kids encyclopedia robot

Cowley County, Kansas facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
Cowley County
Cowley County National Bank Building (2013)
Map of Kansas highlighting Cowley County
Location within the U.S. state of Kansas
Map of the United States highlighting Kansas
Kansas's location within the U.S.
Country  United States
State  Kansas
Founded February 26, 1867
Named for Matthew Cowley
Seat Winfield
Largest city Arkansas City
Area
 • Total 1,132 sq mi (2,930 km2)
 • Land 1,126 sq mi (2,920 km2)
 • Water 6.7 sq mi (17 km2)  0.6%%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total 34,549
 • Density 30.7/sq mi (11.9/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
Area code 620
Congressional district 4th

Cowley County (county code CL) is a county located in the U.S. state of Kansas. As of the 2020 census, the county population was 34,549. Its county seat is Winfield, and its most populous city is Arkansas City.

History

19th century

For millennia, the land now known as Kansas was inhabited by Native Americans. It was visited by the explorer DeSoto in 1537, In 1803, most of modern Kansas was secured by the United States as part of the Louisiana Purchase. In 1854, the Kansas Territory was organized, then in 1861 Kansas became the 34th U.S. state.

Cowley County was officially organized as a county, but reserved for the Osage Indians, by the Kansas Legislature in March 1867, originally named Hunter County for Robert Mercer Taliaferro Hunter (1809–1887), a Virginia Representative and Senator to Congress and Speaker of the House in the twenty-sixth Congress. In 1870, the county was renamed for Matthew Cowley, First Lieutenant in Company I, 9th Kansas Cavalry, who died at Little Rock, Arkansas, on October 7, 1864. Officially opened for settlement July 15, 1870, there was a lengthy and bitter disagreement between the towns of Winfield and Cresswell (the town now named Arkansas City) over the possession of the county seat of government. Finally settled after two special elections and numerous petitions to the Governor and Legislature, Winfield was determined to be the county seat and a courthouse was constructed in 1873 at a cost of $11,500.

21st century

In 2010, the Keystone-Cushing Pipeline (Phase II) was constructed north to south through Cowley County. Controversy arose from the Kansas legislature's decision to grant the pipeline a ten-year exemption from property taxes; it was estimated that this would mean $15 million per year in lost revenue to the six counties through which the pipeline passed. The counties were unsuccessful in an attempt to eliminate the exemption.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,132 square miles (2,930 km2), of which 1,126 square miles (2,920 km2) is land and 6.7 square miles (17 km2) (0.6%) is water.

Adjacent counties

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 158
1870 1,175 643.7%
1880 21,538 1,733.0%
1890 34,478 60.1%
1900 30,156 −12.5%
1910 31,790 5.4%
1920 35,155 10.6%
1930 40,903 16.4%
1940 38,139 −6.8%
1950 36,905 −3.2%
1960 37,861 2.6%
1970 35,012 −7.5%
1980 36,824 5.2%
1990 36,915 0.2%
2000 36,291 −1.7%
2010 36,311 0.1%
2020 34,549 −4.9%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2020

Cowley County comprises the Arkansas City-Winfield, KS Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is included in the Wichita-Arkansas City-Winfield, KS Combined Statistical Area.

As of the U.S. Census in 2000, there were 36,291 people, 14,039 households, and 9,616 families residing in the county. The population density was 32 people per square mile (12/km2). There were 15,673 housing units at an average density of 14 per square mile (5/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 90.13% White, 2.70% Black or African American, 1.96% Native American, 1.53% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 1.36% from other races, and 2.30% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.59% of the population.

There were 14,039 households, out of which 32.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.20% were married couples living together, 9.60% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.50% were non-families. 27.90% of all households were made up of individuals, and 13.20% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.46 and the average family size was 3.00.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 26.00% under the age of 18, 9.90% from 18 to 24, 26.00% from 25 to 44, 22.20% from 45 to 64, and 15.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 95.70 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.20 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $34,406, and the median income for a family was $43,636. Males had a median income of $31,703 versus $21,341 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,509. About 9.20% of families and 12.90% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.00% of those under age 18 and 11.20% of those age 65 or over.

Communities

Map of Cowley Co, Ks, USA
2005 KDOT Map of Cowley County (map legend)

Cities

Unincorporated communities

Townships

Cowley County is divided into twenty-five townships. The cities of Arkansas City and Winfield are considered governmentally independent and are excluded from the census figures for the townships. 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.

