County Seat: Washington
· 6,483 (2000)
· 7,073 (1990)
· 21,963 (1900)
Area: 900 Square Miles
Standard Abbreviation: WS
Area Code: 785
Washington, County, Kansas, is an agricultural area thirty miles square
with twelve incorporated communities. Crops grown in the county include
mainly wheat, milo or grain sorghum, corn, soybeans, alfalfa, prairie
hay and some sunflowers. The county ranks high in the state in pork
production. Many cow-calf herds roam the beautiful prairie grasslands.
The county is very diversified in industry ranging from metal
fabrication companies, construction, silk screening, woodworking,
pet wholesaling, pallet building, and machining companies.
The geography of the county finds us located in three geologic regions:
the Smoky Hills, Flint Hills, and Glaciated Regions. This gives us
a diverse geography of fertile river and creek valleys, to flatland
regions, to rolling hills, varying across the county.
- Mrs. Billie Jo Smart
|Organized in 1873. County seat
Named in honor of George Washington, the first president
of the United States.
Map and text from History of Kansas,
Noble Prentis, (Winfield: E.P. Greer. 1899)
Settlers began to come into this area after the Kansas Territory was
opened in 1854. However, most of the thousands of goldseekers
traveled across Washington County in 1849 along the Oregon Trail
on their way to California. Not until 1857 did the first settlers
come in numbers to carve out farms in the rich creek and river
valleys. Little did the gold seekers realize that the lush prairie
grass covered a wealth far more precious and lasting that the glitter
Swedes, Germans, Dutch, Danes, Bohemians, French, Scots, English,
and Irish settled in the county until it became a miniature melting
pot all in itself.
The map shown here is from History of Kansas by Noble Prentis (1899).
The sixth principal meridian was established in the northwest
corner of the county on June 11, 1856, and a red sandstone marker
was set at this point. From this point all land in Kansas, Nebraska,
three quarters of Colorado, most of Wyoming, and a small part of
South Dakota was surveyed and numbered. A marker, dedicated on June
11, 1987, or 131 years after being set by Charles Manners, today
marks this location.
- Mrs. Billie Jo Smart, Washington County
William G. Cutler's History of Kansas
, first published in 1883, tells about early Washington County
There is a section on Washington County in the book
Kansas: a Cyclopedia Of State History
by Frank W. Blackmar (1912).
The Special Collections of the Ablah Library at WSU contain historical images of
The Kansas State Historical Society also has
for Washingon County online including a rich bibliography and
lists of cemeteries, post offices, and newspapers.
Cities, Towns, & Villages of Washington County
Town Population Year ZIP Dist. Elevation
============ ========== ==== ===== ======= =========
Barnes 152 66933 USD 223 1331
Clifton 557 66937 USD 224 1302
Greenleaf 357 66943 USD 222 1417
Haddam 169 66944 USD 221 1400
Hanover 653 1857 66945 USD 223 1231
Hollenberg 31 66946 USD 223 1271
Linn 425 66953 USD 223 1460
Mahaska 107 66955 USD 221 1600
Morrowville 168 1884 66958 USD 221 1350
Palmer 108 66962 USD 223 1325
Vining 58 66937 USD 224
Washington 1,223 1860 66968 USD 222 1335
Census Bureau Profile & Map
Special Places in Washington County
- Greenleaf has a nice 1970s-vintage "town center" commercial building,
new homes, and a nice park.
- The Opera House building in Barnes was built in 1908
as the Dearborn Store and Opera House. While you're
there, look for the 1887 Community State Bank.
- The stone jail in Haddam was built in 1901 when the city
council was made up entirely of women.
- The world's first bulldozer was built at Morrowville in 1923.
There's a replica in Cummings Park in Morrowville.
- The Hollenberg Pony Express Station near Hanover was built in 1857
as a relay point for the riders, and to accomodate travelers.
It's open for tours Wednesday through Sunday. Hanover
has an ornate brick sculpture telling visitors about it.
- There is a log cabin dating from 1882 in the city park in
- Washington County State Lake is in the northern part of the county
near highway K-15.
Special Events in Washington County
- Each year Morrowville has its Barbeque Festival.
The "pork fest", held on the second Sunday in June,
includes a barbeque pork supper.
- The Washington County Fair is the third week of July in Washington.
- The last weekend of July, Haddam holds its Frontier Days celebration.
- Hanover Days of '49 are usually held in August and
include parades, music, and carnival attractions.
- Barnes has its Old Home Days on the second weekend in
- Clifton has a Country Music Festival the third weekend in August.
- The Pony Express Festival is held the last Sunday in
August at the Hollenberg Station historical site.
It's a full day of fun dedicated to celebrating pioneer life.
- On Labor Day, Palmer has a Fun Day with a ball tournament,
arts and crafts, a parade, and barbeque.
- The Greenleaf Community Festival is the fourth Sunday in
- Clifton celebrates Veterans Day with a parade at 2:00 PM and
a program in Berner Park.
- Clifton City Library (785) 455-2222
104 East Parallel St, Clifton, KS 66937
- Greenleaf City Library (785) 747-2443
408 Commercial St, Greenleaf, KS 66943
Open Tue, Wed, Thu 1:00-4:00, Thu 9:00-11:00
- Haddam City Library
610 Main St, Haddam, KS 66944
- Hanover Public Library (785) 337-2261
P. O. Box 97, Hanover, KS 66945
- Washington Library (785) 325-2114
116 E. Second, Washington, KS 66968
- Clifton Community Historical Society Museum (785) 455-3555
Clifton & Railroad, Clifton, KS 66937
- Hollenberg Pony Express Station (785) 337-2635
East of town on K-243 - State Historical Site
- Washington County Museum & Log Cabin (785) 325-2198
P. O. Box 31 / 206 Ballard, Washington, KS 66968
Mon. - Fri. 9am-12pm, 1pm - 4pm
Sun. 2pm - 4 pm
Early drugstore & barber shop
Washington County School Systems
- Hanover Hospital & Clinic (785) 337-2214
Hanover, KS 66945
- Washington County Hospital (785) 325-2211
304 E 3rd St., Washington, KS 66968
- Clifton News-Tribune (785) 455-3466
103 W. Parallel St., Clifton, KS 66937
- Hanover News (785) 337-2242
200 Railroad, Hanover, KS 66945
- Linn-Palmer Record (785) 348-5481
405 Second Street, Linn, Kansas 66953
- Washington County News (785) 325-2219
211 C. Street / P. O. Box 316, Washington, KS 66968-0368
More Data About Washington County
- Kansas County Profile Reports
Statistical data from The Institute for Policy and Social Research, the University of Kansas
- WPA. WPA Guide to 1930s Kansas
(Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, reprint 1984)
See tour 1, pages 314-316.
Washington County Offices
For more about Washington County contact:
- Washington County Economic Development (785) 325-2638
Court House, Washington, KS 66968
- Washington County Travel and Tourism (785) 325-2116
Court House, Washington, KS 66968
Last updated on
November 29, 2009
A service of the Kansas State Library
Graphics by John Howell,
photos by Susan Howell,
used by permission.