Cowley County, Kansas
|Cowley County, Kansas|
Location in the state of Kansas
Kansas's location in the U.S.
|Founded||February 26, 1867|
1,132.60 sq mi (2,933 km²)
1,126.24 sq mi (2,917 km²)
6.37 sq mi (16 km²), 0.56%
31.0/sq mi (12.0/km²)
|Time zone||Central: UTC-6/-5|
Cowley County (county code CL) is a county located in south-central Kansas, in the Central United States. As of the 2010 census, the county population was 36,311. Its county seat and most populous city is Winfield. The Winfield Micropolitan Statistical Area includes all of Cowley County.
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, with much controversy over tax exemption and environmental concerns (if a leak ever occurs). A pumping station named Rock was built.
Law and government 
Following amendment to the Kansas Constitution in 1986, the county remained a prohibition, or "dry", county until 1996, when voters approved the sale of alcoholic liquor by the individual drink without a food sales requirement.
According to the 2000 census, the county has a total area of 1,132.60 square miles (2,933.4 km2), of which 1,126.24 square miles (2,916.9 km2) (or 99.44%) is land and 6.37 square miles (16.5 km2) (or 0.56%) is water.
Adjacent counties 
- Butler County (north)
- Elk County (northeast)
- Chautauqua County (east)
- Osage County, Oklahoma (south)
- Kay County, Oklahoma (southwest)
- Sumner County (west)
- Sedgwick County (northwest)
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.
Cities and towns 
Incorporated cities 
Name and population (2006 estimate):
- Winfield, 11,741 (county seat)
- Arkansas City, 11,416
- Udall, 763
- Burden, 546
- Parkerfield, 349
- Dexter, 346
- Atlanta, 247
- Geuda Springs, 201, of which only a small portion lies in the county, the majority of the area and population being in Sumner County
- Cambridge, 99
Unincorporated places 
- Cameron City
- Dale (Seely)
- Grand Summit
- Maple City
- New Salem
- Pleasant Valley
- Rainbow Bend
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.
/km² (/sq mi)
km² (sq mi)
km² (sq mi)
|Water %||Geographic coordinates|
|Beaver||05025||244||3 (7)||92 (36)||2 (1)||1.91%|
|Bolton||07875||1,754||13 (33)||136 (53)||2 (1)||1.59%|
|Cedar||11250||44||0 (1)||119 (46)||1 (0)||0.45%|
|Creswell||16375||2,098||22 (56)||97 (38)||2 (1)||2.07%|
|Dexter||17950||506||3 (7)||185 (71)||0 (0)||0.19%|
|Fairview||22475||203||2 (6)||93 (36)||0 (0)||0.29%|
|Grant||27550||76||1 (2)||116 (45)||0 (0)||0.09%|
|Harvey||30525||117||1 (2)||162 (63)||0 (0)||0.24%|
|Liberty||39950||218||2 (5)||124 (48)||0 (0)||0.02%|
|Maple||44450||702||8 (20)||91 (35)||0 (0)||0%|
|Ninnescah||50625||1,114||12 (31)||93 (36)||0 (0)||0.09%|
|Omnia||52850||357||4 (10)||93 (36)||0 (0)||0.22%|
|Otter||53625||54||0 (1)||135 (52)||1 (0)||0.68%|
|Pleasant Valley||56500||838||7 (18)||117 (45)||0 (0)||0.05%|
|Richland||59275||178||2 (4)||108 (42)||0 (0)||0%|
|Rock Creek||60525||243||3 (7)||92 (35)||1 (0)||0.55%|
|Salem||62625||364||5 (14)||66 (26)||0 (0)||0.27%|
|Sheridan||64650||159||2 (4)||93 (36)||0 (0)||0.01%|
|Silver Creek||65500||770||8 (21)||93 (36)||0 (0)||0.27%|
|Silverdale||65575||327||2 (6)||136 (53)||0 (0)||0.31%|
|Spring Creek||67400||77||1 (2)||115 (45)||0 (0)||0.26%|
|Tisdale||70725||340||4 (11)||78 (30)||0 (0)||0.13%|
|Vernon||73575||502||5 (13)||102 (39)||1 (0)||0.67%|
|Walnut||74925||626||7 (18)||89 (34)||0 (0)||0.18%|
|Windsor||79875||211||1 (2)||243 (94)||0 (0)||0.18%|
|Sources: "Census 2000 U.S. Gazetteer Files". U.S. Census Bureau, Geography Division.|
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.
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.
The head men's and women's track and field and cross-country coach at the University of Indiana is Ron Helmer, a Southwestern College graduate. ( http://www.iuhoosiers.com/sports/w-xc/mtt/helmer_ron00.html )
1974 Winfield High School graduate Steve Steinbach was a prominent Washington, D.C., attorney for several decades, including practicing law before the United States Supreme Court and other federal courts as a partner with the Williams & Connolly law firm. He later became a history and government teacher at Washington's prestigious Sidwell Friends School, which the children of several U.S. presidents, including the incumbent, have attended. ( http://www.sidwell.edu/ )
Winfield native Karen Mueller ( http://www.karenmueller.com/ ) is a world-renowned folk musician who grew up in Cowley County. She was inducted into the Autoharp Hall of Fame in 2006.
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."
Unified school districts 
See also 
Information on this and other counties in Kansas
- List of counties in Kansas
- National Register of Historic Places listings in Kansas
- Kansas locations by per capita income
Other information for Kansas
- List of cities in Kansas
- List of unified school districts in Kansas
- List of colleges and universities in Kansas
- "2010 County Population and Housing Occupancy Status". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved March 31, 2011.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- D. A. Millington and E. P. Greer, ”History of Cowley County Kansas”., Winfield Courier, January 1, 1901 Supplement
- "William G. Cutler's, History of the State of Kansas". A. T. Andreas Press, 1883.
- Keystone Pipeline - Marion County Commission calls out Legislative Leadership on Pipeline Deal; April 18, 2010.
- Keystone Pipeline - TransCanada inspecting pipeline; December 10, 2010.
- "Map of Wet and Dry Counties". Alcoholic Beverage Control, Kansas Department of Revenue. November 2006. Retrieved 2007-12-28.
- "Census 2000 U.S. Gazetteer Files: Counties". United States Census. Retrieved 2011-02-13.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "Population Estimates". U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division. Annual estimates of the population to 2006-07-01. Released 2007-06-28.
Further reading 
- History of Cowley County Kansas; D.A. Millington / E.P. Greer; Winfield Courier; 162 pages; 1901. (Download 16MB PDF eBook)
- History of the State of Kansas; William G. Cutler; A.T. Andreas Publisher; 1883. (Online HTML eBook)
- Kansas : A Cyclopedia of State History, Embracing Events, Institutions, Industries, Counties, Cities, Towns, Prominent Persons, Etc; 3 Volumes; Frank W. Blackmar; Standard Publishing Co; 944 / 955 / 824 pages; 1912. (Volume1 - Download 54MB PDF eBook), (Volume2 - Download 53MB PDF eBook), (Volume3 - Download 33MB PDF eBook)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Cowley County, Kansas|
- Cowley County - Official Website
- Cowley County - Directory of Public Officials
- Cowley County - Information, Skyways
- Cowley County Map, KDOT
- Kansas Highway Map, KDOT
- Kansas Railroad Map, KDOT
- Kansas School District Boundary Map, KSDE
||Sedgwick County||Butler County||Elk County|
|Sumner County||Chautauqua County|
|Kay County, Oklahoma||Osage County, Oklahoma|