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Rossville, KS

Wabaunsee County
Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Newbury (2009)
Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Newbury (2009)
Map of Kansas highlighting Wabaunsee County
Location within the U.S. state of Kansas
Map of the United States highlighting Kansas
Kansas's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 39°01′07″N 96°17′33″W / 39.0186°N 96.2925°W / 39.0186; -96.2925
Country United States
State Kansas
Founded1859
Named forChief Waubonsie
SeatAlma
Largest cityAlma
Area
 • Total800 sq mi (2,000 km2)
 • Land794 sq mi (2,060 km2)
 • Water5.3 sq mi (14 km2)  0.7%
Population
 • Total6,877
 • Estimate 
(2021)[2]
6,966
 • Density8.7/sq mi (3.4/km2)
Time zoneUTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district1st
Websitewbcounty.org

Wabaunsee County (standard abbreviation: WB) is a county located in the U.S. state of Kansas. As of the 2020 census, the county population was 6,877.[1] Its county seat is Alma.[3] The county was created by the territorial legislature of Kansas Territory on March 25, 1859,[4] and was named for a chief of the Potawatomi Indians.[4]

History

Wabaunsee County Poor Farm, located 4 mi (6.4 km) south of Alma, 1901

19th century

For millennia, the land now known as Kansas was inhabited by Native Americans. In 1803, most of modern Kansas was secured by the United States as part of the Louisiana Purchase. The first white settlers in the area were said to have been a band of outlaws known as the McDaniel Gang.[4]

In 1854, the Kansas Territory was organized and Wabaunsee County was created by the territorial legislature on March 25, 1859.[4] The name used since 1859 is derived from the Potawatomi "Wah-bon-seh", meaning "dawn of day" literally, and it was the name of the chief of the Potawatomi Indians.[4] Originally, the county was named Richardson, after William Alexander Richardson, a congressman from Illinois, who introduced the first Kansas and Nebraska Bill in the House of Representatives, which made certain Indian lands territories in 1854.[5]

Also in 1854, the Beecher Bible and Rifle Church was established by a group of free-staters, who had rifles shipped to the church to be used in the free-state effort in boxes marked Bibles.[4] Captain William Mitchell, Jr., a seaman who joined the Beecher Bible and Rifle Colony that settled in Wabaunsee, played an important role in the county settlement and with the underground railroad.[4]

The county's first church, Wabaunsee Church of Christ, was founded in June 1857.[4]

In 1861 Kansas became the 34th U.S. state, entering the union as a free state.

1915 Railroad Map of Wabaunsee County

The first railroad to be built through Wabaunsee County was the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe in 1880.[6] In 1887, the Chicago, Kansas and Nebraska Railway built a main line from Topeka to Herington.[7] This main line connected Topeka, Valencia, Willard, Maple Hill, Vera, Paxico, McFarland, Alma, Volland, Alta Vista, Dwight, White City, Latimer, Herington.

20th century

A massive drought beginning in 1930 resulted in a series of dust storms that lasted until 1941. The drought combined with the onset of the Great Depression, forced farmers off the land. This ecological disaster caused an exodus of many farmers to escape from the hostile environment of Kansas.[8][9] As the world demand for wheat plummeted, rural Kansas became poverty-stricken. The state became an eager participant in such major New Deal relief programs as the Civil Works Administration, the Federal Emergency Relief Administration, the Civilian Conservation Corps, the Works Progress Administration, which put tens of thousands of Kansans to work as unskilled labor.[10] Republican Governor Alf Landon also employed emergency measures, including a moratorium on mortgage foreclosures and a balanced budget initiative.[11] The Agricultural Adjustment Administration succeeded in raising wheat prices after 1933, thus alleviating the most serious distress.[12]

During World War II, the U.S. Army located a German prisoner of war camp at Lake Wabaunsee, near Eskridge. It was believed that the prisoners would be less of a security risk in North America, where there were fewer Nazi sympathizers, than they would be in Europe. The prisoners were paid $0.40 per hour and granted a daily noon lunch, in exchange for their help on farms and bridges throughout the region.[13]

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 800 square miles (2,100 km2), of which 794 square miles (2,060 km2) is land and 5.3 square miles (14 km2) (0.7%) is water.[14]

Adjacent counties

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
18601,023
18703,362228.6%
18808,756160.4%
189011,72033.9%
190012,8139.3%
191012,721−0.7%
192011,424−10.2%
193010,830−5.2%
19409,219−14.9%
19507,212−21.8%
19606,648−7.8%
19706,397−3.8%
19806,8677.3%
19906,603−3.8%
20006,8854.3%
20107,0532.4%
20206,877−2.5%
2021 (est.)6,966[2]1.3%
U.S. Decennial Census[15]
1790-1960[16] 1900-1990[17]
1990-2000[18] 2010-2020[1]
Age pyramid

Wabaunsee County is part of the Topeka, KS Metropolitan Statistical Area.

