Congressional Districts.Kansas had but one representative in Congress until after the census of 1870, which showed that the state was entitled to three members of the lower branch of the national legislature. In 1872 three Congressmen at large were elected, but by the act of March 2, 1874, the legislature divided the state into three districts.
The first district was composed of the counties of Leavenworth, Doniphan, Brown, Nemaha, Marshall, Washington, Republic, Jewell, Smith, Phillips, Norton, Graham, Rooks, Osborne, Mitchell, Cloud, Clay, Ottawa, Ellis, Ellsworth, Russell, Saline, Dickinson, Lincoln, Riley, Pottawatomie, Jackson, Jefferson, Atchison, Davis (Geary), "and all that territory lying north of the second standard parallel."
The second district included the counties of Montgomery, Wilson, Labette, Cherokee, Crawford, Neosho, Bourbon, Allen, Anderson, Linn, Miami, Franklin, Johnson, Douglas and Wyandotte.
The third district included "all that part of the state not included in the first and second districts." This made the third district larger than both the other two. Along the eastern border of it lay the counties of Shawnee, Osage, Coffey and Woodson, and it embraced all the territory west of these counties and south of the first district.
No change was made in the apportionment thus established until after the census of 1880, which gave the state seven Congressmen. At the election of 1882 three representatives were elected from the old districts and four from the state at large. On March 5, 1883, Gov. Click approved an act of the legislature which provided for the following districts:
Firstthe counties of Nemaha, Brown, Doniphan, Pottawatomie, Jackson, Atchison, Jefferson and Leavenworth.
Secondthe counties of Wyandotte, Johnson, Douglas, Miami, Franklin, Anderson, Linn, Allen and Bourbon.
Thirdthe counties of Crawford, Cherokee, Neosho, Labette, Wilson, Montgomery, Elk, Chautauqua and Cowley.
Fourththe counties of Shawnee, Wabaunsee, Osage, Lyon, Coffey, Woodson, Greenwood, Butler, Chase, Marion and Morris.
Fifththe counties of Marshall, Washington, Republic, Cloud, Clay, Riley, Ottawa, Saline, Dickinson and Davis (Geary).
Sixththe counties of Jewell, Mitchell, Lincoln, Ellsworth, Russell, Osborne, Smith, Phillips, Rooks, Ellis, Trego, Graham, Norton, Decatur, Thomas, Sheridan, Gove, St. John (Logan), Rawlins, Cheyenne, Sherman and Wallace.
Sevenththe counties of McPherson, Harvey, Sedgwick, Sumner, Harper, Kingman, Reno, Rice, Barton, Stafford, Pratt, Barbour, Comanche, Edwards, Pawnee, Rush, Ness, Hodgeman, Ford, Lane, Scott, Finney, Seward, Wichita, Greeley and Hamilton:
This apportionment was amended by the act of March 13, 1897, which placed Shawnee county in the first district and Pottawatomie county in the fourth.
Although the census of 1890 showed the population of Kansas to be large enough to entitle the state to eight Congressmen, no additional district was created until in 1905, seven representatives being elected from the old districts and one from the state at large. By the act of March 9, 1905, the state was divided into eight districts.
The first district embraced the counties of Nemaha, Brown, Doniphan, Jackson, Atchison, Jefferson, Leavenworth and Shawnee.
The second district was composed of the counties of Wyandotte, Johnson, Douglas, Miami, Franklin, Anderson, Linn, Allen and Bourbon.
The third district included the counties of Crawford, Cherokee, Neosho, Labette, Wilson, Elk, Chautauqua, Cowley and Montgomery.
The fourth district included the counties of Pottawatomie, Wabaunsee, Osage, Lyon, Coffey, Woodson, Greenwood, Chase, Marion and Morris.
The fifth district embraced the counties of Marshall, Washington, Republic, Cloud, Clay, Riley, Ottawa, Saline, Dickinson and Geary.
The sixth district was made to consist of the counties of Jewell, Mitchell, Lincoln, Ellsworth, Russell, Osborne, Smith, Phillips, Rooks, Ellis, Trego, Graham, Norton, Decatur, Sheridan, Gove, Logan, Thomas, Rawlins, Cheyenne, Sherman and Wallace.
The seventh districtfrequently referred to as the "Big Seventh"was composed of the counties of Harper, Kingman, Reno, Rice, Barton, Stafford, Pratt, Barber, Comanche, Edwards, Pawnee, Rush, Ness, Hodgeman, Ford, Lane, Scott, Finney, Seward, Wichita, Greeley, Hamilton, Clark, Grant, Gray, Haskell, Kearny, Kiowa, Meade, Morton, Stanton and Stevens.
The eighth district included the counties of McPherson, Harvey, Sedgwick, Sumner and Butler.
At the election in 1910 the Republican candidate was elected in each of the eight districts. In the first district D. R. Anthony defeated J. B. Chapman by a vote of 21,852 to 7,486; in the second district Alexander C. Mitchell was elected over John Caldwell, 23,282 to 19,852; in the third district Philip P. Campbell defeated Jeremiah D. Botkin, 20,771 to 19,943; in the fourth district Fred S. Jackson defeated H. S. Martin, 17,111 to 14,051; in the fifth district Rollin R. Rees was elected over G. T. Helvering, 17,680 to 15,775; in the sixth district I. D. Young defeated F. S. Rockefeller, 21,020 to 18,985; in the seventh district E. H. Madison defeated George A. Neeley, 24,925 to 20,133; in the eighth district Victor Murdock defeated George Burnett by a vote of 16,239 to 2,354.Pages 400-401 from volume I of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed May 2002 by Carolyn Ward.
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