Smith County, KS

Smith CountySmith County is centrally located in the contiguous 48 states. The county was named after Major James Nelson Smith, a gallant Union officer who died as he led his men in a desperated battle of the Little Blue, which was fought neat Kansas City on October 21, 1864.

At the time of the settlement of Smith County there was a chain of "land boomers"along the Soloman River who were steering emigrants to the southern part of Smith County; they were claiming the northern part of the county was too rough to get into with teams and wagons and that the water supply was inadequate. Word got to the Smith Center townsite and from then on the emigrants were intercepted and routed north.

The great snow of April 13, 1873 was the most severe that ever swept the country. It lasted three days. No one ventured out. People were holed up in dug outs which were buried under huge drifts. Much livestock smothered.

The three day grasshopper invasion on July 23, 1874, was disatrous, with them eating everything green. The story is told that the hoppers ate onion tops then went below the ground and ate the onions. Even pastures were eaten to the ground.

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Higley Cabin - "Home on the Range"

In this cabin, in 1872, Dr. Brewster M. Higley, a homesteading doctor from Ohio, wrote the words for the song, "Home on the Range", that was adopted as the state song of Kansas in 1947.

Smith Center, KS Pioneer Life


J.R. Burrows, a banker, built the mansion in 1883

Smith Center, KS Historic Homes

Geographic Center of the U.S.

This is the Center of the U.S.A. original 48 states, as determined by the government geodetic survey in 1898. It is the crossroads of the nation, proper, on US-281 highway. The marker made of stone with a flag pole built in Center park, a place for the public to stop, relax and picnic.

Lebanon, KS Landmarks

Old Dutch Mill

The Old Dutch Mill was moved to Wagner Park in 1938 from its original site near Reamsville, northwest of Smith Center. The old mill was built by Charles Schwarz, a native of Germany who homesteaded in Smith County in the 1870

Smith Center, KS Historic Buildings

Outdoor Recreation

City Park - Located on East 3rd

Municipal Swimming Pool - Located on South F - For more information call: (785) 282-9986

Smith Center, KS Recreation

Smith Center Country Club

Course Access: Semi-Private
Holes: 10
Reserve Advance Tee Times:

Smith Center, KS Golf Courses

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