Meade County is part of the High Plains of Kansas: fairly flat and well suited to dry country farming. Early settlers seemed to think they had found the Garden of Eden:
"If there is a more beautiful country than Meade Co. we know it not"Crooked Creek drains most of the county and the Cimarron River crosses the southwest corner. Highway US 54 follows the railroad diagonally across the the county leading southwest to Liberal. Highway US 160 crosses East/West and state highway K-23 runs North/South.
Both the city and county were named for General George C. Meade (1815-1872), the Union commander at Gettysburg.
O. E. Short and members of his government surveying team were killed in Meade County by Cheyenne Indians in 1874. The six were buried under a lone cottonwood tree that was a well-known trail landmark of the times.
The Special Collections of the Ablah Library at WSU contain historical images of Fowler and Meade.
The Kansas State Historical Society also has more historical data for Meade County online including a rich bibliography and lists of cemeteries, post offices, and newspapers.
Extracts from Pioneer Stories of Meade County:
(Used by permission of the Meade County Historical Society)
Cities, Towns, & Villages of Meade County
2000 Year Elev Population Name ZIP ==== ==== ========== ================ ===== 2723 Collano 1884 2481 567 Fowler 67844 2730 Hobart 2497 1,672 Meade 67864 1886 Mertilla 2697 Missler 1886 Pearlette 1885 2760 1,163 Plains 67869
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