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Scott County Courthouse in
 Scott City, Kansas.  Photo by Susan Howell.
 Scott County Courthouse

Scott County 

County Seat: Scott City 
Founded: 1886 
    · 5,120 (2000)
    · 5,289 (1990)
    · 1,098 (1900)
Area: 718 Square Miles 
Standard Abbreviation: SC 



Map of Scott County, KS in 1899
Organized in January 29, 1886. Scott is the county seat. Boundaries defined in 1873. In honor of Major General Winfield Scott, United States Army, hero of the Mexican War.
Map and text from History of Kansas, Noble Prentis, (Winfield: E.P. Greer. 1899)
        The El Quarteljo pueblo in northern Scott County was settled by Taos & Picurie Indians from New Mexico about 1604. They abandoned their settlement, which was a meeting place for Spanish and French travellers, about 1720. Cheyenne Indians from Oklahoma under Dull Knife fought the "Squaws Den" battle against Army troops under the command of William H. Lewis near the site of the pueblo in 1874.
        Scott County's boundaries were defined when it was surveyed in 1873. The town of Nixon was founded on the site of modern Scott City about 1879, and homesteaders began arriving about 1874 to claim up to 480 acres of free or low cost land from the government. Early towns named Arcola, Painter, and Zenobia were founded but have vanished. The county was officially organized in 1886 and named for General Winfield Scott (1786-1866) who was commander of the U. S. troops during our war with Mexico. County offices were in the building that housed the WCTU (Women's Christian Temperance Union) Reading Room until a courthouse could be built.
        The area had a sort of "boom" when the railroads arrived in 1887. At one time, Scott City was served by four railroads.
The Special Collections of the Ablah Library at WSU contain historical images of Scott City.
The Kansas State Historical Society also has more historical data for Scott County online including a rich bibliography and lists of cemeteries, post offices, and newspapers.

Cities, Towns, & Villages of Scott County

    Town                Population  ZIP         Year  Elevation
    =================   ==========  =========   ====  =========
    Astor                                               3756
    Chevron                                             2927
    Grigston                                            2925
    Hutchins                                            2943
    Manning                                             2919
    Modoc                           67863               3137
    Pence                                               3135
    Scott City               3,855  67871       1885    2978
    Shallow Water                                       2949
    Whitelaw                                            3548
Census Bureau Profile & Map

Special Places in Scott County

  • White Woman Creek starts in Colorado and disappears into White Woman Basin. It flows undergound from there into the Arkansas. The abundant underground water was one of the features that made the area to attractive to early settlers.
  • The El Cuartelejo pueblo ruins, built about 1604 by Taos Indians from New Mexico, has been reconstructed and it became a National Historic Landmark on July 7, 1964
  • Scott State Park offers a beautiful lake with camping, swimmming, and fishing.
  • There's a nice bronze statue entitled "Cattleman's Harvest" in front of the Security State Bank in Scott City.
  • The little town of Pence has almost vanished, but enough survives that there is a sign near the state park that points to it.
  • Modoc in the western part of the county isn't very large any more, but it has a wide divided main street. Early city boosters must have had grand visions.

Special Events in Scott County

  • The Scott County Fair, Rodeo, and Beefiesta is held in mid-July in Scott City.
  • The Lake Scott Rod Run and Show attracts hot rod enthusiasts to the City Park in Scott City on the third weekend of August.
  • The Whimmydiddle Arts & Crafts Fair at Scott City brings over 300 exhibitors to the City Park. It's held on the last Saturday in September.


Scott County School Systems



More Data About Scott County

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



  • History of Early Scott County (Scott City: Scott County Historical Society. 1977)

Scott County Offices

  • Scott County   (620) 872-2420
    303 Court St. / Scott City, KS 67871
  • Extension Service   (620) 872-2930
    Courthouse, 303 Court St / Scott City, KS 67871-1157

For more about Scott County contact:

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Last updated on November 29, 2009 by COUNTIES@KSLIB.INFO
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Graphics by John Howell,
photos by Susan Howell,
used by permission.