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Rawlins County Courthouse in Atwood, Kansas.  Photo by Susan Howell.
 Rawlins County Courthouse

Rawlins County

Location in Kansas of Rawlins County.
County Seat: Atwood
Founded: 1881
    ·   2,966 (2000)
    ·   3,404 (1990)
    ·   5,241 (1900)
Area: 1069 Square Miles 
Standard Abbreviation: RA


Map of Rawlins County, KS in 1899
Organized in 1881.  County seat Atwood.  Named in memory of Gen. John A. Rawlins, who was a staff officer of General Grant, and went into his cabinet, when elected President, as Secretary of War.
Map and text from History of Kansas, Noble Prentis, (Winfield: E.P. Greer. 1899)
General John A. Rawlins also served as Secretary of War in the Grant administration.
William G. Cutler's History of Kansas, first published in 1883, tells about early Rawlins County.
The Special Collections of the Ablah Library at WSU contain historical images of Ludell, Atwood, and Herndon.
The Kansas State Historical Society also has more historical data for Rawlins County online including a rich bibliography and lists of cemeteries, post offices, and newspapers.

Cities, Towns, & Villages of Rawlins County

  Year  Elev  Population Name              ZIP
  ====  ====  ========== ================ =====
        2790             Achilles
  1875  2850       1,279 Atwood           67730
        3195             Beardsley        67730
        2900             Blakeman
        3177             Chardon
  1886  2666         149 Herndon          67739
  1872  2780             Ludell           67744
  1888  3360         159 McDonald         67745
        1775             Salem            67156

Special Places in Rawlins County

  • Lake Atwood has a wonderful cottonwood shade lane running all the way around it.
  • The Jayhawk theater at 410 Main in Atwood is used for plays, presentations, and films.
  • Ludell has a nice old stone school building and a 1920 bank building that's still in use.
  • Herndon has a beautiful church.


Rawlins County School Systems



  • Rawlins County Museum   (785) 626-3885
    308 State / Atwood, KS 67730


Special Events in Rawlins County

  • The Rawlins County Fair is held in Atwood in July.
  • Atwood hosts the annual Beaver Creek Festival in October featuring crafts, games, and Bluegrass music.
  • Every May, there is a Rod Run in Atwood.

More Data About Rawlins County

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



  • Dickensen, James R. Home on the Range (New York: Scribner. 1995)
  • Fitzgerald, Daniel Faded Dreams : More Ghost Towns of Kansas (University Press of Kansas. 1994)

Rawlins County Offices

For more about Rawlins County contact:

  • Atwood Chamber of Commerce   (785) 626-9630
    416 Main Street / Atwood, KS 67730
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Last updated on November 29, 2009 by COUNTIES@KSLIB.INFO
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Graphics by John Howell,
photos by Susan Howell,
used by permission.