In 1872 western Kansas consisted of mile after mile of waving prairie grasslands and one large, flowing river. Settlers traveling west on the Santa Fe, Jones & Plummer, and western cattle trails simply passed through thinking this area "uninhabitable". But one undaunted man, making his way west, did stop and settle. Mr. S.S. Rogers was the first homesteader in Seward County.
Outside the Cimarron River, water was very scarce in Southwestern Kansas and there was usually a charge for even a small amount; however Mr. Rogers always gave his water free to passing travelers.
In April of 1888 the plat for the present town site was created. In eight days 83 plank constructed houses were built. Within a year the population grew to 800.
In 1920, gas was discovered west of Liberal on what was to become the vast Hugoton Gas Field -- the largest gas reserve in the world. In early 1951, oil was discovered southwest of Liberal.
Those early settlers were right. Something wonderful was in the future, and still is. That optimistic, "can-do" attitude still exists, and it is this attitude that will carry Seward County into the twenty-first century preparing for and embracing new opportunities along the way.
Explore Seward County
With more than 90 aircraft on display, the Mid-America Air Museum in Liberal, Kansas, is one of the largest aviation museums in the United States. Whether you are interested in general aviation, classic planes, home builts, warbirds, or modern jets, there\'Liberal, KS Museums
Liberal's Dorothy's House was built in 1907 and donated to the Seward County Historical Society. It has been carefully restored and furnished with period furnishings to reproduce the warmth of the farmhouse where Dorothy realized that: "There's no place like home." In the "Land of Oz"Liberal, KS Museums
A tradition since 1950, the International running of the Pancake Race has become a symbolic event of peace and unity between the Untied States and England. Pancake Day is always on Shrove Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent. Some people refer to it as "Fat Tuesday."Liberal, KS One Of A Kinds