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Atchison County, KS

Atchison CountyOn 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 on left menu

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.

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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.

Explore Atchison County

Chapels at Mount St. Scholastica Convent

The Benedictine Sisters of Mount St. Scholastica have been in Atchison since 1863 and at their present location since 1877. St. Scholastica Chapel was dedicated in 1938, the 75th anniversary of the Benedictine Sisters'

Atchison, KS Historic Churches

Atchison Trolley

Learn about Atchison from those who know it best. Hop aboard the trolley at the Santa Fe Depot and enjoy a 45-minute tour of Atchison narrated by your friendly, knowledgeable driver. As the trolley moves along the city's brick streets, you'll discover the classic charm of Atchison, including 18

Atchison, KS Tours

Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum

Aviatrix Amelia Earhart was born in this home, built by her grandfather, Judge Alfred G. Otis, in the early 1860s. It it owned and operated as a museum by the Ninety-Nines, Inc., an international organization of women pilots. Earhart helped found the group in 1929

Atchison, KS Famous Homes

Atchison Post Office

This Richardsonian Romanesque structure of cottonwood limestone was completed in 1894, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It features an arched entry and rounded towers on its southeast and southwest corners.

Atchison, KS National Register

Theatre Atchison

Theatre Atchison is a community theatre that annually presents four plays and a summer musical in the intimate setting of a renovated, historic church sanctuary. The theatre's capacity of 220 surrounds a thrust stage. Mystery dinners are offered 3-4

Atchison, KS Theatres

St. Patrick's Church

St. Patrick's is the oldest Catholic structure in continous use in Kansas by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Kansas City. In the spring of 1857, St. Patrick's was established by Rev. Augustine Wirth, O.S.B. The first church was erected in the fall of 1859

Atchison, KS Historic Churches

Atchison County Courthouse

One of 13 Kansas courthouses designed by George P. Washburn, this ashlar limestone building was completed in 1897, and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The clock tower was raised an extra 12 feet from the original design so that it could be seen downtown.

Atchison, KS Historic Courthouses

Trinity Episcopal Church

This charming limestone building was completed in 1868 according to plans of Richard Upjohn, who also designed Trinity Church on New York's Wall Street. The interior has beams and pews of native black walnut and lovely stained-glass windows. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places

Atchison, KS Historic Churches

Snow Creek Ski Area

Snow Creek Ski Area is Northeast Kansas'/Missouri's only Alpine ski area. Facilities include nine intermediate trails, 2 triple chair lifts and 2 beginner areas with 3 rope tows. A day lodge features a cafeteria-style restaurant and a lounge, ski rental and ticket sales. Open daily. 100%

Atchison, KS Skiing

Atchison Co. Historical Society Museum

This museum in the restored Santa Fe Depot traces the history of Atchison County. Exhibits highlight Atchison's transition from a bend in the Missouri River to a busy commercial center for steamboats, westward-bound wagon trains and the railroads.

Atchison, KS Museums

Visitor Information Center

The restored Santa Fe Depot, long a community landmark, serves as a Visitor Information Center and houses the Chamber of Commerce offices.

The center provides visitors with brochures, maps, and a helpful staff who can answer questions about sightseeing in the Atchison area.

Atchison, KS Visitors Centers

Mount Vernon Cemetery

Many of Atchison's founding fathers, who were also prominent Kansans of the time, are buried in this historic hilltop cemetery.

Atchison, KS Cemeteries

Explore Atchison County