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Coffeyville, Kansas
Sign at the west entrance (2016)
Sign at the west entrance (2016)
Location within Montgomery County and Kansas
Location within Montgomery County and Kansas
KDOT map of Montgomery County (legend)
Country United States
State Kansas
County Montgomery
Founded 1869
Incorporated 1873
Named for James A. Coffey
 • Total 9.47 sq mi (24.52 km2)
 • Land 9.47 sq mi (24.52 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
738 ft (225 m)
 • Total 8,826
 • Density 932.0/sq mi (359.95/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code 620
FIPS code 20-14600
GNIS ID 469230

Coffeyville is a city in southeastern Montgomery County, Kansas, United States, located along the Verdigris River in the state's southeastern region. As of the 2020 census, the population of the city was 8,826. Coffeyville is the most populous city of Montgomery County, and the home to Coffeyville Community College. The town of South Coffeyville, Oklahoma is approximately 1 mile south of the city.


Coffeyville KS
Coffeyville trollies, ca. 1900

This settlement was founded in 1869 as an Indian trading post by Col. James A. Coffey, serving the population across the border in what was then the Indian Territory. The town was stimulated in 1871 by being made a stop on the Leavenworth, Lawrence & Galveston Railroad, which connected it to other markets and developments. With the arrival of the railroad, a young surveyor, Napoleon B. Blanton, was dispatched to lay out the town. The naming of the town was left to the toss of a coin between Col. Coffey and U.S. Army Captain Blanton. Coffey won the toss and the town was officially named Coffeyville.

The city was first incorporated in 1872, but the charter was voided as illegal, and the city was re-incorporated in March 1873.

As a frontier settlement, Coffeyville had its share of violence. On October 5, 1892, four of the Dalton Gang were killed in a shootout during an attempted bank robbery; Emmett Dalton survived with 23 gunshot wounds and convicted at trial for his crimes. He served 14 years before being pardoned. The gang had been trying to rob the First National and Condon banks, located across the street from each other. Residents recognized them under their disguises of fake beards and attacked the gang members as they fled one of the banks. Four citizens, including a U.S. marshal, Marshal Charles T. Connelly, died defending the town. The town holds an annual celebration each October to commemorate the Dalton Raid and the citizens who were lost.

Santa Fe 1079 at Coffeyville
Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad Locomotive 1079 on static display, 2002

After the discovery of its resources of plentiful natural gas and abundant clay, Coffeyville enjoyed rapid growth from 1890 to 1910, as its population expanded sixfold. From the turn of the 20th century to the 1930s, it was one of the largest glass and brick manufacturing centers in the nation. During this same period, the development of oil production attracted the founding of several oil field equipment manufacturers, and more workers and residents.

Coffeyville industrialist Douglas Brown founded Coffeyville Multiscope, which produced components of the Norden bombsight. This played a determining role in the perfection of precision daylight bombing during World War II as a result of the bombsight's advanced accuracy and drift correction capability.

In 1930 residents in Coffeyville organized a Church of Latter Day Saints (LDS) Sunday School; it was one of only 11 places in Kansas to have such a facility then.

2007 flood

On July 1, 2007, Coffeyville suffered a major flood when the Verdigris River crested at 10 feet above flood stage and flooded approximately a third of the city. The flood topped the local refinery (Coffeyville Resources LLC) levees by 4 feet, allowing oil to pollute the water. Approximately 1700 barrels (71,000 gallons) of crude oil mingled with the already contaminated flood waters. The EPA worked to prevent the oil and flood water mix from continuing downriver, where it could damage the water in Oologah Lake near Oologah, Oklahoma. Many residential water supplies are drawn from that lake. A minimal amount of oil reached Oolagah Lake, and it did not pose a threat to the water supplies of other cities along the Verdigris River or from the lake. A number of animals were found dead or injured in flood areas, covered with oil.

By July 2, areas east of Patterson Street were off limits, and a curfew was enacted in other areas of the city. On July 3, the city lost its supply of potable water, but the water service was restored and the order to boil water rescinded on July 7. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Red Cross came to aid residents, and Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius and President George W. Bush declared the city a federal disaster area. Most displaced residents found shelter with family and friends, but many were sheltered in two area churches and a senior citizens' apartment complex. Some pets were rescued to a temporary animal shelter built for them at LeClere Park.

The flooded area on the city's east side was reopened on July 11 for residents and business owners to begin assessing damage and to retrieve salvageable items.

