Kiowa County, in the southwestern part of the state, is the second county north from Oklahoma and the sixth east from Colorado. It is bounded on the north by Edwards county; on the east by Pratt and Barber; on the south by Comanche, and on the west by Ford and Clark. It was named for the Kiowa tribe of Indians and was first created by the act of 1867, which erected 26 western counties. In 1875 the county was extinguished and the territory divided between Edwards and Comanche. In 1886 Kiowa was restored and the boundaries defined as follows: "Commencing at the intersection of the west line of range 20 west with the north line of town 27; thence south along range line to its intersection with the north line of township 31; thence east along township line to where it intersects with the west line of range 15 west; thence north along range line to where it intersects with the north line of township 27; thence west to the place of beginning."
It contains 720 square miles or 460,800 acres. Until its organization Kiowa was attached to Comanche county for judicial purposes. Gov. Martin appointed C. W. Olmstead census taker in Feb., 1886. The returns made by him on March 19 showed a population of 2,704, of whom 549 were householders, and there was $236,622 worth of taxable property exclusive of railroads. In making the proclamation of organization on March 23, the governor named Greensburg as the county seat and appointed the following officers: Clerk, M. A. Nelson; commissioners, H. H. Patten, Jacob Dawson and C. P. Fullington.
During the year 1886 three railroads made propositions to the people of the countythe Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe, the St. Louis & San Francisco and the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific. The proposition to issue bonds for the first was not carried, and that company changed its route. The Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific subsequently built a line from Hutchinson which came through this county, and later the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe built a line across the southeast corner. Greensburg, the county seat, was not founded until early in 1885. In less than months it had 1,000 inhabitants and a number of two-story brick and stone buildings. About May 1, 1887, the ground for a court-house was purchased in Greensburg and the present court-house occupies the site.
The county is divided into twelve townships, Brenham, Butler, Center, Garfield, Glick, Kiowa, Lincoln, Martin, Reeder, Union, Ursula, Valley and Wellsford. The postoffices are, Greensburg, Belvidere, Haviland, Mullinville and Wellsford.
The surface of Kiowa county is a rolling prairie, slightly higher in the center. The southern half lies in the valley of the Medicine Lodge river and the northern half slopes in a succession of gentle foot hills toward the valley of the Arkansas. Rattlesnake creek, the principal stream, enters in the west and flows northeast into Edwards county. It has several tributaries in the northern and central parts. Medicine Lodge river has its source in the south and flows southeast into Barber county. Well water is found at an average depth of 50 feet. Good building stone is abundant.
Kiowa is in the famous winter wheat section. The wheat crop of 1910 sold for $1,674,553; corn, the next in importance, was worth $447,464; milo maize, $120,000; and animals sold for slaughter, $300,000. The total value of farm products was $2,740,959. The assessed valuation of property was $15,484,314. The population was 6,174 in 1910 as against 2,267 in 1900, a gain of nearly 300 per cent. The average wealth per capita is $2,346, which is larger by over $700 than the average for the state.Pages 76-77 from volume II 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 July 2002 by Carolyn Ward.
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