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County Seat: Osborne
Founded: 1871
    ·   4,452 (2000)
    ·   4,867 (1990)
    · 11,844 (1900)
Area: 882 Square Miles
Standard Abbreviation: OB  




Osborne County

Osborne County courthouse in Osborne, Kansas.  Photo by Susan Howell
Osborne County Courthouse 


Map of Osborne County, KS in 1899
Organized in 1871. County Seat Osborne. Named in honor of Vincent B. Osborne, Private of Company A, Second Kansas Cavalry, who lost his right leg January 17, 1865, on the steamer Anna Jacobs on the Arkansas River.
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 Osborne County.
The Special Collections of the Ablah Library at WSU contain historical images of Osborne County towns: Osborne, Natoma, Portis, Downs, & Alton.
The Kansas State Historical Society has historical data for Osborne County online including a rich bibliography and lists of cemeteries, post offices, and newspapers.

Historical Markers in Osborne County

Burial Records for Rural Cemeteries

Pleasant Valley

Cities, Towns, & Villages of Osborne County

  Year  Elev  Population Name              ZIP
  ====  ====  ========== ================ =====
  1870  1652         117 Alton            67623
        1590             Bloomington
        1683             Cheyenne
        1836             Cheyenne Gap
        1504             Corinth
        1761             Covert
        1484       1,038 Downs            67437
        1523             Forney
        1834         367 Natoma           67651
  1871  1554       1,607 Osborne          67473
        1542         123 Portis           67474
        1705             Vincent
U.S. Census Bureau Quick Facts about Osborne County

Special Places in Osborne County

Solomon Valley U.S. Highway 24 Heritage Alliance
Osborne County is one of six counties in the Solomon Valley Highway 24 Heritage Alliance.
The alliance is recording the history of the valley, showing visitors how to find interesting places between Hoxie in the west and Glasco in the east.

  • The Osborne County Historical Museum is housed in an old depot and an old school on the north edge of town.
  • Osborne has built a new city library, but the 1912 Carnegie library still stands; it's on the national registry of historic places,
  • The county courthouse in Osborne, built in 1908, is unbelievably ornate.  Plan to spend some time studying the carvings.
  • A marker in the roadside park at the intersection of highways 24 & 281 describes the geodetic center of the US which is in rural Osborne county.

Special Events in Osborne County

  • Osborne's Fall Festival is the second weekend in September.  Activities range from a black powder shoot and a golf tournament to an art show.
  • Osborne's Arts & Craft Fair in always held the second Saturday in November.
  • Osborne County Fair is the first week of August each year.
  • Kansas Storytelling Festival is in Downs.

Osborne County Libraries


  • Osborne County Historical Museum (785) 346-2626 or 346-2418
    At the junction of US-24 & US-281

Osborne County School Systems



  • Downs News and Times   (785) 454-3514
    717 Railroad St., Downs, KS 67437
  • Osborne County Farmer   (785) 346-5424
    210 W. Main / P. O. Box 130, Osborne, KS 67473

More Data About Osborne County

Economic Development
  • Kansas County Profile Reports
    Statistical data from The Institute for Policy and Social Research, the University of Kansas
Health Data


Osborne County Offices

For more about Osborne County contact:

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Last updated on August 17, 2012 by COUNTIES@KSLIB.INFO
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Graphics by John Howell,
photos by Susan Howell,
used by permission.