Smith County, Kansas facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts

Coordinates: 39°50′N 98°45′W / 39.833°N 98.75°W / 39.833; -98.75

Smith County, Kansas
Map

Location in the state of Kansas
Map of the USA highlighting Kansas
Kansas's location in the U.S.
Statistics
Founded 1872
Seat Smith Center
Largest City Smith Center
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

897 sq mi (2,323 km²)
895 sq mi (2,318 km²)
1.5 sq mi (4 km²), 0.2%
Population
 - (2010)
 - Density

3,853
4.3/sq mi (2/km²)
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5
Named for: J. Nelson Smith

Smith County (standard abbreviation: SM) is a county located in the U.S. state of Kansas. As of the 2010 census, the population was 3,853. Its county seat is Smith Center. The county is named in memory of Maj. J. Nelson Smith, who was part of the 2nd Colorado Cavalry, killed in action at the Battle of Westport on October 21, 1864.

The geographic center of the contiguous United States is located within the county, near Lebanon.

History

Early history

See also: History of Kansas

For many millennia, the Great Plains of North America was inhabited by nomadic Native Americans. From the 16th century to 18th century, the Kingdom of France claimed ownership of large parts of North America. In 1762, after the French and Indian War, France secretly ceded New France to Spain, per the Treaty of Fontainebleau.

19th century

In 1802, Spain returned most of the land to France, but keeping title to about 7,500 square miles. In 1803, most of the land for modern day Kansas was acquired by the United States from France as part of the 828,000 square mile Louisiana Purchase for 2.83 cents per acre.

In 1854, the Kansas Territory was organized, then in 1861 Kansas became the 34th U.S. state. In 1872, Smith County was established. The first homestead in Smith County was in 1871 and there were 3,800 inhabitants by 1875. The county grew to 15,000 people by 1889. Corn was the main crop at first but drought and grasshopper plagues severely hurt the crops. When hardy Winter wheat was introduced to Kansas by Russian settlers, it eventually became the predominant crop in Smith County. The population of the county has slowly declined since 1900 due in large part because of advanced farming techniques that require less human labor.

Dr. Brewster Higley wrote the song "Home on the Range" in 1871 in a cabin 8 miles north of Athol. It later became the Kansas State song.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 897 square miles (2,320 km2), of which 895 square miles (2,320 km2) is land and 1.5 square miles (3.9 km2) (0.2%) is water. The county is divided into 25 townships, each of which is listed below in the subdivisions section of this article.

The geographic center of the 48 contiguous states is located within the county, near the city of Lebanon. The geographic center of North America is located in neighboring Osborne County.

The Solomon River runs through the southern part of the county and provides a flat basin and water for irrigated crops.

Major highways

There are two major highways serving the county. The main east-west route is U.S. Highway 36, which travels through Athol, Kensington, and Smith Center. The main north-south route is U.S. Highway 281, which intersects US-36 in Smith Center. Kansas state highways K-8, K-9 and K-180 serve other areas of the county.

Adjacent counties

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1870 66
1880 13,883 20,934.8%
1890 15,613 12.5%
1900 16,384 4.9%
1910 15,365 −6.2%
1920 14,985 −2.5%
1930 13,545 −9.6%
1940 10,582 −21.9%
1950 8,846 −16.4%
1960 7,776 −12.1%
1970 6,757 −13.1%
1980 5,947 −12.0%
1990 5,078 −14.6%
2000 4,536 −10.7%
2010 3,853 −15.1%
Est. 2015 3,704 −3.9%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2013
USA Smith County, Kansas age pyramid
Age pyramid

As of the census of 2000, there were 4,536 people, 1,953 households, and 1,322 families residing in the county. The population density was 5 people per square mile (2/km²). There were 2,326 housing units at an average density of 3 per square mile (1/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 98.79% White, 0.11% Black or African American, 0.24% Native American, 0.04% Asian, 0.11% Pacific Islander, 0.22% from other races, and 0.49% from two or more races. 0.73% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 1,953 households out of which 25.60% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.60% were married couples living together, 4.70% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.30% were non-families. 30.20% of all households were made up of individuals and 18.60% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.27 and the average family size was 2.78.

In the county, the population was spread out with 21.70% under the age of 18, 4.70% from 18 to 24, 22.10% from 25 to 44, 23.60% from 45 to 64, and 27.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 46 years. For every 100 females there were 92.70 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.40 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $28,486, and the median income for a family was $36,951. Males had a median income of $25,089 versus $18,608 for females. The per capita income for the county was $14,983. About 8.80% of families and 10.70% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.80% of those under age 18 and 9.50% of those age 65 or over.

The population distribution by township is as follows according to the 2000 census: Banner 54; Beaver 60; Blaine 60; Cedar 619; Center 2,094; Cora 38; Crystal Plains 40; Dor 46; Garfield 33; German 34; Harlan 100; Harvey 130; Houston 206; Lane 134; Lincoln 73; Logan 47; Martin 24; Oak 399; Pawnee 35; Pleasant 34; Swan 42; Valley 75; Washington 63; Webster 47; White Rock 49.

Communities

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

Cities

Unincorporated communities

Townships

Smith County is divided into twenty-five townships. None of the cities within the county are considered governmentally independent, and all figures for the townships include those of the cities. 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.