Verdigris River Coffeyville Kansas
The Verdigris River at Coffeyville, 2006

In order to focus on the post-flood recovery and clean-up, the city and state cancelled the 2007 Inter-State Fair & Rodeo. The ongoing flood recovery included a wholesale environmental remediation of the flood-affected eastern portion of the city, which continued through late 2008 to early 2009. Many of the flood-damaged homes were purchased by Coffeyville Resources LLC as a part of its effort to compensate the homeowners affected by the oil spill.


Coffeyville is located in the southeast corner of Kansas, about 75 miles (121 km) north of Tulsa, Oklahoma, and 60 miles (97 km) west of Joplin, Missouri. The city is situated about one-half mile north of the Oklahoma state line at 37°2′16″N 95°37′35″W / 37.03778°N 95.62639°W / 37.03778; -95.62639 (37.037708, -95.626438), along the west bank of the Verdigris River. The city is the location of the lowest point in the state of Kansas at 679 feet (207 m) above sea level. Coffeyville Municipal Airport is a few miles northeast of the city along US-169. Though Coffeyville is the largest city in Montgomery County, the county seat is Independence, 16 miles (26 km) northwest of the city.

Coffeyville, specifically a spot just north of Coffeyville Country Club, is the default center starting point of Google Maps, being the accidental center point of the default starting map being displayed, which shows the 48 contiguous United States. (Lawrence, Kansas also claims to be the Google center). Other locations that are considered to be the geographic center of the contiguous United States are also in Kansas.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 7.43 square miles (19.24 km2), all land.


Climate data for Coffeyville, Kansas
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 74
Average high °F (°C) 42
Average low °F (°C) 20
Record low °F (°C) −20
Average precipitation inches (mm) 1.65
Average snowfall inches (cm) 7.7


Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 753
1890 2,282 203.1%
1900 4,953 117.0%
1910 12,687 156.1%
1920 13,452 6.0%
1930 16,198 20.4%
1940 17,355 7.1%
1950 17,113 −1.4%
1960 17,382 1.6%
1970 15,116 −13.0%
1980 15,185 0.5%
1990 12,917 −14.9%
2000 11,021 −14.7%
2010 10,295 −6.6%
2020 8,826 −14.3%
U.S. Decennial Census

Coffeyville has experienced a slow and steady population decline since around 1960, when its population peaked at more than 17,000. Changes in industry and oil production have caused a loss of jobs in the area, and residents have moved to find work. As of 2006 the population was estimated to be 10,387 in the year 2006, a decrease of 645, or -5.8%, over the previous six years.

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 10,295 people, 4,226 households, and 2,456 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,385.6 inhabitants per square mile (535.0/km2). There were 5,021 housing units at an average density of 675.8 per square mile (260.9/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 72.3% White, 11.7% African American, 5.0% Native American, 0.7% Asian, 0.2% Pacific Islander, 3.3% from other races, and 6.8% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 7.4% of the population.

There were 4,226 households, of which 28.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.9% were married couples living together, 13.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.8% had a male householder with no wife present, and 41.9% were non-families. 35.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 16.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.29 and the average family size was 2.98.

The median age in the city was 37.1 years. 22.6% of residents were under the age of 18; 13.3% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 22.4% were from 25 to 44; 23.6% were from 45 to 64; and 18.1% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 47.5% male and 52.5% female.


Bus service is provided northward towards Kansas City, Missouri and southward towards Tulsa, Oklahoma by Jefferson Lines (subcontractor of Greyhound Lines). Coffeyville and surrounding communities are also served by Connections Transportation which has its headquarters in nearby Independence, Kansas. Coffeyville has two railroads that serve the community, the Union Pacific Railroad and a short line railroad, South Kansas and Oklahoma Railroad which is owned by Watco. Coffeyville is served by two U.S. highways, US 166 which runs east-west from where the highway enters from the east at the Verdigris River bridge on Northeast Street to Eleventh Street, and exits to the west at the Union Pacific Railroad viaduct on Eighth Street. US 169 which is a north-south highway, enters from the east at the Verdigris River bridge on Northeast Street to Eleventh Street, then turns left just past the Kansas and Oklahoma Railroad overpass onto Walnut Street and continues south on Walnut Street] and exits the city and continues south towards Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Coffeyville Municipal Airport (KCFV; FAA ID: CFV), about four miles northeast, has two runways, the longest 5868’ x 100’. Commercial air transportation is available out of Tulsa International Airport, about 66 miles south.

