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Council Grove, Kansas facts for kids

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Council Grove, Kansas
Downtown Council Grove (2012)
Downtown Council Grove (2012)
Location within Morris County and Kansas
Location within Morris County and Kansas
KDOT map of Morris County (legend)
Country United States
State Kansas
County Morris
Incorporated 1887
 • Type Mayor–Council
 • Total 2.06 sq mi (5.32 km2)
 • Land 2.04 sq mi (5.29 km2)
 • Water 0.01 sq mi (0.03 km2)
1,237 ft (377 m)
 • Total 2,140
 • Density 1,039/sq mi (402.3/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP codes
66846, 66873
Area code 620
FIPS code 20-15925
GNIS ID 477021

Council Grove is a city and county seat in Morris County, Kansas, United States. As of the 2020 census, the population of the city was 2,140. It was named after an agreement between American settlers and the Osage Nation allowing settlers' wagon trains to pass westward through the area on the Santa Fe Trail. Pioneers gathered at a grove of trees so that wagons could band together for their trip west.


Stouffer's Railroad Map of Kansas 1915-1918 Morris County
1915-1918 Railroad Map of Morris County.
Madonna of the Trail monument in Council Grove (2005)

Council Grove was one of the last stops on the Santa Fe Trail heading southwest. The first European-American settler was Seth Millington Hays, who came to the area in 1847 to trade with the Kaw tribe, which had a reservation established in the area in 1846. Hays was a great grandson of Daniel Boone.

A post office was established in Council Grove on February 26, 1855.

In 1858, the town was officially incorporated by the legislature. Hays also opened a restaurant in 1857, the Hays House, which is said to be the oldest continuously operating restaurant west of the Mississippi River.

The town has 13 sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places. One is the Post Office Oak. Travelers left their mail in this designated tree to be picked up by others going in the right direction. General Custer of the United States Army slept here with his troops during the American Civil War, under a large tree known now as the Custer Elm.

The National Old Trails Road, also known as the Ocean-to-Ocean Highway, was established in 1912, and was routed through Herington, Delavan, Council Grove.

In 1943, German and Italian prisoners of World War II were brought to Kansas and other Midwest states as a means of solving the labor shortage caused by American men serving in the war effort. Large internment camps were established in Kansas: Camp Concordia, Camp Funston (at Fort Riley), Camp Phillips (at Salina under Fort Riley). Fort Riley established 12 smaller branch camps, including Council Grove.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.01 square miles (5.21 km2), of which, 1.99 square miles (5.15 km2) is land and 0.02 square miles (0.05 km2) is water.


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

Area events

Farmers and Drovers Bank and Indicator Building (8217689776)
Historic Farmers and Drovers Bank building
  • Heritage Rendezvous
  • Washunga Days

Area attractions

  • Allegawaho Heritage Memorial Park
  • Kaw Mission State Historic Site
  • 1857 Hays House
  • Madonna of the Trail monument

Presently, both the Council Grove Reservoir and the City Lake are popular for recreational activities. While both lakes are open to the public and motorized boats, most of the land around the City Lake is privately owned with over three hundred lake houses. Building is restricted on the larger Council Grove Reservoir but there are many well-positioned camp sites. Excellent fishing is found on these lakes as well. Walleye, crappie, white bass, and many more fish are in both the Council Grove Reservoir and the City Lake.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1870 712
1880 1,042 46.3%
1890 2,211 112.2%
1900 2,265 2.4%
1910 2,545 12.4%
1920 2,857 12.3%
1930 2,898 1.4%
1940 2,875 −0.8%
1950 2,722 −5.3%
1960 2,664 −2.1%
1970 2,403 −9.8%
1980 2,381 −0.9%
1990 2,228 −6.4%
2000 2,321 4.2%
2010 2,182 −6.0%
2020 2,140 −1.9%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 2,182 people, 991 households, and 565 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,096.5 inhabitants per square mile (423.4/km2). There were 1,107 housing units at an average density of 556.3 per square mile (214.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 95.8% White, 0.4% African American, 0.2% Native American, 0.2% Asian, 1.9% from other races, and 1.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.0% of the population.

There were 991 households, of which 26.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.5% were married couples living together, 8.3% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.2% had a male householder with no wife present, and 43.0% were non-families. 39.5% of all households were made up of individuals, and 20% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.14 and the average family size was 2.85.

The median age in the city was 45.9 years. 21.7% of residents were under the age of 18; 7% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 19.8% were from 25 to 44; 27.1% were from 45 to 64; and 24.4% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 46.8% male and 53.2% female.


Council Grove was located on the National Old Trails Road, also known as the Ocean-to-Ocean Highway, that was established in 1912.


Aerial photo of Council Grove Kansas 09-04-2013
Aerial photo of Council Grove (2013)

The community is served by Morris County USD 417 public school district. Council Grove High School is a high school located at 129 Hockaday St., Council Grove. Students from the surrounding areas travel to Council Grove to attend high school. Council Grove Middle School includes grades 6 through 8 and is located at 706 E Main St. Council Grove Elementary School includes kindergarten through the 5th grade and is attached to the middle school. The athletic teams are known as the Braves.

Notable people

  • Charles Curtis Vice President of the United States under Herbert Hoover 1929 - 1933, member Kaw Indian tribe.
  • Don Harvey, actor
  • Clara Hazelrigg, author, educator, social reformer
  • James Miller, U.S. Representative from Kansas
  • John Rhodes, United States House of Representatives from Arizona 1952 - 1983, House Republican Leader 1973 - 1981

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