Sources: 2000 U.S. Gazetteer from the U.S. Census Bureau.
Township FIPS Population
center
Population Population
density
/km² (/sq mi)
Land area
km² (sq mi)
Water area
km² (sq mi)
Water % Geographic coordinates
Banner 04100 54 0.58 (1.50) 93.29 (36.02) 0 (0) 0% 39°42′3″N 98°47′13″W / 39.70083°N 98.78694°W / 39.70083; -98.78694
Beaver 05200 60 0.65 (1.67) 92.89 (35.86) 0.27 (0.10) 0.29% 39°56′50″N 98°46′34″W / 39.94722°N 98.77611°W / 39.94722; -98.77611
Blaine 07200 60 0.64 (1.67) 93.24 (36.00) 0.04 (0.01) 0.04% 39°47′20″N 98°40′48″W / 39.78889°N 98.68°W / 39.78889; -98.68
Cedar 11350 Kensington 619 6.68 (17.29) 92.71 (35.80) 0.08 (0.03) 0.09% 39°46′10″N 99°1′50″W / 39.76944°N 99.03056°W / 39.76944; -99.03056
Center 12175 Smith Center 2,094 22.48 (58.22) 93.15 (35.97) 0.04 (0.02) 0.05% 39°46′47″N 98°47′7″W / 39.77972°N 98.78528°W / 39.77972; -98.78528
Cora 15525 38 0.41 (1.06) 92.96 (35.89) 0.17 (0.06) 0.18% 39°52′45″N 98°40′7″W / 39.87917°N 98.66861°W / 39.87917; -98.66861
Crystal Plains 16575 40 0.43 (1.11) 93.00 (35.91) 0.05 (0.02) 0.05% 39°41′27″N 98°40′52″W / 39.69083°N 98.68111°W / 39.69083; -98.68111
Dor 18300 46 0.50 (1.29) 92.55 (35.73) 0.30 (0.11) 0.32% 39°37′33″N 99°0′4″W / 39.62583°N 99.00111°W / 39.62583; -99.00111
Garfield 25825 33 0.35 (0.92) 92.96 (35.89) 0.04 (0.02) 0.04% 39°35′48″N 98°40′21″W / 39.59667°N 98.6725°W / 39.59667; -98.6725
German 26150 34 0.37 (0.96) 91.78 (35.44) 0.27 (0.10) 0.29% 39°56′41″N 99°0′39″W / 39.94472°N 99.01083°W / 39.94472; -99.01083
Harlan 30100 100 1.07 (2.78) 93.03 (35.92) 0.05 (0.02) 0.05% 39°36′25″N 98°46′42″W / 39.60694°N 98.77833°W / 39.60694; -98.77833
Harvey 30550 Cedar 130 1.40 (3.63) 92.86 (35.85) 0.00 (0.00) 0% 39°41′10″N 98°55′32″W / 39.68611°N 98.92556°W / 39.68611; -98.92556
Houston 33225 Gaylord 206 2.22 (5.74) 92.94 (35.88) 0.14 (0.05) 0.15% 39°37′38″N 98°52′12″W / 39.62722°N 98.87°W / 39.62722; -98.87
Lane 38450 Athol 134 1.44 (3.73) 92.98 (35.90) 0.03 (0.01) 0.04% 39°46′49″N 98°53′30″W / 39.78028°N 98.89167°W / 39.78028; -98.89167
Lincoln 41200 73 0.79 (2.04) 92.80 (35.83) 0.15 (0.06) 0.16% 39°36′13″N 98°33′23″W / 39.60361°N 98.55639°W / 39.60361; -98.55639
Logan 42275 47 0.51 (1.32) 92.50 (35.72) 0.14 (0.05) 0.15% 39°57′5″N 98°34′4″W / 39.95139°N 98.56778°W / 39.95139; -98.56778
Martin 45000 24 0.26 (0.67) 92.49 (35.71) 0.25 (0.10) 0.27% 39°56′40″N 98°54′21″W / 39.94444°N 98.90583°W / 39.94444; -98.90583
Oak 51650 Lebanon 399 4.30 (11.13) 92.88 (35.86) 0.07 (0.03) 0.07% 39°48′10″N 98°33′29″W / 39.80278°N 98.55806°W / 39.80278; -98.55806
Pawnee 54825 35 0.38 (0.98) 92.13 (35.57) 0.41 (0.16) 0.44% 39°57′7″N 98°39′50″W / 39.95194°N 98.66389°W / 39.95194; -98.66389
Pleasant 56300 34 0.37 (0.95) 92.69 (35.79) 0.05 (0.02) 0.05% 39°51′28″N 98°54′28″W / 39.85778°N 98.90778°W / 39.85778; -98.90778
Swan 69625 42 0.46 (1.18) 92.00 (35.52) 0.23 (0.09) 0.25% 39°52′56″N 99°1′12″W / 39.88222°N 99.02°W / 39.88222; -99.02
Valley 73175 75 0.81 (2.09) 92.82 (35.84) 0.015 (0.006) 0.02% 39°41′28″N 98°59′59″W / 39.69111°N 98.99972°W / 39.69111; -98.99972
Washington 75775 63 0.68 (1.76) 92.87 (35.86) 0 (0) 0% 39°52′54″N 98°46′24″W / 39.88167°N 98.77333°W / 39.88167; -98.77333
Webster 76275 47 0.51 (1.31) 92.76 (35.82) 0.02 (0.01) 0.02% 39°42′27″N 98°34′8″W / 39.7075°N 98.56889°W / 39.7075; -98.56889
White Rock 78000 49 0.53 (1.37) 92.88 (35.86) 0.04 (0.02) 0.04% 39°52′37″N 98°33′5″W / 39.87694°N 98.55139°W / 39.87694; -98.55139

Smith County, Kansas Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.