In popular culture

  • Coffeyville is mentioned in the song "Doolin–Dalton" by The Eagles from their 1973 album, Desperado.
  • In the 2002 movie, Reign of Fire character Denton Van Zan (Matthew McConaughey) refers to Coffeyville when describing his moment of realizing how to kill dragons in the movie.
  • Coffeyville is a featured location in the 2009 video game Call of Juarez : Bound in Blood, and its successor Call of Juarez: Gunslinger.


Coffeyville has a long history as a center of industry and manufacturing. Coffeyville Resources operates a 100,000 barrels per day refinery and a large nitrogen fertilizer plant, using a unique Texaco process of ammonia extraction from coke byproducts produced in the refinery. Sherwin-Williams Chemical Co. has operated a smelting facility in the community since 1909.

Coffeyville is also home to John Deere Corporation's Coffeyville Works, which is a major manufacturer of off-road equipment automatic transmissions for the construction, agriculture and mining industries. Acme Foundry is a foundry that has been in operation since 1905 and employs more than 300 people.

Taylor Crane & Rigging is a regional hauling operation, full-service industrial mover and craning services company. Taylor also maintains a facility in Tulsa, Oklahoma Other nearby in-county employers include Cessna Aircraft Division of Textron and Spears Manufacturing, a large producer of extruded PVC pipe products.


Southwire Corp is a maker of stranded and solid core wire and acquired the Leviton Industries facility of American Insulated Wire in 2010. The plant was closed in 2014.

Coffeyville was home to an warehouse from 1999 to 2015. It was closed because Amazon was shifting to warehouses closer to large cities. The facility was previously operated by Golden Books.


Coffeyville, KS public library building funded by Andrew Carnegie
Coffeyville Carnegie Library with entrance being repaired (2013)


The community is served by Coffeyville USD 445 public school district, which educates around 2,000 students in three facilities. The district has one early learning center, one large consolidated elementary school with four pods and an Age-to-Age kindergarten, one middle school and one high school.

  • Field Kindley High School, grades 9–12, named after Field Kindley.
  • Roosevelt Middle School, grades 7–8.
  • Community Elementary School, grades K–6. Age-to-Age Kindergarten
  • Dr. Jerry Hamm Early Learning Center, grades preschool.


  • Holy Name School, grades PK-6, parochial private school operated by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Wichita.


Advanced education is provided by Coffeyville Community College at three campuses. The main campus and technical trades campus are each in Coffeyville, while a third campus is in Columbus, Kansas. Four-year college degrees are offered by Oklahoma Wesleyan University, Friends University and Sterling College at the main Coffeyville Community College campus. Coffeyville Community College has a long history of academic and athletic success.

Notable people

Notable individuals who were born in and/or have lived in Coffeyville include:

  • Mildred "Micky" Axton, aviator and educator
  • Terry Beeson, NFL linebacker, Seattle Seahawks
  • Bob Bettisworth, member of Alaska House of Representatives
  • Mildred Burke, member of the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame
  • Phil Ehart, drummer of the rock band Kansas
  • Wade Flemons, former member of the music group Earth, Wind & Fire
  • Mondriel Fulcher, NFL player
  • Denver David Hargis, Kansas politician
  • Kenyon Hopkins, musician and composer
  • Walter Johnson, Hall of Fame baseball player
  • Ron Kenoly, popular worship leader
  • Field Eugene Kindley, aviator and World War I ace
  • Jack "Dusty" Kleiss, World War II naval aviator, Navy Cross recipient, credited with sinking two Japanese aircraft carriers on June 4, 1942.
  • Omar Knedlik, inventor of the ICEE frozen drink
  • Rudy May, former Major League baseball pitcher
  • Harold Clement McGugin, U.S. Congressman, 1931–1935
  • William Mueller, professional wrestler known as "Trevor Murdoch" and "Jethro Holiday"
  • Gary Paxton, record producer, recording artist, songwriter
  • W. Ann Reynolds, zoologist, administrator at four universities
  • Lafayette "Reb" Russell, football player and western movie actor
  • Johnny Rutherford, race car driver, 3-time Indy 500 winner
  • Henry Schichtle, football player
  • Cynthia Sikes, actress
  • Frank Wickware, Negro leagues and Pre-Negro leagues baseball pitcher
  • Wendell Willkie, 1940 Republican presidential candidate

See also

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