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Burns, Kansas
Burns United Methodist Church (2010)
Location within Marion County and Kansas
Location within Marion County and Kansas
KDOT map of Marion County (legend)
Country United States
State Kansas
County Marion
Township Milton
Platted 1880
Incorporated 1905
Named for Train station
 • Type Mayor–Council
 • Total 0.34 sq mi (0.89 km2)
 • Land 0.34 sq mi (0.89 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
1,499 ft (457 m)
 • Total 234
 • Density 688/sq mi (262.9/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code 620
FIPS code 20-09450
GNIS ID 478038

Burns is a city in Marion County, Kansas, United States. The city name came from a nearby train station, which was named prior to the city being incorporated. As of the 2020 census, the population of the city was 234. It is located between El Dorado and Florence along the west side of U.S. Route 77 highway. The south edge of the city is the border of Marion and Butler counties.


Stouffer's Railroad Map of Kansas 1915-1918 Marion County
1915 Railroad Map of Marion County

Early history

For many millennia, the Great Plains of North America was inhabited by nomadic Native Americans. From the 16th century to 18th century, the Kingdom of France claimed ownership of large parts of North America. In 1762, after the French and Indian War, France secretly ceded New France to Spain, per the Treaty of Fontainebleau.

19th century

In 1802, Spain returned most of the land to France. In 1803, most of the land for modern day Kansas was acquired by the United States from France as part of the 828,000 square mile Louisiana Purchase for 2.83 cents per acre.

In 1854, the Kansas Territory was organized, then in 1861 Kansas became the 34th U.S. state. In 1855, Marion County was established within the Kansas Territory, which included the land for modern day Burns.

In 1877, the Florence, El Dorado, and Walnut Valley Railroad Company built a branch line from Florence to El Dorado, and a station called Burns was built north of the present city location. In 1881, the rail line was extended to Douglass, then later to Arkansas City. The line was leased and operated by the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway. The line from Florence through Burns to El Dorado was abandoned in 1942. The original branch line connected Florence through El Dorado to Arkansas City.

At the present location, a city named St. Francis was platted in August 1880. When the town incorporated, they discovered the official city name of St. Francis was already taken, so they changed the name to be the same as the nearby Burns train station, then soon afterward the station was moved into the new city. The original station was named after a railroad company official.

A post office was established in Burns on November 30, 1880.

20th century

Burns High School closed in 1965 as a result of statewide school district consolidation. Burns Elementary School and Junior High School closed in 1997 due to the lack of funds. Public education is currently provided by Peabody-Burns USD 398 in Peabody.

21st century

In 2010, the Keystone-Cushing Pipeline (Phase II) was constructed 6.5 miles west of Burns, north to south through Marion County, with much controversy over road damage, tax exemption, and environmental concerns (if a leak ever occurs). A pumping station named Burns was built 2 miles north of Potwin.


Burns is located at 38°5′26″N 96°53′14″W / 38.09056°N 96.88722°W / 38.09056; -96.88722 (38.090692, -96.887103), in the scenic Flint Hills. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.35 square miles (0.91 km2), all of it land. The south city limits of Burns is the county line shared between Marion County and Butler County.


The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Burns has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.

Area events

  • Burns Hog Roast.

Area attractions

Burns has one listing on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP).

  • 1905 Burns Union School (NRHP), south-west corner of Main St and Ohio Ave. Burns Union School was the first consolidated grade and high school in Kansas. The school was the first to use a school "bus" in Kansas, which were special-order wagons in 1904. The building currently houses the Burns Community Museum.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1910 489
1920 622 27.2%
1930 455 −26.8%
1940 409 −10.1%
1950 294 −28.1%
1960 314 6.8%
1970 268 −14.6%
1980 224 −16.4%
1990 226 0.9%
2000 268 18.6%
2010 228 −14.9%
2020 234 2.6%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 228 people, 93 households, and 59 families residing in the city. The population density was 651.4 inhabitants per square mile (251.5/km2). There were 112 housing units at an average density of 320.0 per square mile (123.6/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 96.9% White, 1.3% African American, 0.4% Native American, 0.4% Pacific Islander, and 0.9% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.9% of the population.

There were 93 households, of which 29.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.6% were married couples living together, 7.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.3% had a male householder with no wife present, and 36.6% were non-families. 32.3% of all households were made up of individuals, and 16.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 3.14.

The median age in the city was 38 years. 25% of residents were under the age of 18; 8.8% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 23.2% were from 25 to 44; 27.1% were from 45 to 64; and 15.8% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 53.9% male and 46.1% female.


1905 Burns Union School
Burns Union School, now Burns Community Museum (2010)


The community is served by Peabody–Burns USD 398 public school district. All students attend schools in Peabody at two schools:

  • Peabody-Burns Junior/Senior High School, located in Peabody.
  • Peabody-Burns Elementary School, located in Peabody.
Peabody-Burns High School Sports Championships
  • 1977, 2nd Place, Class 2A, High School Boys Football, Head Coach Dennis Franchione.
Historical Burns Schools
  • Burns High School, southeast corner of Main and Cincinnati. It was closed in 1965 as a result of statewide school district consolidation, then converted into the Burns Community Museum. The school mascot was Burns Hornets. It was the first consolidated grade school and high school in Kansas, and was the first to use a school "bus" in Kansas, which were special-order wagons in 1904. It is currently listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). (NRHP),
  • Burns Elementary & Junior High School, southwest corner of Main and Church. It was closed in 1997 due to the lack of funds, then demolished.
Burns High School Sports Championships
  • 1953, Class B, 1st Place, High School Boys Basketball, Head Coach Harvey Loy.


  • Eden Christian School, Private Mennonite Grade School, approximately 3 miles south of Burns. Located at 38°02′25″N 96°53′46″W / 38.040139°N 96.896199°W / 38.040139; -96.896199


The city is served by the Burns Public Library at 104 North Washington Avenue. The library is a member of the North Central Kansas Libraries System.



U.S. 77 highway runs north-south on the east side of Burns, and follows roughly parallel to the old railway.

See also

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