As of the census[19] of 2000, there were 6,885 people, 2,633 households, and 1,958 families residing in the county. The population density was 9 people per square mile (3/km2). There were 3,033 housing units at an average density of 4 per square mile (1/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 97.24% White, 0.46% Black or African American, 0.49% Native American, 0.15% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 0.60% from other races, and 1.00% from two or more races. 1.86% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 2,633 households, out of which 33.50% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 64.30% were married couples living together, 6.30% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.60% were non-families. 23.00% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.80% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.57 and the average family size was 3.01.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 26.70% under the age of 18, 6.20% from 18 to 24, 26.70% from 25 to 44, 24.80% from 45 to 64, and 15.60% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females, there were 102.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 101.30 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $41,710, and the median income for a family was $47,500. Males had a median income of $31,629 versus $23,148 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,704. About 5.80% of families and 7.30% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.40% of those under age 18 and 7.90% of those age 65 or over.

Government

Presidential elections

United States presidential election results for Wabaunsee County, Kansas[20]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 2,845 72.91% 964 24.71% 93 2.38%
2016 2,372 70.18% 776 22.96% 232 6.86%
2012 2,256 69.05% 918 28.10% 93 2.85%
2008 2,395 68.02% 1,036 29.42% 90 2.56%
2004 2,531 70.23% 1,001 27.77% 72 2.00%
2000 2,182 63.80% 1,025 29.97% 213 6.23%
1996 1,884 55.67% 966 28.55% 534 15.78%
1992 1,254 37.17% 851 25.22% 1,269 37.61%
1988 1,737 58.54% 1,166 39.30% 64 2.16%
1984 2,276 72.72% 805 25.72% 49 1.57%
1980 2,255 67.98% 853 25.72% 209 6.30%
1976 1,921 57.58% 1,354 40.59% 61 1.83%
1972 2,461 76.83% 662 20.67% 80 2.50%
1968 1,979 64.17% 695 22.54% 410 13.29%
1964 1,839 58.34% 1,287 40.83% 26 0.82%
1960 2,351 70.58% 969 29.09% 11 0.33%
1956 2,650 76.63% 802 23.19% 6 0.17%
1952 3,182 81.03% 736 18.74% 9 0.23%
1948 2,437 66.80% 1,162 31.85% 49 1.34%
1944 2,839 75.95% 873 23.35% 26 0.70%
1940 3,481 73.64% 1,212 25.64% 34 0.72%
1936 2,809 55.52% 2,235 44.18% 15 0.30%
1932 2,304 47.39% 2,465 50.70% 93 1.91%
1928 3,099 71.89% 1,189 27.58% 23 0.53%
1924 2,742 65.90% 633 15.21% 786 18.89%
1920 2,859 77.63% 782 21.23% 42 1.14%
1916 2,640 58.95% 1,706 38.10% 132 2.95%
1912 783 26.82% 1,128 38.63% 1,009 34.55%
1908 1,849 60.25% 1,163 37.90% 57 1.86%
1904 2,016 71.44% 688 24.38% 118 4.18%
1900 1,793 58.06% 1,263 40.90% 32 1.04%
1896 1,586 51.80% 1,442 47.09% 34 1.11%
1892 1,356 46.82% 0 0.00% 1,540 53.18%
1888 1,708 62.52% 960 35.14% 64 2.34%


Wabaunsee County is overwhelmingly Republican. No Democratic presidential candidate has won Wabaunsee County since Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1932, and since at least 1888 only Roosevelt in 1932 and 1936, plus William Jennings Bryan in 1896, have reached 41 percent of the county's vote for the Democratic Party. The county was however one of three Kansas counties – Anderson and Jefferson being the other two – to give a plurality to Ross Perot in 1992.

Laws

Wabaunsee County was a prohibition, or "dry", county until the Kansas Constitution was amended in 1986 and voters approved the sale of alcoholic liquor by the individual drink with a 30 percent food sales requirement.[21]

Education

Unified school districts

Communities

2005 KDOT Map of Wabaunsee County from KDOT (map legend)

Cities

Unincorporated communities

Ghost town

Townships

Wabaunsee County is divided into thirteen townships. None of the cities within the county are considered governmentally independent, and all figures for the townships include those of the cities. In the following table, the population center is the largest city (or cities) included in that township's population total, if it is of a significant size.

