Sheridan County, in the northwestern part of the state, is located in the second tier from the north line of the state and is the third county east of Colorado. It is bounded on the north by Decatur; on the east by Graham; on the south by Gove, and on the west by Thomas. It was created in 1873 and named in honor of Gen. Philip H. Sheridan. The boundaries were described as follows: "Commencing where the east line of range 26 intersects the 1st standard parallel; thence south with said range line to the 2d standard parallel; thence west with said standard parallel to the east line of range 31 west; thence north with said range line to the 1st standard parallel; thence east to the place of beginning." The boundaries were redefined in 1879, when the southern line was pushed 6 miles to the north, cutting off a tier of counties, but the original boundaries were restored in 1881.
In 1857 when the Cheyennes were on the war path, and the United States troops were sent into western Kansas to check them, the two forces met on the Solomon river in Sheridan county and a battle was fought which broke up that band of Cheyennes.
The first settlements were made about the middle of the '70s, but it was not until 1879 that immigration became heavy. In that year, and early in 1880, so many settlers located in the county that there was sufficient population for organziation. The governor appointed George W. Crane and D. E. Barnes census takers. A public meeting was held at Kenneth, an early town which was located about a mile north of the site of Hoxie, and the men who were to be recommended to the governor for temporary officers were elected. They were: County clerk, William Stephens; commissioners, W. M. Rodgers, K. A. Ellithorpe and W. S. Hausufus. Gov. St. John issued the proclamation on June 2, appointing the officers recommended and naming Kenneth as the temporary county seat. The election of Nov., 1880, resulted as follows: County clerk, W. M. Rodgers; treasurer, G. W. Crane; register of deeds, A. C. McClurg; sheriff, J. H. Carey; superintendent of public instruction, E. P. Weida; probate judge, S. P. Davidson; surveyor, W. C. Blackstone; coroner, W. H. Pierce; district clerk, A. W. Stone; commissioners, W. C. Hausufus, M. M. Scott and M. G. Haskell. Kenneth was made the county seat and remained so until 1886. In that year Hoxie was founded and named for a Mr. Hoxie, who was interested in building a railroad to the new town, but who died before he could accomplish the project. W. P. Price was the leading member of the Hoxie Town company. A special county seat election was held in July, 1886. There were 516 votes cast of which Hoxie received 422 and became the permanent county seat.
The Union Pacific railroad was built in 1888. It runs from east to west through the central part. A line of the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific crosses the northwest corner. The county is divided into 13 townships, viz: Adell, Bloomfield, Bow Creek, Kenneth, Logan, Parnell, Prairie Dog, Saline, Sheridan, Solomon, Spring Brook, Union and Valley. The postoffices are: Angelus, Guy, Hoxie, Lucerne, Seguin, Selden and Studley.
The general surface is a level table-land except along the streams where it is somewhat broken. Bottom lands, which comprise 25 per cent. of the total area, average one mile in width. The north fork of the Solomon river enters in the west, somewhat north of the center and flows northeast into Norton county. The south fork of the same river enters from the west, about 10 miles north of the southwest corner, and flows east into Graham county. The Saline river flows east across the southern tier of townships. These streams are fringed with thin belts of timber containing cottonwood, ash, hackberry, elm, box-elder and wild cherry. Magnesian limestone is found in the east and south.
The live stock in 1882 numbered 5,654 head, nearly half of which was sheep. There were 18,444 pounds of butter sold, $12,388 worth of animals for slaughter and $9,783 worth of poultry and eggs. The number of acres under cultivation was about 2,300. In 1910 the number of acres under cultivation was 385,950. The value of the farm products was $1,521,856. Wheat, the leading crop, brought $478,219; corn, $145,556; oats, $62,756; barley $56,001; sorghum, $51,791; hay, $268,359; animals sold for slaughter, $252,532; poultry and eggs, $52,687; dairy products, $55,872. The value of live stock on hand was $1,481,437, and the number of head, 31,981, mostly cattle and swine.
The assessed valuation of property in 1882 was $42,185. In 1910 it was $9,962,451. The number of school districts in 1882 was 9 and there was a school population of 360. In 1907 there were 70 organized school districts, with 1,838 persons of schools age. The population in 1890 was 3,733; in 1900 it was 3,819, and in 1910 it was 5,651. The average wealth per capita in 1910 was nearly $1,800.Pages 689-691 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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