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Atchison County is in the second tier of counties south of the Nebraska state line and has an area of 423 square miles. It is bounded on the north by Brown and Doniphan counties, on the east by Doniphan county and the Missouri river, which divides it from the State of Missouri, on the south by Leavenworth and Jefferson counties, and on the west by Jackson County. It is divided into the following townships: Benton, Center, Grasshopper, Kapioma, Lancaster, Mount Pleasant, Shannon, and Walnut. Source: Cutlers History of the State of Kansas 


County Seat: Atchison

Date organized: 1855

County History:

  1. Cutler's History of the State of Kansas, Atchison County 
  2. Atchinson, Kansas--The Most Haunted City in Kansas 
  3. History of Atchison County, Kansas
  4. History of Atchison County, Kansas by Sheffield Ingalls (


Historic Landmarks, State, National:

  1. Amelia Earhart Birthplace and Home (National Register of Historic Places)
  2. Frank Howard House (National Register of Historic Places)
  3. St. Patrick's Church--Native Stone Pioneer architecture built in 1865. (Still in Use)
  4. Glacial Hills Scenic Byways 


County Historical Society:

Atchison County Historical Society 

Web sites about the county:

  1. National Historic Register for Atchinson County 
  2. Atchinson County Government 
  3. Atchison, Kansas City government 


The County of Atchison lies in the northeastern part of Kansas and is one of the most productive and progressive counties in the State. It contains a population of 40,000, and a total area of 271,720 acres, of which 215,158 are under cultivation. The fertility of the soil is excellent, and the crop yields per acre for a series of years compare favorably with those of any other county in the State. The average value of farmlands is about $22.50 per acre According to the assessor's returns for 1889, the value of farms, implements, and improvements was $7,176,074, an estimate which the most competent judges say is much below the actual value.

The report of the State Board of Agriculture, for the year 1888, gives the total value of crops raised during the year as $1,343,484.23. Coal has been discovered in several sections of the county, and arrangements are now being made to prospect in various localities with a view to develop the coal deposits which undoubtedly exist.

The public schools of the county are unrivaled, and very liberally supported by the people. The number of school districts is eighty-two, and the value of school property about $250,000.

Railroads traverse the county in every direction, affording the farming communities rapid and easy access to the best markets. A large quantity of very desirable farmlands is offered for sale at prices and terms which will be found advantageous to those seeking farms in Kansas.

Quite a number of thriving towns have grown up in the county, the largest and most important being Atchison, the county seat, railroad center, and commercial metropolis of Kansas. It is situated on the Missouri river, in the northeastern part of the county, and forms a natural gateway into the State. It contains a population of 25,900 and controls a most extensive trade in the surrounding region, its commercial importance being second to none. All the grand trunk lines of railroad center here—thirteen in all—affording our merchants communication with the finest agricultural country in the world, reaching the immense corn, hog, and cattle area of Southern Nebraska, and Northern Kansas, the most fertile corn, hog, and cattle producing region on the globe, and which annually ships more hogs and cattle through Atchison to eastern markets than any territory of equal area on earth. The wholesale trade of the city amounted in 1888—the only reliable figures now obtainable — to $40,000,000, being larger than that of any other city in Kansas. Our banking institutions are the pride and the stay of the city, having withstood every strain that was ever brought against them, and now have over $1,200,000 in capital and surplus invested in the business. Besides our very excellent public schools, we have four colleges, two of which have been erected within the past year, through a subsidy liberally contributed by the taxpayers of the city. The city is thoroughly lighted by electric lamps, has nearly ten miles of paved streets, a good water supply, streetcar lines, and all other essentials necessary for comfortable and happy living.

Our manufacturing industries are very extensive and diversified, rivaling those of any other city in Kansas.

The report of the State Bureau of Labor Statistics for 1888, shows that the four flouring mills of Atchison manufactured during that year 39,591,662 pounds of flour and that their capacity was 1,400 barrels per day. Our mills are now shipping flour to Liverpool, a fact noted with pride by all the papers in the State. Our vitrified brick plants have been established but two years, and not only furnish all the brick for our own streets but have taken several outside contracts besides. In the past two years, they have paid out for labor and material over $175,000.

Atchison wants more factories and offers substantial inducements to those wishing to engage in manufacturing in the West. It also affords room for all kinds of mercantile establishments and will extend a warm welcome and support to all who visit us, whether prompted by curiosity alone, or by a desire to make a permanent residence among us.

Source: Kansas: its history, resources, and prospects by The Kansas Bureau of immigration copyright 1890, Available at the Internet Archives website.