Decatur County, KS

Decatur CountyThis Northwestern Kansas county took its name from Commodore Stephen Decatur, known for his daring attack and victory over the Barbary pirates in the Tripoli tan War and his service in the war of 1812.

One early settler told why chose to live in Decatur County: "I first saw the Sappa Valley ... in September 1872 ... buffalo were plentiful, and at night beavers splashed in the creek. Going to camp from a buffalo killing one evening about sunset, I counted 200 skunks, an occasional deer, antelope, or turkey was encountered and wolves were all about, I considered it a hunter's paradise."

The Last Indian Raid in Kansas took place in this county at Sappa Creek in 1878.

In September, 1878, homesick Northern Cheyenne, numbering 89 men, 112 women and 134 children, stole away from their Oklahoma reservation under the leadership of Chief Dull Knife. Harassed only by a small troop detachment and cowboys they moved through Kansas killing and plundering. Western counties were terrorized, but Fort Leavenworth discounted reports and delayed help. Weeks later 149 of the Indians were captured in northern Nebraska. Most of them were later killed in prison breaks and few were returned to Oklahoma. Their escape across three states pursued by troops from three military departments was considered a remarkable feat. Innocent victims were forty Kansas settlers murdered on their farms. Here in Decatur County nineteen were killed on Sappa creek. A monument stands in the cemetery east of this marker.

Explore Decatur County

Bank of Oberlin

The Bank of Oberlin is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This 1886 Victorian building now houses the Landmark Inn and Teller Room restaurant restored to its early banking splendor of cherry woodwork, wallpaper, and gas lights.

Oberlin, KS Historic Buildings

Last Indian Raid Museum

The Decatur County Museum is a celebration of prairie life. You can step back into the past by visiting the one-room schoolhouse, 1885 depot and jail, sod house and tack room. The museum has fifteen full buildings with over 15,000

Oberlin, KS Museums

Sappa Park

Take a drive through the 488-acre wooded scenic Sappa Park as nature reveals its unique setting with the lush greens of spring, harvest golds in the summer, and a variety of sparkling fall colors.

Oberlin, KS Parks

"Pioneer Family" Statue

The native limestone statue is the work of artist Pete Felten and overlooks the central business district.

Oberlin, KS Arts

Last Indian Raid Memorial Marker

In September of 1878, The Last Indian Raid on Kansas soil occurred, with the Northern Cheyenne Indians. In 1911, a memorial was erected at the Oberlin Cemetery in honor of the victims of this Indian Raid. The complete story is told by museum guides.

Oberlin, KS Memorials

Lighted Cross

The Lighted Cross was made possible by the effort and support of the local community.

Oberlin, KS Landmarks

Spring Creek Casting

A gallery featuring the work of local artist, Anna Seeber Shaw, and is where castings of original sculptured artwork are produced. Visitors are welcome, and tours are available.

Oberlin, KS Arts

Decatur County Courthouse

The Decatur County Courthouse houses m Murals of the area's history which are located on the third and fourth floors.

Oberlin, KS Historic Courthouses

Oberlin Country Club

Oberlin Country Club is located adjacent to Sappa Park. The Country Club has a 9 hole public golf course.

Oberlin, KS Golf Courses

Cedar Bluffs Cemetery

My ancestors homesteaded in NW Kansas/SW Nebraska in the late 1800

Oberlin, KS Cemeteries

The Gateway

Oberlin's state of the art civic center, plays a large part in the town's entertainment scene with plays, conventions, trade show, banquets, and numerous other activities.

Oberlin, KS Civic Centers

Old Fashioned Soda Fountain

The Old Fashioned Soda Fountain is open during summer months at Addleman Drug Store.

Oberlin, KS Soda Shops

Explore Decatur County