Sources: 2000 U.S. Gazetteer from the U.S. Census Bureau.
Township FIPS Population
center
Population Population
density
/km2 (/sq mi)
Land area
km2 (sq mi)
Water area
km2 (sq mi)
Water % Geographic coordinates
Alma 01375 Alma 1,137 11 (28) 104 (40) 0 (0) 0% 39°1′8″N 96°17′33″W / 39.01889°N 96.29250°W / 39.01889; -96.29250
Farmer 23125 119 1 (2) 172 (66) 0 (0) 0.07% 38°55′37″N 96°18′44″W / 38.92694°N 96.31222°W / 38.92694; -96.31222
Garfield 25850 Alta Visa 590 5 (13) 118 (45) 0 (0) 0.09% 38°51′44″N 96°27′20″W / 38.86222°N 96.45556°W / 38.86222; -96.45556
Kaw 36150 242 2 (6) 110 (42) 2 (1) 1.55% 39°10′16″N 96°9′46″W / 39.17111°N 96.16278°W / 39.17111; -96.16278
Maple Hill 44525 Maple Hill 930 5 (13) 190 (73) 1 (0) 0.55% 39°4′43″N 96°0′52″W / 39.07861°N 96.01444°W / 39.07861; -96.01444
Mill Creek 46725 Lake Wabaunsee 293 2 (4) 192 (74) 1 (0) 0.43% 38°53′23″N 96°11′23″W / 38.88972°N 96.18972°W / 38.88972; -96.18972
Mission Creek 47300 495 2 (6) 209 (81) 0 (0) 0.04% 38°55′49″N 96°3′0″W / 38.93028°N 96.05000°W / 38.93028; -96.05000
Newbury 50275 Paxico / McFarland 1,045 5 (13) 203 (78) 0 (0) 0.06% 39°3′44″N 96°11′18″W / 39.06222°N 96.18833°W / 39.06222; -96.18833
Plumb 56800 Harveyville 640 5 (13) 129 (50) 0 (0) 0.17% 38°47′56″N 95°58′36″W / 38.79889°N 95.97667°W / 38.79889; -95.97667
Rock Creek 60650 84 0 (1) 171 (66) 0 (0) 0.05% 38°46′58″N 96°18′15″W / 38.78278°N 96.30417°W / 38.78278; -96.30417
Wabaunsee 74250 Wabaunsee 455 3 (7) 172 (66) 2 (1) 1.05% 39°6′57″N 96°18′21″W / 39.11583°N 96.30583°W / 39.11583; -96.30583
Washington 75800 83 1 (1) 148 (57) 0 (0) 0.02% 38°57′49″N 96°25′14″W / 38.96361°N 96.42056°W / 38.96361; -96.42056
Wilmington 79525 Eskridge 772 5 (13) 150 (58) 0 (0) 0.03% 38°49′54″N 96°6′14″W / 38.83167°N 96.10389°W / 38.83167; -96.10389

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c "QuickFacts; Wabaunsee County, Kansas; Population, Census, 2020 & 2010". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on August 21, 2021. Retrieved August 21, 2021.
  2. ^ a b "County Population Totals: 2020-2021". United States Census Bureau. March 24, 2022. Retrieved June 3, 2022.
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Wabaunsee County, Kansas, Kansapedia. (accessed July 27, 2013)
  5. ^ Wabaunsee County History.
  6. ^ Blackmar, Frank Wilson (1912). Kansas: A Cyclopedia of State History, Volume 2. Standard Publishing Company. pp. 853.
  7. ^ "Rock Island Rail History". Archived from the original on June 19, 2011. Retrieved May 29, 2013.
  8. ^ Timothy Eagan, The Worst Hard Tim : the Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl (Houghton Mifflin, 2006)
  9. ^ Craig Miner,Next Year Country: Dust to Dust in Western Kansas, 1890-1940 (2007)
  10. ^ Peter Fearon, "Kansas History and the New Deal Era," Kansas History, Autumn 2007, Vol. 30 Issue 3, pp 192-223
  11. ^ Donald R. McCoy, Landon of Kansas (1966)
  12. ^ Peter Fearon, "Regulation and Response: Kansas Wheat Farmers and the New Deal," Rural History, Oct 2007, Vol. 18 Issue 2, pp 245-264
  13. ^ "Lake Wabaunsee". Lake Wabaunsee. Retrieved September 12, 2017.
  14. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  15. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 29, 2014.
  16. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved July 29, 2014.
  17. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 29, 2014.
  18. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 29, 2014.
  19. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  20. ^ "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections".
  21. ^ "Map of Wet and Dry Counties". Alcoholic Beverage Control, Kansas Department of Revenue. November 2006. Archived from the original on October 8, 2007. Retrieved December 28, 2007.

Further reading

External links

County
Historical
Maps

Coordinates: 38°58′N 96°11′W / 38.967°N 96.183°W / 38.967; -96.183

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