Wichita County, KS

Wichita CountyOur county, Wichita, named for a tribe of Indians, was organized in 1885. The first settlers of Wichita County, were stockmen, who were attracted by the wide open stretches of land covered by a dense growth of buffalo grass. John Edwards was one of the first stockman to arrive. He was elected the first sheriff of the county, but was shot by a young cowboy in a saloon.

It was a wild western custom to make young "greenhorn" cowboys dance by shooting at their feet. This cowboy resented this and the result , whether accidentally or purposely, was the sheriff lost his life. The cowboy was not punished as the sheriff lived long enough to ask that the boy not be punished as he was defending himself.

The Wichita County Newspaper of April 25, 1889 recorded the following prices: Eggs, $.08 per dozen. June 11, 1890, butter sold for $.05 per pound. December 1896, corn was $.12 to $.16 per bushel, sheep $2.00 per head, coffee, 8 lbs. for $1.00, sugar, 14 lbs. for $1.00, prunes 18 lbs. for $1.00.

At one time almost every quarter section was occupied by a "homesteader," but many became discouraged because of the hardships of pioneer life. For those who stayed with the land, the better life all who came had dreamed of has come true. From the heart of the Great American Desert to mile upon mile of waving fields of grain and beautiful homes. None of this would have been ours but for those men and women who loved in dugouts and sod houses asking no more from the land than they gave. But perhaps then as now, the clean pure air, the beautiful sunsets, and the closeness of the stars made it all somehow worthwhile.

Explore Wichita County

Depot at Selkirk

The Shallow Water Depot will hopefully find its permanent setting at Selkirk, Kansas, after making its fifth move in over a hundred and thirteen years and restored as it would have looked in 1887. The building had to be sold and removed from it?

Leoti, KS Railroad History

Selkirk Hand Dug Well

The old well is the only remnent of a once busy Santa Fe Railroad of the Great Bend Division in western Kansas. The hand-dug well has been beautifully preserved, being 110 years old. It is 24 feet in diameter and 102

Leoti, KS Landmarks

Museum of the Great Plains

Learn about the famed Leoti/Coronado County Seat Fight of 1887. We have a large collection of violins, Marion Bonner fossils, and pioneer and old west artifacts.

Leoti, KS Museums

Wichita County Courthouse

The Wichita County Courthouse was built in 1916. The beautiful sculpture of Leoti, Prairie Flower, can be admired in the foreground of the Courthouse Square. Make sure to visit inside to see displays and historical photos.

Leoti, KS Historic Courthouses

Wichita County Cemeteries

An effort has been made to compile records on all known cemeteries and single graves that are known to exist in Wichita County. We have a database on computers in the research room with names of people buried in the cemeteries. For a descriptive listing of 14

Leoti, KS Cemeteries

Leoti-Coronado County Seat Fight

The following are two accounts detailing the Leoti-Coronado county seat fight.

Account taken from the Coronado Herald, June 16, 1887


Leoti, KS Pioneer History

Wichita County Park and Swimming Pool

Wichita County Park at Fifth and Earl sports a new swimming pool with water slides and other recreational items including basketball, tennis and sand volleyball courts; sheltered picnic areas; children'

Leoti, KS City Parks

Explore Wichita County