Township FIPS Population
center
Population Population
density
/km² (/sq mi)
Land area
km² (sq mi)
Water area
km² (sq mi)
Water % Geographic coordinates
Beaver 05025 244 3 (7) 92 (36) 2 (1) 1.91% 37°10′42″N 97°5′26″W / 37.17833°N 97.09056°W / 37.17833; -97.09056
Bolton 07875 1,754 13 (33) 136 (53) 2 (1) 1.59% 37°3′1″N 97°4′0″W / 37.05028°N 97.06667°W / 37.05028; -97.06667
Cedar 11250 44 0 (1) 119 (46) 1 (0) 0.45% 37°5′9″N 96°36′27″W / 37.08583°N 96.60750°W / 37.08583; -96.60750
Creswell 16375 2,098 22 (56) 97 (38) 2 (1) 2.07% 37°4′42″N 97°1′3″W / 37.07833°N 97.01750°W / 37.07833; -97.01750
Dexter 17950 506 3 (7) 185 (71) 0 (0) 0.19% 37°11′56″N 96°42′27″W / 37.19889°N 96.70750°W / 37.19889; -96.70750
Fairview 22475 203 2 (6) 93 (36) 0 (0) 0.29% 37°21′22″N 96°58′50″W / 37.35611°N 96.98056°W / 37.35611; -96.98056
Grant 27550 76 1 (2) 116 (45) 0 (0) 0.09% 37°3′49″N 96°41′3″W / 37.06361°N 96.68417°W / 37.06361; -96.68417
Harvey 30525 117 1 (2) 162 (63) 0 (0) 0.24% 37°26′47″N 96°37′58″W / 37.44639°N 96.63278°W / 37.44639; -96.63278
Liberty 39950 218 2 (5) 124 (48) 0 (0) 0.02% 37°9′3″N 96°50′31″W / 37.15083°N 96.84194°W / 37.15083; -96.84194
Maple 44450 702 8 (20) 91 (35) 0 (0) 0% 37°25′59″N 97°6′7″W / 37.43306°N 97.10194°W / 37.43306; -97.10194
Ninnescah 50625 1,114 12 (31) 93 (36) 0 (0) 0.09% 37°21′59″N 97°6′21″W / 37.36639°N 97.10583°W / 37.36639; -97.10583
Omnia 52850 357 4 (10) 93 (36) 0 (0) 0.22% 37°26′13″N 96°46′25″W / 37.43694°N 96.77361°W / 37.43694; -96.77361
Otter 53625 54 0 (1) 135 (52) 1 (0) 0.68% 37°11′25″N 96°33′0″W / 37.19028°N 96.55000°W / 37.19028; -96.55000
Pleasant Valley 56500 838 7 (18) 117 (45) 0 (0) 0.05% 37°9′45″N 97°0′0″W / 37.16250°N 97.00000°W / 37.16250; -97.00000
Richland 59275 178 2 (4) 108 (42) 0 (0) 0% 37°25′33″N 96°52′50″W / 37.42583°N 96.88056°W / 37.42583; -96.88056
Rock Creek 60525 243 3 (7) 92 (35) 1 (0) 0.55% 37°26′5″N 96°59′25″W / 37.43472°N 96.99028°W / 37.43472; -96.99028
Salem 62625 364 5 (14) 66 (26) 0 (0) 0.27% 37°20′9″N 96°53′20″W / 37.33583°N 96.88889°W / 37.33583; -96.88889
Sheridan 64650 159 2 (4) 93 (36) 0 (0) 0.01% 37°15′44″N 96°45′51″W / 37.26222°N 96.76417°W / 37.26222; -96.76417
Silver Creek 65500 770 8 (21) 93 (36) 0 (0) 0.27% 37°20′8″N 96°45′41″W / 37.33556°N 96.76139°W / 37.33556; -96.76139
Silverdale 65575 327 2 (6) 136 (53) 0 (0) 0.31% 37°3′55″N 96°52′56″W / 37.06528°N 96.88222°W / 37.06528; -96.88222
Spring Creek 67400 77 1 (2) 115 (45) 0 (0) 0.26% 37°4′31″N 96°47′10″W / 37.07528°N 96.78611°W / 37.07528; -96.78611
Tisdale 70725 340 4 (11) 78 (30) 0 (0) 0.13% 37°16′6″N 96°52′25″W / 37.26833°N 96.87361°W / 37.26833; -96.87361
Vernon 73575 502 5 (13) 102 (39) 1 (0) 0.67% 37°15′25″N 97°5′18″W / 37.25694°N 97.08833°W / 37.25694; -97.08833
Walnut 74925 626 7 (18) 89 (34) 0 (0) 0.18% 37°15′17″N 96°57′27″W / 37.25472°N 96.95750°W / 37.25472; -96.95750
Windsor 79875 211 1 (2) 243 (94) 0 (0) 0.18% 37°19′13″N 96°38′22″W / 37.32028°N 96.63944°W / 37.32028; -96.63944
Sources:

Education

Colleges

  • Cowley College
  • Southwestern College
  • St. John's College (closed in 1986)

Unified school districts

  • Central USD 462
  • Udall USD 463
  • Winfield USD 465
  • Arkansas City USD 470
  • Dexter USD 471

Notable people

See List of people from Cowley County, Kansas

General Dean Coldwell Strother was a United States Air Force four-star general who served as U.S. Military Representative, NATO Military Committee (USMILREP), from 1962 to 1965; and as Commander in Chief, North American Air Defense Command/Commander in Chief, Continental Air Defense Command (CINCNORAD/CINCONAD), from 1965 to 1966.

Robert Docking was a successful banker and mayor of Arkansas City before he became the 38th Governor of Kansas.

Several college football head coaches have passed through Winfield that have gone on to become widely recognized. Jerry Kill is the current head coach for the Minnesota Golden Gophers—he played for the Southwestern Moundbuilders under Dennis Franchione when he was head coach. Jack Mitchell went on to coach several schools including the Kansas Jayhawks. Former head coach and for the Oklahoma Sooners and College Football Hall of Fame member Bennie Owen was born in Arkansas City.

Perhaps the most famous resident of Cowley County is the fictional character Mary Ann Summers from the television show Gilligan's Island. It is said on the show that she is "employed at the Winfield General Store."

kids search engine
Cowley County, Kansas Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.