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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


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

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

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

Tri-State Marker

See the Tri-State Marker and be in three states at once! The meeting point of Kansas, Oklahoma, and Missouri is 6 miles east of Baxter Springs on Highway 166/400. Turn south on the small paved road just west of the state line, and continue to the dead end. Built in 1938

Baxter Springs, KS Geographical Markers

DAR Marker

Erected by the Baxter Springs Chapter of the DAR in 1931, the marker is dedicated in Memory of Gen. James G. Blunt and his escort who, defenseless fell victims to the inhuman ferocity of guerillas, led by the infamous Quantrill in his raid upon Baxter Springs, October 6, 1863, in which 135

Baxter Springs, KS Historical Markers

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

Fort Blair Site

Baxter Springs was a stopping place on the old Military Road serving Army forts which protected the preCivil War West from "hostile" Indians. It wasn't until 1862

Baxter Springs, KS Forts

Baxter Springs Historical Museum

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

Baxter Springs, KS Museums

Historic Bridges

* Rainbow Curve Bridge just north of town is the only remaining Marsh Arch bridge on Rt. 66. * The InterUrban Street Car Bridge spans the lazy banks of the Spring River.

Baxter Springs, KS Historic Bridges

Civil War Tour

Take the self-guided Civil War tour of Baxter Springs. Visit 12 points of interest relating to the attack on Ft. Blair and the subsequent Battle of Baxter Springs. For example, SITE #2

Baxter Springs, KS Tours

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

Explore Cherokee County