Scott County, in the western part of the state, is the third county east from Colorado, the fourth south of Nebraska, and the fourth from the southern boundary of the state. It is bounded on the north by Logan and Gove counties; on the east by Lane; on the south by Finney, and on the west by Wichita. It was created in 1873 and named for Winfield Scott, a hero in both the War of 1812 and the Mexican war, and commander-in-chief of army at the beginning of the Civil war in 1861. The boundaries were described as follows: "Commencing at the intersection of the east line of range 31 west with the 3d standard parallel; thence south along range line to its intersection with the 4th standard parallel; thence west along the 4th standard parallel to where it is intersected by the east line of range 35 west; thence north along range line to its intersection with the 3d standard parallel; thence east to the place of beginning."
The organization of the county was effected in 1886. In May Charles S. Reed was appointed to take the census. The returns were made on June 29 and showed a population of 2,675, of whom 701 were householders. The valuation of property was $364,063, of which amount $109,030 was real estate. Gov. Martin issued the proclamation the same day whereby he organized the county, named Scott City as the county seat, and appointed the following officers: County clerk, Charles S. Reed; commissioners, Marion Cunningham, A. H. Kilpatrick and Eugene McDaniels. The first election was held on Aug. 10 and resulted as follows: County clerk, Charles S. Reed; probate judge, Thomas Poulson; treasurer, W. R. Hadley; sheriff, B. F. Daniels; register of deeds, J. B. Johnson; attorney, C. C. Hadley; district clerk, S. T. Burgess; superintendent of public instruction, Miss Lulu Boling; surveyor, W. E. Daugherty; coroner, J. F. Bond; commissioners, H. M. Cranor, C. Garrett and Eugene McDaniels. Scott City had no opposition for county seat.
The first settlers came into the county in 1874. The first white women were Mrs. M. E. DeGreer and her daughter, Mrs. Ida Eastman, both widows. In 1893 Scott was among the counties which suffered from the fuel famine. The county commissioners visited Topeka to secure state aid, but were not successful. In 1884 the ruins of a pre-historic pueblo were discovered in Scott county about 12 miles north of Scott City. (See Archaeology.)
The county was divided into Michigan, Beaver, Scott, Valley, Keystone, Isbel and Lake townships in 1886, and no new townships have been organized. The postoffices are Grigsby, Manning, Modoc, Pence, Scott and Taft. The Missouri Pacific railroad enters in the northeast and crosses southwest to Scott, thence directly west into Wichita county. A branch of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe from Great Bend enters in the east and crosses west to Scott where it terminates.
The general surface is an undulating prairie with a few sand hills. The principal stream is Ladder creek. It enters from the west, flows east about 9 miles, then north into Logan county, where it empties into the Smoky Hill river. White Woman creek enters in the southwest and flows east and northeast to the center, where it sinks beneath the surface in the midst of a large basin which is filled only in wet seasons. Magnesian limestone is in the north and southwest. Sandstone, gypsum and cement rock also exist in limited quantities.
Less than half of the land in the county is cultivated. The value of farm products in 1910 was $607,766. Wheat brought $106,043; corn, $64,534; oats, $44,949; barley, $34,577; broom-corn, $26,729; sorghum, $158,928; milo maize, $32,400; hay, $27,379; animals sold for slaughter, $24,836; poultry and eggs, $16,327. The value of live stock on hand was $768,013.
The population in 1890 was 1,262. During the next three or four years the population decreased somewhat on account of the hard times. In 1893 there were 300 families, only 75 of them having the means to live through the winter. In 1900 the population was 1,098; in 1910 it was 3,047. The assessed valuation of property in 1910 was $5,913,442. The average wealth per capita being $1,940.Pages 655-656 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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