On July 4, 1804, the Lewis and Clark expedition passed through the area which is now Atchsion County. Two local streams emptied into the "big" river and in honor of the day, they named them, "Fourth of July 1804 Creek" and Independence Creek. These names kept their history alive even though it wasn't until 50 years later when the Kansas Territory was opened for settlement, that 18 men crossed the river to organize and plot the town of Atchison.

Learn more of Atchison County by visiting its unique cities described below.

Atchison

-- See Atchison City Page

Effingham

Established in 1868, this town was platted along the Central Branch Railroad. Effingham was also an important livestock shipping center and trading point. In 1915 there were 22 businesses and 5 churches. The town first received electricity in 1914 from Atchison.

Huron

Established 1882. The town site was originally the property of Colonel D.R. Anthony. Huron was relocated to a new site along the railroad. Many fires destroyed the town depleting the population. The town is either named after the Huron Indians or an Ohio County.

Lancaster

Established 1858. The old Military Road passed through this little town. A good trading point and livestock shipping center, this prosperous community at one time supported 15 public buildings and many families.

Cummings

The original name was Cummingsville and was established in 1872. The town was platted by William Cummings to set along the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad. In the 1920's there were sixteen businesses and three churches.

Larkinburg

This is a community straddling the Atchison-Jackson County line. This town was platted as a station on the Leavenworth, Kansas and Western Railroad which pushed through the county in 1871 and served this part of the state until 1935.

Arrington

Established 1884. Popular mineral springs attracted people who were hoping to find a fountain of youth. The town grew fast because of health resorts. Most of the town was destroyed by fire and never rebuilt. The springs are now farm land.

Parnell

This town was established in 1883 as a station on the Santa Fe and Missouri railroads. Named in honor of James Parnell, who was a Civil War hero, one of the first from Atchison County to respond to Lincoln's call. He died in battle Hoare Head, A.R.

Muscotah

Established 1857. The name is of Indian origin and signifies "Beautiful Prairie" or "Prairie on Fire." The townsite of the present Muscotah was originally part of the Kickapoo Indian lands and was granted by a U.S. patent to Chief Pe-it-e-quark.

Kennekuk

The town of Kennekuk was founded as a stage stop in 1858 and named after Kickapoo Indian Chief, John Kennekuk. One of the earliest settlements in Atchison County and the headquarters for the Kickapoo Agency, it served at least three trails in the 1850's and 1860's; an overland freighting and stagecoach road from Atchison; a stage coach and Pony Express road from Fort Leavenworth to Fort Riley.


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