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Codell, Kansas
Codell Kansas Cyclone Day Memorial (2018)
Codell Kansas Cyclone Day Memorial (2018)
KDOT map of Rooks County (legend)
Country United States
State Kansas
County Rooks
Township Township 12
Founded 1887
1,985 ft (605 m)
 • Total 49
Time zone UTC-6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code 785
FIPS code 20-14575
GNIS ID 472446

Codell is an unincorporated community in Rooks County, Kansas, United States. As of the 2020 census, the population of the community and nearby areas was 49.


Codell was established as a Union Pacific Railroad depot in 1887. Union Pacific could not reach agreement with the nearby town of Motor, so Union Pacific established the town of Codell three-quarters of a mile west of Motor. The Motor Post Office, originally established as Floreyville in 1875, was moved to Codell in 1888. The frame buildings in Motor were moved to Codell and Motor was soon abandoned.

Early in its history Codell had a school, two churches and numerous businesses including: the Codell State Bank, telephone central office, two lumber yards, grain elevator, machine shop, harness shop, implement company, hardware store, hotel, restaurant, three stores, a doctor and a barber.

Codell is notable for its exceptional tornado history which earned it mention in Ripley's Believe It or Not!. The town was hit by tornadoes on May 20 in three successive years: 1916, 1917 and 1918.

The 1916 tornado was an F2 passing west of town in the early evening. The 1917 tornado was an F3 passing east of town also in the early evening. In 1918, Codell took a direct hit from an F4 tornado just after dark. The school, M. E. church, hotel and several residences were completely destroyed. Many more buildings were badly damaged. Although the school was rebuilt and a new high school was built in 1938, the town never fully recovered from the devastation of the 1918 tornado.


Codell lies in the middle of the double township of Paradise, south of the city of Stockton (the county seat of Rooks County) and near the southeastern corner of Rooks County. The community lies along the banks of Paradise Creek and an abandoned railroad line. The nearest city, Plainville, lies approximately 9 miles (14 km) away to the northwest by road; the community is connected via 24 Road to a state highway, K-18, which lies approximately 1 mile (1.6 km) to the north.


Historical population
Census Pop.
2020 49
U.S. Decennial Census

For statistical purposes, the United States Census Bureau has defined this community as a census-designated place (CDP).


Codell, Kansas - Codell High School
Codell High School (est 1938)

Codell is served by USD 270 Plainville Schools.

Codell High School was closed through school unification in 1965. The Codell High School mascot was Codell Cougars.

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