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Butler County, KS

Butler CountyButler County has been a rich cattle grazing land since the 1860s. As early as 1857, the first pioneers looked down on the beautiful Walnut River valley and decided to make it home. At the center of the Flint Hills, the area has changed little since Captain Zebulon Pike noted the hills covered with flint rock cobbles during his 1806 expedition across Kansas. The Name "Flint Hills" had identified the region ever since.

Since the beginning a lore of cowboys, cattle drives, and western style living has entertained and amazed the area traveler. The first cattle drives began in Texas during 1865 when animals were driven to Kansas railroads through the Flint Hills. By 1885 the wild Texas cattle drives were over and 5 million cattle had passed through the Hills on their journey to eastern markets. The era of custom grazing of out-of-state cattle began, and today over 1 million head of cattle are fattened annually on the lush pasture land.

The peaceful tranquility of the region changed forever when oil was discovered near El Dorado in 1915.

Cattle grazing and bottom land farming gave way to the mixed economy of beef and black gold.

Several area driving tours are available for the interest of the photographer, bird watcher, fossil hunter, antique lover, fisherman or amateur historian. So treat yourself to one of the best kept secret in the land - Butler County, where rich history, breathtaking scenery, and adventure abound.

Explore Butler County

Douglass Community Building

The building listed on the National Register of Historic Places was constructed in 1938 of native stone for the WPA (Works Projects Administration)

Douglass, KS Historic Buildings

Stapleton #1 Historic Well Site

El Dorado became, for a while, the world's storybook oil field. Butler County encompassed 1,800 producing oil wells on 25,000 acres. The El Dorado Field is a story of men and events that helped Kansas and the nation emerge from the draft-horse and kerosene-lamp years into the gasoline age. "

El Dorado, KS Historic Markers


Circle Gallery & Frame Shop

"Custom framing, original art, art reproductions and scroll saw hardwood gifts. Circle Gallery has served the custom framing needs in Butler County for over 33 years. From October through May the Gallery serves as the front door for the Iron Horse Concert Hall, a bluegrass and folk music venue. "

El Dorado, KS Arts


Old Frisco Wooden Water Tower

Built in 1885 for Frisco Railroad steam engines in Beaumont, the water tower provided water for the railroad roundhouse and cattle shipping operation. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it is the oldest wooden water tower still operating in America.

Beaumont, KS Railroad History

City Parks

Library Park - Adjacent to the Library on Highland Street, Library Park has a Gazebo, covered shelter, and playground equipment. South City Park

Towanda, KS Recreation

Butler County Courthouse

The historic Butler County Courthouse was built in 1909. Its Romanesque Style was designed by famed architect, George P. Washburn. Its terrazzo floors are still intact and reflect its elegant history. The first woman jury in Kansas met here in 1912.

El Dorado, KS Historic Courthouses

Carnegie Library Building

El Dorado's first library was built in 1912 from locally quarried hand-cut, native white limestone. Topped with the Spanish tiled roof, the library was funded in part by Andrew Carnegie. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places

El Dorado, KS Carnegie Libraries


Post Office Mural

The U.S. Treasury Department commissioned the oil mural, "Kansas Gusher" by Donald Silks which has been placed on the National Register

Augusta, KS Arts

Rock Creek Stone Arch Bridge

Turn back the clock and drive across this graceful old bridge built in the 1880

Latham, KS Historic Bridges

Explore Butler County