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Cherokee County, KS

Cherokee CountyCherokee County is located in the territory that was part of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. The area was then set out as the 'Neutral Lands" in a treaty with the Osage Indians in 1825. This 25 miles east- west by 50 miles north-south on the west of the Missouri border and east of the Osage Reservation was to be a buffer zone. Hunting, fishing, mineral extraction were allowed with no settlement of either white or Indians.

When the Cherokee Nation was relocated to the west from Georgia in 1835 they wanted more land. The Federal Government purchased from the Osage this 800,000 acres which then became known as the "Cherokee Neutral Lands".

The Kansas Territorial Legislature included the area in the setting of boundaries of the state in 1855. The southern boundary was to be at the 37th parallel and the area was named McGee County in 1860. Upon Kansas Statehood, January 29,1861, the area was 24 miles west by 50 miles north with the name changed to Cherokee County.

During the Civil War the Cherokee Indians sided with the south and believing they had ownership of the land, sold it to the Confederacy for $250,000 in Confederacy money, plus providing two companies of soldiers. This was to present a great deal of conflict over the title to the land.

Explore Cherokee County

Murals

1. " The Baxter Springs Massacre" by Edmond V. Ness is displayed inside the museum. - Historical Museum, 8th and East Avenue 2. Painted on the exterior wall of Bilke's Western Museum of the longhorn cattle drive. Artist, John Gibbons, 1991. - 11th and Military 3

Baxter Springs, KS Arts

Columbus Museum

"A Town within a Town" A colorful look at the history of Columbus. The unique Village Street, made entirely of brick from the Columbus Metzger Brick & Tile Plant between 1880 and 1910, runs along models of early shops and businesses like the Music Shop, Doctor'

Columbus, KS Museums

Johnston Public Library

The grand old building was entered on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976. Built in 1872, it was intended to be the County Courthouse, but was never used for that purpose. Through the years the building has been a city hall, theater, and college. In 1905

Baxter Springs, KS Historic Buildings

Big Brutus

One of the most unique day trips in Southeast Kansas is to Big Brutus, 11,000,000 pounds of fun! Big Brutus is the world's second largest electric mining shovel. Walk through its cavernous body, sit in the operators chair or climb 16

Columbus, KS One Of A Kinds


Baxter Springs Historical Museum

The Baxter Springs Historical Museum is filled with exhibits depicting the various stages of the city'

Baxter Springs, KS Museums

Andrew Carnegie Library

The library is one of 33 Andrew Carnegie libraries in the state of Kansas. It is on the National Historic Register.

Columbus, KS Carnegie Libraries

Historic Walking Tour

Walk along the downtown sidewalks on both sides of Military Avenue. Posted on the store fronts of the historic buildings are framed accounts of the original occupants of each store, their dates, and sometimes an account of a particular historical event that took place at that spot.

Baxter Springs, KS Tours

Columbus Wye and Frisco Caboose

The Columbus Wye is a one of its kind three way switch allowing trains to turn around. The crossing, formerly located in the northern part of Columbus was donated to the City of Columbus by the Burlington Northern Railroad. At the time the switch was constructed, it was one of the three built:

Columbus, KS Railroad History

1919 Seth Thomas Clock

The clock was originally purchased through public donations as a war memorial for servicemen from Cherokee County who had served in World War 1. The giant Seth Thomas 1919 model clock was placed in the tower of the 1889 courthouse. In 1955

Columbus, KS Artifacts

Riverside Park

Riverside Park is located at the east edge of Baxter Springs on Spring River on the south side of Highway 166

Baxter Springs, KS Recreation

Black Dog Trail Marker

Located on the grounds of the Historical Museum, the marker commemorates the Black Dog Trail opened in 1803 by Chief Black Dog ( Manka - Chonka) and his band of Osage Indians who had a village nearby where springs once flowed freely.

Baxter Springs, KS Historical Markers

Explore Cherokee County