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Location of Cowley County, Kansas
County Seat: Winfield 
Founded: 1870 
   · 36,291 (2000)
   · 36,915 (1990)
   · 30,156 (1900)
Area: 1128 Square Miles 
Standard Abbreviation: CL 

Cowley County

Cowley County Courthouse in Winfield. Photo by Susan Howell.
Cowley County Courthouse
Cowley County is located in southcentral Kansas, less than one hour from Wichita and two hours from Tulsa and Oklahoma City. The area offers rural living adjacent to urban amenities. Two vibrant and thriving retail trade areas, located ten minutes apart in Arkansas City and Winfield, are easier to get to and closer together than most metropolitan shopping malls. Udall, Burden, Dexter, Atlanta, and Cambridge are spunky communities whose downtowns are enjoying rebirth.
Arkansas City and Winfield offer public and private golf courses. Quail Ridge in Winfield is ranked as one of the state's top municipal courses. Swimming, skiing, boating and fishing are available at the Winfield City Lake or nearby Kaw Reservoir. Fishing is also available at the State Lake and along the Walnut and Arkansas rivers. Hunters find a variety of game birds and deer in season. Naturalists can appreciate local flora and fauna at Chaplin Nature Center in Arkansas City or the newly created nature center east of Winfield's Island Park.
From a Cowley County Tourism Bureau brochure


Map of Cowley County, KS in 1899
    Cowley.--Organized in 1870. County seat, Winfield. Named in honor of Matthew Cowley, First Lieutenant of Company I, Ninth Kansas Cavalry, who died in the service October 7, 1864, at Little Rock, Ark. The county was originally named Hunter after R. M. T. Hunter of Virginia.
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 Cowley County.
There is a section on Cowley County in the book Kansas: a Cyclopedia Of State History by Frank Blackmar (1912).
The site at has historical information and pictures of several towns in eastern Cowley County.
The Special Collections of the Ablah Library at WSU contain historical images of Arkansas City, Burden, Dexter, Silverdale, Udall, and Winfield.
The Kansas State Historical Society also has more historical data for Cowley County online including a rich bibliography and lists of cemeteries, post offices, and newspapers.

Cities, Towns, & Villages of Cowley County

    Town                Population  ZIP        Founded Elevation
    =================   ==========  =========   ====  =========
    Akron                           67156               1160
    Arkansas City            12762  67005       1870    1100
    Atlanta                    232  67008               1433
    Burden                     518  67019               1383
    Cambridge                   74  67023               1252
    Cameron                                             1125
    Dale                                                1177
    Dexter                     320  67038               1208
    Eaton                                               1354
    Floral                                              1228
    Glen Crouse                                         1330
    Grand Summit                                        1455
    Hackney                                             1151
    Hooser                                              1370
    Kellogg                                             1177
    Maple City                      67102               1345
    Moxham                                              1165
    New Salem                       67156               1247
    Parkerfield                300 (est)        2004
    Rainbow Bend                                        1170
    Rock                            67131               1175
    Silverdale                      67005               1086
    Taussig                                             1040
    Tisdale                                             1325
    Tresham                                             1161
    Udall                      824  67146               1267
    Vinton                                              1120
    Wilmot                          67156               1340
    Winfield                 11931  67156       1870    1127
Census Bureau Profile & Map

Special Events in Cowley County

  • Arkansas City events include PrairieFest (an art festival and a music festival) in June, Maverick Rodeo in August, World Festival Celebration on Labor Day Weekend, and the Arkalalah fall festival in late October.
  • Events in Winfield include Kanza Days in May, The Walnut Valley Inter-tribal Pow-Wow in July, The Walnut Valley Music Festival in September, and Art in the Park in October.



Cowley County School Systems

Colleges & Universities

  • Southwestern College   (620) 221-8236 or (800) 846-1543
    100 College Street, Winfield, KS 67156-2499
  • Cowley College   (620) 442-0430 or (800) 593-2222
    125 South Second / P.O. Box 1147, Arkansas City, KS 67005-1147



More Data About Cowley County

Economic Development Health Data


Cowley County Offices

For more about Cowley County


  • WPA The WPA Guide to 1930s Kansas (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas. 1984)

Last updated on November 29, 2009 by COUNTIES@KSLIB.INFO
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Graphics by John Howell,
photos by Susan Howell,
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