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
The Vickers first refinery was built in Potwin in 1915. During the first half of the twentieth century, Potwin enjoyed the prosperity of the Vickers Oil refinery. Commencing with a lease on the Parris Farm 10 miles north of Potwin, production reached 16,000 barrels a day during the late 50's. In 196Potwin, KS Oil History
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
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
"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
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
With exhibit space of 16,500 sq. ft., the Kansas Museum of Military History houses a collection of military vehicles, uniforms, and airplanes. You'll experience and learn about Kansans in military confrontations from Indian Wars through the current Iraq War.Augusta, KS Museums