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Location in Kansas of Stafford County.
 
County Seat: St. John
Founded: 1879
Population:
    · 5,365 (1990)
    · 9,829 (1900)
Area: 788 Square Miles 
Standard Abbreviation: SF 

Stafford County 

Stafford County Courthouse in St. John, Kansas
Stafford County Courthouse 
 
        Stafford county is mostly flat country with occasional clumps of grass-covered sand dunes. The eastern part has marshy areas that are home to millions of waterfowl. The gentle North Fork of the Ninnescah river meanders across the southeast quadrant.
 
        The AT&SF railroad and highway US-50 run across Stafford county, serving Zenith, Stafford, St. John, and Macksville. Highway US 281 runs north-south though the middle. The Missouri Pacific had track from Radium, in northwest Stafford county through Seward, Hudson, Stafford, and Neola but it has been abandoned.
 
        Most of the economic life of the county involves cattle, winter wheat, or petroleum.
  • The main square in St. John seems like it should have a courthouse on it, but doesn't. Instead, the courthouse is on the southeast corner of the square with an angled facade facing the square. Notice the older Dillon's store on the north side of the square; its style gives a glimpse of past retail fashion.
  • The Quivira National Wildlife Refuge is a 22,000 acre wonderland for birdwatchers.
  • The Ida Long Goodman library in St. John is a good model for smaller Kansas towns. By combining the city and school district libraries, both are better than either could be alone.
  • Hudson is the home of a famous flour mill and is a lively, prosperous little town. Tours of the Stafford County Flour Mills can be arranged; call (620) 458-4121.
  • Zenith has a tan brick church and school (abandoned), grain elevator, and RR tracks.
  • Neola, in the southeast corner, is kind of a sad place nestled in a sandhill area beside rusting, weed-grown tracks. There's almost nothing left of the dreams and sweat invested there.
  • Curtis Cafe in Stafford has hundreds of picture puzzles (assembled) mounted on the walls.

History

1899 Map of Stafford County
Organized in 1873.  County seat St. John.  In memory of Lewis Stafford, Captain of Company E, First Kansas Infantry, who was accidentally killed at Young's Point, La., January 31, 1863.
 
Map and text from History of Kansas, Noble Prentis, (Winfield: E.P. Greer. 1899)
 
William G. Cutler's History of Kansas, first published in 1883, tells about early Stafford County.
 
The Kansas State Historical Society also has more historical data for Stafford County online including a rich bibliography and lists of cemeteries, post offices, and newspapers.
 
The Special Collections of the Ablah Library at WSU contain historical images of St. John, Stafford, and Macksville.

Cities, Towns, & Villages of Stafford County

  Year  Elev    Population   Name              ZIP
  ====  ====  ============== ================ =====
        1980                 Dillwyn
        1865             159 Hudson           67545
  1879  2035             488 Macksville       67557
        1804                 Neola
        1951              47 Radium           67550
  1879  1909            1357 St. John         67576
        1913              71 Seward           67577
  1878  1858            1344 Stafford         67578
        1803                 Zenith
Census Bureau Profile & Map

Special Events in Stafford County

  • The Stafford County Fair is held the 3rd week of July.
  • The St. John Jubilee is Memorial Day weekend.
  • Stafford celebrates Oktoberfest on the first Saturday of the month.
  • Christmas Wonderland in Stafford begins the week of Thanksgiving and runs Thursdays through Sundays until December 25th.

Libraries

Museums

Stafford County School Systems

Hospitals

  • Stafford District Hospital (620) 234-5221
    502 S. Buckeye / Stafford, KS 67578

Newspapers

More Data About Stafford 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

  • Harper, Steve. 83,000 Square Miles (Wichita: The Eagle and Beacon Publishing Co. 1990)
  • WPA. The WPA Guide to 1930s Kansas (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, reprint 1984) See tour 4a, pages 394-395

Stafford County Offices

For more about Stafford County contact:

  • Stafford Chamber of Commerce   (620) 234-5614
    101 S. Main / P. O. Box 24 / Stafford, KS 67578
 
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Last updated on November 29, 2009 by COUNTIES@KSLIB.INFO
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