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Erie, Kansas
Beantown USA
Location within Neosho County and Kansas
Location within Neosho County and Kansas
KDOT map of Neosho County (legend)
Country United States
State Kansas
County Neosho
Platted 1866
Incorporated 1869
 • Type Mayor-council
 • Total 1.27 sq mi (3.28 km2)
 • Land 1.27 sq mi (3.28 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
896 ft (273 m)
 • Total 1,150
 • Estimate 
 • Density 857.26/sq mi (331.03/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code 620
FIPS code 20-21500
GNIS ID 475122

Erie is a city in and the county seat of Neosho County, Kansas, United States, and situated in the valley of the Neosho River, about a mile Northeast of the river. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 1,150.


A settlement named "Erie", later referred to as "Old Erie" and "Beantown USA", was platted 2 miles (3.2 km) northwest of the present townsite, while another community, known as Crawfordsville, was started two miles northeast of the current site. In 1866, the proprietors of these two towns made a compromise to abandon the towns and combine with the settlement at the present Erie site. Four men gave 40 acres each, that butted together, out of their 160 acre shares, to create the city plat of Erie. These men were: David W. Bray, Luther Puckett, John F. Himmelwright and Peter Walter. In November of that year the Erie Town Company was formed. Each member of this company donated forty acres of land in the center of Section 32, Township 28, Range 20 east. Each member was to buy city plots and improve them.

Erie's first fire company was established in November 1866; its charter members were those men who had donated the land on which the community was built. The first log home in Erie was built in 1866, while the first businesses were built in the following year. By 1883, the city had two general stores, two blacksmith shops, one drug store, two hotels, one newspaper office, two churches, and a population of about 300.

Erie was incorporated on December 25, 1869. On December 30, the trustees met and declared Erie to be a city of the 3rd class.

In 1872, Erie was designated the county seat of Neosho County, defeating "Osage Mission" (later renamed Saint Paul) in a contentious election. After a lawsuit reached the Kansas Supreme Court, Erie retained the position of county seat.


Erie is located at 37°34′7″N 95°14′33″W / 37.56861°N 95.24250°W / 37.56861; -95.24250 (37.568548, -95.242562). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.21 square miles (3.13 km2), all of it land.


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


Historical population
Census Pop.
1870 418
1880 270 −35.4%
1890 1,176 335.6%
1900 1,111 −5.5%
1910 1,300 17.0%
1920 1,167 −10.2%
1930 1,184 1.5%
1940 1,286 8.6%
1950 1,296 0.8%
1960 1,309 1.0%
1970 1,414 8.0%
1980 1,415 0.1%
1990 1,276 −9.8%
2000 1,211 −5.1%
2010 1,150 −5.0%
2019 (est.) 1,087 −5.5%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 1,150 people, 463 households, and 312 families residing in the city. The population density was 950.4 inhabitants per square mile (367.0/km2). There were 540 housing units at an average density of 446.3 per square mile (172.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 96.4% White, 0.3% African American, 1.1% Native American, 0.1% Asian, 1.3% from other races, and 0.8% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.6% of the population.

There were 463 households, of which 30.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.1% were married couples living together, 6.9% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.4% had a male householder with no wife present, and 32.6% were non-families. 28.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 17.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.42 and the average family size was 2.89.

The median age in the city was 41.5 years. 24.9% of residents were under the age of 18; 8% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 20.9% were from 25 to 44; 25.5% were from 45 to 64; and 20.5% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 49.6% male and 50.4% female.

Extension service

On July 1, 2010, the Neosho County Extension Service joined with the Allen County Extension Service to form the Southwind Extension District, headquartered in Erie. The Extension Service's mission is to help country residents with questions about their lawn and garden, crops and livestock, health and nutrition and family living. In addition the Extension Service sponsors youth development through the 4-H program. The Extension program is jointly administered by Kansas State University Research and Extension and the joint Extension Board, with members from both Neosho and Allen Counties.

The Neosho County Fair, held at the fairgrounds in Erie, is also generally held around the third week of July. This includes entries from 4-H and FFA members and also open class entries from residents in the community. The Neosho County Fair is operated by Neosho County Extension Service and the Neosho County Fair Association, a 501(c)(5) non-profit corporation founded in 1956.

Old Soldiers and Sailors Reunion

Erie is famous for its annual Old Soldiers and Sailors Reunion held during the second full week of July, including the annual Free Bean Feed. This reunion has been conducted continuously since 1873 and is claimed to be the oldest consecutively running Old Soldiers and Sailors Reunion in the country.

Salt pork and navy beans were a staple food for soldiers in the Civil War. So it was natural to serve kettles of beans during these reunions. Soon it became a tradition. Now over 1,400 pounds of beans are cooked in more than 50 iron kettles on the Courthouse lawn by the American Legion Post. Other events include the Rodeo held on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings during Reunion Week. The Old Soldiers and Sailors Reunion culminates on Friday night when Mainstreet Memories brings in Country and Western Recording Artists from Nashville each year.

Recipe for the Erie Bean Feed
  • 1,400 pounds of Great Northern navy beans
  • 125 pounds of bacon
  • 50 pounds of onions
  • Water, as needed
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • At 7 am -- Hang 53 cast-iron kettles on cooking racks. Wash and divide beans among kettles. Add water and other ingredients.
  • At 11 am -- Ignite wood kindling underneath the kettles. Add wood as needed.
  • At 6 pm -- Serve and enjoy.


The Unified School District 101 (USD 101) serves Erie, Galesburg, Stark and rural Parsons in Neosho County. On September 18, 2007 the district passed a $21.9 million bond issue. They built a new green high school in Erie which opened for classes in the Fall 2010 semester. In addition, they have rebuilt the old high school into a grade school facility and added a new gym at Galesburg Middle School. The mascot for Erie High School is the Red Devil. The mascot for Galesburg Middle School is the Timber Wolf.

The demolition of the old Erie Grade and Middle School brick building began in May 2013 and lasted into July, with the Amish assisting.

See also

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