care

  • Labette County Medical Center
    1902 South U.S. Highway 59, Parsons, KS 67357
  • Katy Clinic   (620) 421-2700
    400 Katy Ave., Parsons, KS 67357
  • Oswego Health Center   (620) 795-2921
    800 Barker Dr. / Oswego, KS 67356

Newspapers

  • Altamont Journal   (620) 784-5632
    512 S. Huston Ave. / Altamont, KS 67330
  • Chetopa Advance   (620) 236-7951
    330 Maple / Chetopa, KS 67336
  • Oswego Independent-Observer   (620) 795-4712
    403 S. Commercial / Oswego, KS 67356
  • Parsons Sun   (620) 421-2000
    220 S 18th / PO Box 836 / Parsons, KS 67357-0836

More Data About Labette County

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

Genealogy

References

  • James, John T. The Benders of Kansas (Wichita: Kan-Okla Publishing. 1913 - reprinted 1995)
  • WPA The WPA Guide to 1930s Kansas ( Lawrence: University Press of Kansas. 1984 )

Labette County Offices


 
___________________
 
Labette County Convention & Visitors Bureau
(620) 421-6500
1715 Corning / P. O. Box 737 / Parsons, KS 67357
 
 
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Last updated on November 29, 2009 by COUNTIES@KSLIB.INFO
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