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Atchison County, KS

Atchison CountyOn July 4, 1804, the Lewis and Clark expedition passed through the area which is now Atchsion County. Two local streams emptied into the "big" river and in honor of the day, they named them, "Fourth of July 1804 Creek" and Independence Creek. These names kept their history alive even though it wasn't until 50 years later when the Kansas Territory was opened for settlement, that 18 men crossed the river to organize and plot the town of Atchison.

Learn more of Atchison County by visiting its unique cities described below.

Atchison

See Atchison City Page on left menu

Effingham

Established in 1868, this town was platted along the Central Branch Railroad. Effingham was also an important livestock shipping center and trading point. In 1915 there were 22 businesses and 5 churches. The town first received electricity in 1914 from Atchison.

Huron


Established 1882. The town site was originally the property of Colonel D.R. Anthony. Huron was relocated to a new site along the railroad. Many fires destroyed the town depleting the population. The town is either named after the Huron Indians or an Ohio County.

Lancaster

Established 1858. The old Military Road passed through this little town. A good trading point and livestock shipping center, this prosperous community at one time supported 15 public buildings and many families.

Cummings

The original name was Cummingsville and was established in 1872. The town was platted by William Cummings to set along the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad. In the 1920's there were sixteen businesses and three churches.

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Larkinburg

This is a community straddling the Atchison-Jackson County line. This town was platted as a station on the Leavenworth, Kansas and Western Railroad which pushed through the county in 1871 and served this part of the state until 1935.

Arrington

Established 1884. Popular mineral springs attracted people who were hoping to find a fountain of youth. The town grew fast because of health resorts. Most of the town was destroyed by fire and never rebuilt. The springs are now farm land.

Parnell

This town was established in 1883 as a station on the Santa Fe and Missouri railroads. Named in honor of James Parnell, who was a Civil War hero, one of the first from Atchison County to respond to Lincoln's call. He died in battle Hoare Head, A.R.

Muscotah

Established 1857. The name is of Indian origin and signifies "Beautiful Prairie" or "Prairie on Fire." The townsite of the present Muscotah was originally part of the Kickapoo Indian lands and was granted by a U.S. patent to Chief Pe-it-e-quark.

Kennekuk

The town of Kennekuk was founded as a stage stop in 1858 and named after Kickapoo Indian Chief, John Kennekuk. One of the earliest settlements in Atchison County and the headquarters for the Kickapoo Agency, it served at least three trails in the 1850's and 1860's; an overland freighting and stagecoach road from Atchison; a stage coach and Pony Express road from Fort Leavenworth to Fort Riley.

Explore Atchison County

Atchison Co. Historical Society Museum

This museum in the restored Santa Fe Depot traces the history of Atchison County. Exhibits highlight Atchison's transition from a bend in the Missouri River to a busy commercial center for steamboats, westward-bound wagon trains and the railroads.

Atchison, KS Museums

St. Benedict's Abbey Church

Benedictine monks established St. Benedict's Abbey in the late 1850s. Today about 40 monks reside at the abbey on the northern edge of Benedictine College. The historic complex is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The Gothic-style abbey, completed in 1929

Atchison, KS Historic Churches

Royal Movie Theatre

The latest movies are shown on two screens at this historic theatre, which has been completely renovated.

Atchison, KS Theatres

Atchison Post Office

This Richardsonian Romanesque structure of cottonwood limestone was completed in 1894, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It features an arched entry and rounded towers on its southeast and southwest corners.

Atchison, KS National Register

Trinity Episcopal Church

This charming limestone building was completed in 1868 according to plans of Richard Upjohn, who also designed Trinity Church on New York's Wall Street. The interior has beams and pews of native black walnut and lovely stained-glass windows. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places

Atchison, KS Historic Churches

Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum

Aviatrix Amelia Earhart was born in this home, built by her grandfather, Judge Alfred G. Otis, in the early 1860s. It it owned and operated as a museum by the Ninety-Nines, Inc., an international organization of women pilots. Earhart helped found the group in 1929

Atchison, KS Famous Homes

Atchison County Courthouse

One of 13 Kansas courthouses designed by George P. Washburn, this ashlar limestone building was completed in 1897, and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The clock tower was raised an extra 12 feet from the original design so that it could be seen downtown.

Atchison, KS Historic Courthouses

St. Patrick's Church

St. Patrick's is the oldest Catholic structure in continous use in Kansas by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Kansas City. In the spring of 1857, St. Patrick's was established by Rev. Augustine Wirth, O.S.B. The first church was erected in the fall of 1859

Atchison, KS Historic Churches

Snow Creek Ski Area

Snow Creek Ski Area is Northeast Kansas'/Missouri's only Alpine ski area. Facilities include nine intermediate trails, 2 triple chair lifts and 2 beginner areas with 3 rope tows. A day lodge features a cafeteria-style restaurant and a lounge, ski rental and ticket sales. Open daily. 100%

Atchison, KS Skiing

Scenic Views

Views of the Missouri River, its bluffs and valley are dramatic every season of the year.

Atchison, KS Scenic Views

Jackson Park

Jackson Park is the largest park in Atchison and the center of community fun days as well as family outtings. It is a heavily-wooded area with hiking and biking trails, play equipment, shelterhouses and picnic facilities.

Atchison, KS Parks


Explore Atchison County