Mother Nature carpeted the entire county with native grasses -- primarily big bluestem. Long ago it was discovered that the grass is nutritious and will fatten cattle in a way that was previously unknown. This fact led to the ranching industry which prevails as the No. 1 business of our people today.
In 1857, the first of a large number of Norwegians began to establish their homes in the upper Fall River Area. In 1870, the first of several African-American families came to the Spring Creek area near Reece. The third ethnic community developed in Shell Rock Township. A group of people of German and Swiss heritage moved there and settled down as good farmers.
Railroads began to reach Greenwood County in 1879. Three railroads--the Santa Fe, Missouri Pacific, and the "Frisco"--served the ranching industry well until good highways were built. Today, all the rail lines are gone with the exception of the "Frisco".
Oil was first discovered in Greenwood County in 1917. Oil camps sprang up near the largest oil pools with as many as 1,000 people. Oil is nearly depleted today, but working wells can still be seen dotting the landscape. There is little evidence now that the camps ever existed.
Explore Greenwood County
This brick building was dedicated in 1884. The original building, 50' x 100', consisted of three stories and a small basement. The addition to the east was built in 1923 and the exterior of the original building received a stucco treatment in 1926, creating a Spanish look. The hotel cafe (Eureka, KS Historic Buildings
Eureka Downs offers excitement in the form of pounding hooves, the Horse Racing Capital of Kansas. This beautiful facility provides a fun day at the races with simulcasting and pari-mutuel betting while enjoying refreshments in the lounge. Live racing Saturdays, last of May through July 4.Eureka, KS Race Tracks
One and one-half miles south of town, the 114 acre Madison City Lake offers excellent fishing, with camping facilities which include hookups. Enjoy fishing, boating, skiing, and swimming during your stay at Madison City Lake. Contact the Lake Caretaker or the City Clerk.Madison, KS Recreation
The cornerstone of the first frame church was laid in 1868. It must have taken a while to erect the first church, as it was not finished until 1870. That church was destroyed by a tornado in 1873. The cornerstone for the present stone church was laid September 18, 1873Eureka, KS Historic Churches
Explore Eureka and Greenwood County through its Driving Tour that visits 109 historical sites. Find Stone Houses, bridges, schools, cemeteries, churches, barns, silos, and landmarks along the way. Contact the Greenwood County Historical Museum for a printed guide:Eureka, KS Tours