Riley County, Kansas facts for kids
Quick facts for kids
Riley County Courthouse in Manhattan (2005)
Location within the U.S. state of Kansas
Kansas's location within the U.S.
|Founded||August 25, 1855|
|Named for||Bennet C. Riley|
|• Total||622 sq mi (1,610 km2)|
|• Land||610 sq mi (1,600 km2)|
|• Water||12 sq mi (30 km2) 2.0%%|
| • Estimate
|• Density||117/sq mi (45/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−6 (Central)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−5 (CDT)|
Riley County, named for Mexican-American War general Bennet Riley, was on the western edge of the 33 original counties established by the Kansas Territorial Legislature in August 1855. For organizational purposes, Riley County initially had attached to it Geary County and all land west of Riley County, across Kansas Territory into present-day Colorado.
The first Territorial Capital of Kansas Territory was located in the boundaries of Riley County, in the former town of Pawnee. The site now falls within the boundaries of Fort Riley, a U.S. Army post.
Manhattan was selected as county seat in contentious fashion. In late 1857, an election was held to select the county seat, with Ogden prevailing. However, Manhattanites suspected election fraud, and were eventually able to prove that a number of votes were illegally cast. Sheriff David A. Butterfield was forced to secure the county's books and records for Manhattan, and Manhattan was finally officially declared the county seat in 1858.
On May 30, 1879, the "Irving, Kansas Tornado" began in Riley County. This tornado is estimated to have been an F4 on the Fujita scale, with a damage path 800 yards (700 m) wide and 100 miles (200 km) long. Eighteen people were killed and sixty were injured.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 622 square miles (1,610 km2), of which 610 square miles (1,600 km2) is land and 12 square miles (31 km2) (2.0%) is water.
The eastern border of the county follows the former course of the Big Blue River. The river was dammed in the 1960s and Tuttle Creek Lake was created as a result. The county falls within the Flint Hills region of the state.
- Marshall County (northeast)
- Pottawatomie County (east)
- Wabaunsee County (southeast)
- Geary County (south)
- Clay County (west)
- Washington County (northwest)
|U.S. Decennial Census
Riley County is part of the Manhattan, KS Metropolitan Statistical Area. Millennials (ages 15-34 years old) make up 53.6% of the population of Riley County, one of the highest rates in the United States.
Millennials (ages 15-34 years old) make up 53.6% of the population of Riley County, one of the highest rates in the United States.
As of the census of 2000, there were 62,843 people, 22,137 households, and 12,263 families residing in the county. The population density was 103 people per square mile (40/km²). There were 23,397 housing units at an average density of 38 per square mile (15/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 84.78% White, 6.88% Black or African American, 0.63% Native American, 3.22% Asian, 0.17% Pacific Islander, 1.89% from other races, and 2.43% from two or more races. 4.57% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 22,137 households out of which 27.80% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.20% were married couples living together, 6.80% had a female householder with no husband present, and 44.60% were non-families. 27.50% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.10% 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 2.99.
In the county, the population was spread out with 18.80% under the age of 18, 34.50% from 18 to 24, 25.90% from 25 to 44, 13.30% from 45 to 64, and 7.50% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 24 years. For every 100 females there were 114.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 115.40 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $32,042, and the median income for a family was $46,489. Males had a median income of $26,856 versus $23,835 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,349. About 8.50% of families and 20.60% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.20% of those under age 18 and 6.70% of those age 65 or over.
- May Day
These former places were flooded when Tuttle Creek Lake was created in the 1950s and 1960s. Randolph was also flooded, but moved a mile west of its original location.
- Garrison Cross
Located north of the junction of the Smoky Hill and Republican rivers in Geary County, Fort Riley Military Reservation covers 100,656 acres (407 km2) in Geary and Riley counties. The fort has a daytime population of nearly 25,000 and includes a census-designated place:
- Fort Riley (formerly "Fort Riley North")
Riley County is divided into fourteen townships. The city of Manhattan is considered governmentally independent and is 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.
/km² (/sq mi)
km² (sq mi)
km² (sq mi)
|Water %||Geographic coordinates|
|Ashland||02725||150||2 (4)||89 (35)||1 (0)||0.75%|
|Bala||03825||Leonardville||762||7 (18)||108 (42)||0 (0)||0.12%|
|Center||12100||81||1 (3)||82 (32)||0 (0)||0.04%|
|Fancy Creek||22950||126||2 (4)||83 (32)||0 (0)||0.07%|
|Grant||28075||833||9 (23)||92 (35)||7 (3)||7.38%|
|Jackson||34900||Randolph||326||4 (10)||84 (32)||10 (4)||10.30%|
|Madison||44125||Fort Riley CDP (part)||8,173||22 (58)||366 (141)||0 (0)||0.11%|
|Manhattan||44275||3,275||37 (95)||89 (35)||3 (1)||3.28%|
|May Day||45225||78||1 (2)||81 (31)||0 (0)||0.04%|
|Ogden||52300||Ogden||2,423||69 (178)||35 (14)||1 (0)||2.32%|
|Sherman||65075||524||7 (18)||76 (29)||5 (2)||6.06%|
|Swede Creek||69650||Cleburne (hist.)||157||1 (3)||125 (48)||4 (1)||3.00%|
|Wildcat||79175||750||10 (25)||77 (30)||0 (0)||0.10%|
|Zeandale||80900||357||2 (6)||154 (60)||2 (1)||0.97%|
Riley County, Kansas Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.