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Seward County Courthhouse in Liberal, Kansas.
Photo by Susan Howell

Seward County

County Seat: Liberal
Founded: 1886
    · 22,510 (2000)
    · 18,743 (1990)
    ·      822 (1900)
Area: 640 Square Miles
Standard Abbreviation: SW


Map of Seward County, KS in 1899
Organized in January 17, 1886. County seat, Liberal. In honor of Wm. H. Seward, Governor and United States Senator of New York, and Secretary of State under Abraham Lincoln.
Map and text from History of Kansas, Noble Prentis, (Winfield: E.P. Greer. 1899)

        William Seward was a Senator from New York who fought for Kansas entrance into the Union as a free state. Later as U. S. Secretary of State he negotiated the purchase of "Seward's Folly", Alaska, from Russia.
The Special Collections of the Ablah Library at WSU contain historical images of Liberal.
There is a section on Seward County in the book Kansas: a Cyclopedia Of State History by Frank Blackmar (1912).
The Kansas State Historical Society also has more historical data for Seward County online including a rich bibliography and lists of cemeteries, post offices, and newspapers.

Cities, Towns, & Villages of Seward County

  Year  Elev  Population Name              ZIP
  ====  ====  ========== ================ =====
  1888  2620             Arkalon
  1885                 0 Fargo Springs
        2775             Hayne
        2775         484 Kismet           67859
  1888  2836      19,666 Liberal          67901,67905
  1885                 0 Springfield
Census Bureau Profile & Map

Special Places in Seward CountyMighty Samson bridge over the Cimarron River in Seward County, Kansas. Photo by Susan Howell

  • Mighty Samson is a huge railway bridge over the Cimarron river. It is 1200 feet long and up to 100 feet high, making it one of the largest railway bridges anywhere.
  • The Landmark Center in downtown Liberal used to be the Warren Hotel. It is now a beautifully restored office/appartment complex. The "art-deco" features of the exterior and the lobby are well worth a side trip.
  • The old Rock Island Depot in downtown Liberal has been restored.

Special Events in Seward County

  • Liberal is famous for its annual Shrove Tuesday "International Pancake Race" competition with Olney, England. Ladies race through the streets while flipping a pancake in a skillet. They have been doing this since 1950.

Seward County School Systems

Colleges & Universities



  • The Baker Arts Center   (620) 624-2810
       624 N. Pershing / Liberal, KS
  • The Coronado Museum   (620) 624-7624
       567 E. Cedar / Liberal, KS 67901 67901
  • Dorothy's House   (620) 624-7624
       567 Yellow Brick Road / Liberal, KS 67901
  • Mid-America Air Museum   (620) 624-5263
       2000 West 2nd / Liberal, KS 67901

Seward County Newspapers

  • Southwest Daily Times   (620) 624-2541
    16 S. Kansas / P. O. Box 889 / Liberal KS 67905
  • The Liberal Light   (620) 626-4614 FAX: (620) 626-4722
    12 W. 2nd Street / Liberal, KS 67901

More Data About Seward County

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



  • Fitzgerald, Daniel Ghost Towns of Kansas -- A Traveler's Guide ( University Press of Kansas. 1988)
  • WPA The WPA Guide to 1930s Kansas ( Lawrence: University Press of Kansas. 1984 )

Seward County Offices

  • Seward County   (620) 626-3212
    415 N. Washington Avenue / Liberal, Ks 67901
  • Extension Service   (620) 624-5604
    1081 Stadium Rd. / Liberal, KS 67901

For more about Seward County contact:

  • Liberal Convention and Tourism Board   (620) 626-0170
    P. O. Box 2257 / Liberal, KS 67901
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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.