County Seat: Wellington
Standard Abbreviation: SU
Sumner County Courthouse
Cattle, wheat, and railroads have defined Sumner County. The flat rich
soil that covers much of the county produces vast amounts of wheat. As
you drive through the county you can always see several grain elevators.
The Santa Fe railroad runs east/west and the Union Pacific serves Peck,
Riverdale, Wellington, Perth, Corbin, and Caldwell connecting Wichita and
Enid, OK, over track once owned by the Rock Island.
Highway US 160
runs across the county,
and US 81/I-35 runs north/south.
Organized in 1873.
County seat Wellington.
In honor of Charles Sumner, the distinguished
Massachusetts Senator. In 1854 he was a leader
in the opposition to extension of slavery into
Kansas, as proposed in the Bill to organize the
Map and text from History of Kansas,
Noble Prentis, (Winfield: E.P. Greer. 1899)
Charles Sumner (1811-1874) was an abolitionist Senator from
Massachusetts most famous for being severely beaten for his beliefs.
Early interest in the county was driven by the economic oppportunities
offered by the herds of cattle coming up the Chisholm trail from
Texas. Later the Oklahoma land rushes created and then drained
towns in Sumner County.
Mrs Susanna Madora Salter (born 3/2/1860) served as mayor of Argonia in 1887
She was the first woman mayor elected in the US.
The Salter home at Osage & Garfield is now a museum.
William G. Cutler's History of Kansas
, first published in 1883,
tells about early Sumner County
There is a section on Sumner County in the book
Kansas: a Cyclopedia Of State History
by Frank Blackmar (1912).
The Special Collections of the Ablah Library at WSU contain historical images of
The Kansas State Historical Society also has
for Sumner County online including a rich bibliography and
lists of cemeteries, post offices, and newspapers.
Cities, & Towns of Sumner County
Year Elev Population Name
==== ==== ========== ====
1885 1255 534 Argonia
1893 1217 Ashton
1871 1230 1,708 Belle Plaine
1871 1149 1,284 Caldwell
1366 1,322 Conway Springs
1120 212 Geuda Springs
1880 1105 83 Hunnewell
1880 1281 113 Mayfield
1879 1221 137 Milan
1886 1473 Milton
1250 5,155 Mulvane (partly in Sedgwick County)
1185 1,173 Oxford
1887 1321 Riverdale
1883 1220 Rome
1121 390 South Haven
1871 1230 8,647 Wellington
Census Bureau Profile & Map
Special Places in Sumner County
- The "Ghostriders of the Chisholm Trail" are actually life-sized
silhouettes near US-81 south of Caldwell.
- Be sure and taste the Conway Springs water.
- The old mill at Oxford is no longer a water-powered flour mill;
it's now a restaurant.
- A mile east of Mayfield, there is a small park with a beautiful red
stone marker describing the
- Outside Hunnewell is a small roadside park describing the town's
role in the Oklahoma land rush.
- Milton still has a Post Office and two churches.
- Take the walking tour of downtown Caldwell; the downtown area is
full of historic sites and
- A skull, jawbone, and other bones from
are on display inside the Sumner County Courthouse.
Special Events in Sumner County
- Caldwell is the site of the annual Sumner County fair.
- Old Settler's Days in Mulvane is one of the larger celebrations
of local history in the state.
- The Kansas Wheat festival is held every July in Wellington.
- Dixon Township Library
P. O. Box 95, Argonia, KS 67004
- Belle Plaine Public Library (620) 488-3431
225 W. Fifth / P. O. Box 700, Belle Plaine, KS 67013
- Caldwell Public Library (620) 845-6879
8 N. Osage Street, Caldwell, KS 67022
- Conway Springs Public Library (620) 456-2859
210 W. Spring, Conway Springs, KS 67031
Public Library (316) 777-1211
101 E. Main, Mulvane, KS 67110
- Oxford Public Library (620) 455-2223
115 S. Sumner / P. O. Box 337, Oxford, KS 67119
- South Haven Township Library (620) 892-5268
P. O. Box 227, South Haven, KS 67140
Public Library (620) 326-2011
121 W. Seventh St., Wellington, KS 67152
- Border Queen Museum (620) 845-2948
City Park, Caldwell, KS 67022
- Cherokee Strip Center (620) 845-2159
1 N. Main, Caldwell, KS 67022
Trail Museum (620) 326-3820
502 N. Washington, Wellington, KS 67152
- Mulvane Historical Museum (316) 777-0506
300 W. Main, Mulvane, KS 67110
- Salter House & Museum (620) 435-6376
220 West Garfield, Argonia, KS
Sumner County School Systems
- Hospital District #1 (620) 845-6492
601 S. Osage, Caldwell, KS 67022
- Sumner Regional Medical Center (620) 326-7451
1323 N. A St., Wellington, KS 67152
- Arena Talk (620) 488-3598 Kansas' All-Breed * All-Event Horse News
P.O.Box 1090, Belle Plaine, KS 67013
- Belle Plaine News (620) 488-2234
431 N. Merchant, Belle Plaine, KS 67013
- Caldwell Messenger (620) 845-2320
111 S. Main / P. O. Box 313, Caldwell, KS 67022
- Conway Springs Star-Argonia Argosy (620) 456-2473
214 W. Spring, Conway Springs, KS
- Mulvane News (316) 777-4233
204 W. Main, Mulvane, KS 67110
- Oxford Register (620) 455-3535
110 E. Myrtle, Oxford, KS 67119
- South Haven New Era
- Wellington Daily
News (620) 326-3326
113 W. Harvey, Wellington, KS 67152
More Data About Sumner County
- Kansas County Profile Reports
Statistical data from The Institute for Policy and Social Research, the University of Kansas
Sumner County Offices
For more about Sumner County contact:
- Belle Plaine Area Chamber of Commerce (620) 488-2604
P. O. Box 721, Belle Plaine, KS 67013
- Caldwell Chamber of Commerce (620) 845-6514
P. O. Box 193, Caldwell, KS 67022
- Mulvane Chamber of Commerce (316) 777-1144
P. O. Box 67, Mulvane, KS 67110
- Oxford Chamber of Commerce (620) 455-2223
121 S. Sumner, Oxford, KS 67119
- Sumner Board for Senior Services (620) 326-2500
217 West 8th Street, Wellington, KS 67152
- Wellington Chamber of Commerce (620) 326-7466
207 S. Washington, Wellington, KS 67152
- WPA The WPA Guide to 1930s Kansas
(Lawrence: University Press of Kansas. 1984)
- Sanders, Gwendoline & Sanders, Paul
The Sumner County Story
(North Newton: Mennonite Press. 1966)
Last updated on
November 29, 2009
A service of the Kansas State Library
Graphics by John Howell,
photos by Susan Howell,
used by permission.