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Sequoyah county was named by the Kansas Legislature in 1873, before it had a single white inhabitant. It was named in honor of a Cherokee Indian, who was the most remarkable man of his race.

His memory is still venerated by his people, for he was the inventor of the alphabet of their language. Many have wondered why a Kansas county was named for a Cherokee Indian. Joseph B. Thoburn, secretary of the Oklahoma Historical Society, feels sure the name was suggested by Colonel William A. Phillips of Salina, who was elected to congress at the time Sequoyah county was created. During the civil war he was in command of an Indian brigade in the Union army. After the war he represented the Cherokee nation as its attorney at Washington. Some of the pioneers of this county were not pleased when the name was changed to Finney, but the majority favored the change since it was much easier to spell and pronounce. Sequoyah county was attached to Ford county for judicial purposes and was never organized. It was described as follows:

"Sequoyah county is 864 square miles in area, being twenty-four miles from east to west, and thirty-six miles from north to south. This is a treeless region. The Arkansas river runs in a southeasterly direction across the county. The points in the county are Pierceville, Garden City, and Sherlock (Editor's Note:Now Holcomb)."

A petition praying for the organization of Sequoyah county into a municipal township was examined by the board of county commissioners of Ford county July 8, 1879. It was found to contain the required number of signers. The request was granted and an election ordered to elect township officers to take place on July 25, 1879, at Garden City, Sequoyah county.

"Dodge City, Kansas, July 26, 1879. "A special meeting of the board of commissioners of Ford county met pursuant to call for the purpose of canvassing the votes polled at a special election of township officers. The following parties received the highest number of votes and are declared elected. The county clerk is ordered to issue certificates to the same: "Township Trustee, J. R. Fulton; Treasurer, J. R. Spencer; Clerk, Amos Baim; Justice of Peace, N. M. Carter, of Garden City; Justice of Peace, Morris R. Logue, Pierceville; Constable, J. C. North, Garden City; Constable, Alban E. Moore, Pierceville. Each received 67 votes, votes. "Signed, "A. J. Peacock."

For the next four years, Sequoyah county remained under the jurisdiction of Ford county. Pursuant to law they met each year to levy a 10-mill tax on Sequoyah township for county purposes. People wanting a marriage license had to go to Dodge City. The school teachers were examined at Dodge City and all court matters were handled there. An election was held in the township each year and the results taken to Dodge City where the results were canvassed by the Ford county board of commissioners. The elections each year, as recorded in Commissioners Journal A of Ford county, were as follows:


FEBRUARY 10, 1880 

  1. Votes Cast, 49 
  2. Jas. R. Fulton, Trustee 
  3. Wm. D. Fulton, Treasurer 
  4. J. L. Williams, Clerk 
  5. Joseph Weeks, Justice of Peace 
  6. Morris R. Logue, Justice of Peace
  7. J. B. Smith, Constable
  8. L. A. Collins, Constable
  9. H. M. Wheeler, Road Overseer


FEBRUARY 8, 1881

  1. Votes Cast, 54
  2. Levi Wilkinson, Trustee
  3. Wm. D. Fulton, Treasurer
  4. George H. DeWaters, Clerk
  5. N. C. Jones, Justice of Peace
  6. Morris R. Logue, Justice of Peace
  7. N. J. Earp, Constable
  8. J. W. Wallace, Constable


FEBRUARY 14, 1882 

  1. Votes Cast, 64 
  2. Jas. R. Fulton, Trustee
  3. Wm. D. Fulton, Treasurer 
  4. Geo. H. DeWaters, Clerk 
  5. N. J. Earp, Constable 
  6. H. M. Wheeler, Justice of Peace 
  7. J. A. Stevens, Constable 
  8. D. R. Menke, Road Overseer


FEBRUARY 6, 1883

  1. Votes Cast, 56
  2. J. J. Erisman, Trustee
  3. L. C. Pierce, Treasurer
  4. N. J. Earp, Constable
  5. B. B. Black, Clerk
  6. J. S. Edwards, Road Overseer
  7. J. H. Pierce, Justice of Peace


The making of homes, the foundation of towns, and laying the basis for all future development of a great county were begun in old Sequoyah. The domestic experiences of those first pioneers are full of interest, yet under the most favorable circumstances they found frontier life plenty disagreeable. They were beset by drouths, prairie fires and blizzards. There was a struggle involving patience, self-sacrifice and industry, but they elected to stay on. But when better years came they lost their little empire, and Sequoyah county disappeared forever from the map. October 1, 1884, it with other unorganized territory was organized as a county, and called Finney.