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Kingman County Courthouse in Kingman, Kansas. Photo by Susan Howell.
 Kingman County Courthouse 

Kingman County

Location in Kansas of Kingman County.
County Seat: Kingman
Founded: 1873
    ·   8,683 (2000)
    ·   8,292 (1990)
    · 10,663 (1900)
Area: 865 Square Miles
Standard Abbreviation: KM 


Much of Kingman county is grassland covering red sand. The South Fork of the Ninnescah river winds its way across the north part of the county and the Chikaskia River crosses the southern part. Tradition has it that there was only one tree in the county when it was founded; early settlers planted windbreaks that are magnificent now. The heart of this county is the huge Byron Walker game preserve and public hunting area. Cheney Lake touches the northeastern corner of the county and the state lake is near Calista in the center.
Highway US-54 crosses the heart of Kingman County, going east to Wichita and west to Pratt. K-42 also crosses the county from east to west. Highways K-14 and K-17 go north-south and K-2 cuts across the southeastern corner. Wichita's 21st Street winds around the dam at Cheney Lake, and runs across northern part of the county, joining Mt. Vernon, Varner, and Penalosa.

Cities, Towns, & Villages of Kingman County


  Year  Elev  Population Name              ZIP

  ====  ====  ========== ================ =====

        1450             Adams

        1588             Alameda

        1595             Basil

        1585             Belmont          67068

        1590             Calista

        1650             Cleveland

  1885  1705         514 Cunningham       67035

        1466             Georgia

  1872  1550       3,387 Kingman          67068

        1405             Lansdowne

        1430             Midway

        1475             Mount Vernon

  1884  1472             Murdock          67111

        1740         111 Nashville        67112

  1885  1490         551 Norwich          67118

        1725          27 Penalosa         67035

        1450             Rago             67128

        1760             St. Leo

        1700             Skellyville

  1887  1510          80 Spivey           67142

        1525             Varner

        1450             Waterloo

        1675             Willowdale

  1887  1663         123 Zenda            67159

Historical Notes

Map of Kingman County, KS in 1899
Organized in 1874. County seat Kingman, which was organized in honor of Samuel A. Kingman, who was then Chief Justice of Kansas.
Map and text from History of Kansas, Noble Prentis, (Winfield: E.P. Greer. 1899)
Kingman County was created after Governor Osborne received a somewhat questionable petition claiming that the county had over 600 settlers. The town and the county were named for Samuel A. Kingman, early president of the Kansas Bar Association and Chief Justice of the state supreme court as well as first president of the Kansas State Historical Society.
Highway 54 is officially designated as the Cannonball Stageline Highway from the east edge of Kingman thru Greensburg--so named for the colorful stagecoach driver who ran the Cannon Ball Stage Line beginning originally in Wichita, moved westward to Kingman, and from there on westward ahead of the railroads. Without him and other stage lines, western Kansas would have been settled much slower.
Clyde Cessna built a monoplane on his farm near Rago in 1910.
William G. Cutler's History of Kansas, first published in 1883, tells about early Kingman County.
One of the rail lines that served Kingman County was the Hutchinson & Southern, a remarkable railroad built by a group of Kansas businessmen without spending any of their own money. It later became part of the A.T.&S.F.
The courthouse in Kingman, completed in 1908, was one of several beautiful courthouses in Kansas designed by George P. Washburn.
There is a section on Kingman County in the book Kansas: a Cyclopedia Of State History by Frank Blackmar (1912).
The Special Collections of the Ablah Library at WSU contain historical images of Cunningham, Kingman, Norwich, & Spivey.
County death records from 1900-1912, compiled from local sources by the Kingman Carnegie Library are available online.
Sample the local news from the Kingman Journal for September 18, 1885 or from the Norwich Herald for June 2, 1905.
The Kansas State Historical Society also has more historical data for Kingman County online including a rich bibliography and lists of cemeteries, post offices, and newspapers.
With the permission of the Kingman County Historical Society, excerpts from the book Kingman County, Kansas, And Its People. (Kingman: Kingman County Historical Society. 1984) are online:
Brown Spur
Mt. Vernon
St. Leo

For complete and up-to-date information about current Kingman County events, businesses or other information,




Kingman County Economic Development Council,
324 North Main, Kingman KS 67068

Updated April 8, 2011 by KCEDC Web Admin

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