Douglas County, Kansas

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Douglas County, Kansas
Douglas county kansas courthouse.jpg
Douglas County Courthouse in Lawrence
Map of Kansas highlighting Douglas County
Location in the state of Kansas
Map of the United States highlighting Kansas
Kansas's location in the U.S.
Founded August 25, 1855
Named for Stephen A. Douglas
Seat Lawrence
Largest city Lawrence
Area
 • Total 474.47 sq mi (1,229 km2)
 • Land 456.87 sq mi (1,183 km2)
 • Water 17.60 sq mi (46 km2), 3.71%
Population (Est.)
 • (2012) 112,864
 • Density 254.7/sq mi (98/km²)
Congressional district 2nd
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5
Website www.douglas-county.com

Coordinates: 38°52′N 95°14′W / 38.867°N 95.233°W / 38.867; -95.233

Douglas County (county code DG) is a county located in northeast Kansas, in the Central United States. As of the 2010 census, the county population was 110,826.[1] Its county seat and most populous city is Lawrence.[2]

Douglas County is included in the Lawrence, Kansas Metropolitan Statistical Area.

History[edit]

Douglas County was opened for settlement on May 15, 1854, and was named for Stephen A. Douglas,[3] a senator from Illinois. The county was practically at the center of the Bleeding Kansas years as leaders in Lecompton, the territorial capital, wanted Kansas to be a slave state and leaders in Lawrence wanted Kansas to be a free state. Because of this, multiple events took place, including the drafting of the Lecompton Constitution admitting Kansas as a slave state, the sacking of Lawrence, and the Battle of Black Jack.[citation needed]

The first railroad in Douglas County, the Union Pacific, was built through that territory in 1864.[4]

Government[edit]

Douglas County is currently served by county commissioners Mike Gaughan, Nancy Thellman, and Jim Flory.[5]

Democratic state representatives of the county include John Wilson (10th District), Barbara Ballard (44th District), and Paul Davis (46th District); Republican state representatives include Connie O'Brien (42nd District), Tom Sloan (45th District) and Ken Corbet (54th District). The three state senators representing the county, Marci Francisco (2nd District), Tom Holland (3rd District), and Anthony Hensley (19th District), are all Democrats.[6]

Geography[edit]

According to the 2000 census, the county has a total area of 474.47 square miles (1,228.9 km2), of which 456.87 square miles (1,183.3 km2) (or 96.29%) is land and 17.60 square miles (45.6 km2) (or 3.71%) is water.[7] Much of its northern boundary is defined by the Kansas River, which flows through Lawrence and provides hydropower at the Bowersock Dam.

Townships[edit]

Douglas County is divided into nine townships. The city of Lawrence 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) of significant size included in that township's population total.

Township FIPS Population
center
Population Population
density
/km² (/sq mi)
Land area
km² (sq mi)
Water area
km² (sq mi)
Water % Geographic coordinates
Clinton 14325 531 7 (17) 80 (31) 26 (10) 24.41% 38°54′18″N 95°24′20″W / 38.90500°N 95.40556°W / 38.90500; -95.40556
Eudora 21700 Eudora 5,571 43 (113) 128 (49) 2 (1) 1.57% 38°55′42″N 95°6′15″W / 38.92833°N 95.10417°W / 38.92833; -95.10417
Grant 27650 442 10 (27) 43 (16) 0 (0) 0.74% 39°0′8″N 95°13′19″W / 39.00222°N 95.22194°W / 39.00222; -95.22194
Kanwaka 36075 1,317 12 (30) 114 (44) 8 (3) 6.69% 38°57′37″N 95°23′16″W / 38.96028°N 95.38778°W / 38.96028; -95.38778
Lecompton 39175 Lecompton 1,761 20 (51) 90 (35) 2 (1) 2.45% 39°2′31″N 95°24′27″W / 39.04194°N 95.40750°W / 39.04194; -95.40750
Marion 44700 836 5 (12) 185 (72) 1 (0) 0.52% 38°49′4″N 95°24′35″W / 38.81778°N 95.40972°W / 38.81778; -95.40972
Palmyra 54225 Baldwin City 5,760 27 (70) 212 (82) 2 (1) 0.79% 38°47′0″N 95°10′40″W / 38.78333°N 95.17778°W / 38.78333; -95.17778
Wakarusa 74400 2,237 19 (49) 119 (46) 2 (1) 1.81% 38°55′49″N 95°14′43″W / 38.93028°N 95.24528°W / 38.93028; -95.24528
Willow Springs 79500 1,409 10 (26) 141 (54) 1 (0) 0.54% 38°47′23″N 95°18′17″W / 38.78972°N 95.30472°W / 38.78972; -95.30472
Sources: "Census 2000 U.S. Gazetteer Files". U.S. Census Bureau, Geography Division. 

Historic Townships[edit]

Map of Douglas County, 1889. From History of Kansas.
2005 KDOT Map of Douglas County (map legend)

The county originally had only four townships. Lecompton comprised the area of Lecompton, Kanwaka, and Clinton townships; Washington took the place of Marion and Willow Springs townships; Wakarusa comprised both Wakarusa and Eudora townships; and Calhoun was the original name of Palmyra township. Grant township was annexed from Jefferson County in 1874.

Adjacent counties[edit]

Major highways[edit]

  • Interstate 70, as part of the Kansas Turnpike, runs east to west just north of Lawrence.
  • U.S. Highway 59 runs north to south through the middle of the county and the middle of Lawrence.
  • U.S. Highway 40 virtually follows the Oregon Trail heading west out of Lawrence.
  • U.S. Highway 56 runs east to west in the southern half of the county, going through Baldwin City and skirts the Santa Fe Trail.
  • K-10 runs from the I-70 Lecompton Exchange along the south and west border of Lawrence to US-59 then north until 23rd Street where it heads east out of town into Johnson County.
  • Other major highways include: US-24 which is in Grant township leading from Leavenworth to Jefferson County; K-32 starts just outside of Lawrence and leads into Leavenworth County and K-33 is in extreme southeast Douglas County and leads into Franklin County.

County Highways[edit]

Douglas County also maintains an extensive network of county highways to serve the rural areas of the county. None of these county highways is in the Lawrence city limits.

Parks and Events[edit]

Clinton Lake, completed in 1980, offers boating, fishing and other water sports and various parks surrounding the lake provides camping and trails for mountain biking, hiking and horseback riding.[8]

Lone Star Lake is a small country lake to the southwest of Lawrence offers fishing, boating and camping. Just northwest of Baldwin City is Douglas State Fishing Lake which provides hunting, fishing and limited camping. Other parks around the county include Black Jack Park which includes the Ivan Boyd Prairie Preserve and Robert Hall Pearson Memorial Park, Broken Arrow Park in Lawrence and Wells Overlook Park just south of Lawrence.[9]

Other events in the county include the Maple Leaf Festival in Baldwin City every third full weekend in October.[10] Lecompton's Territorial Days take place every year in June[11] and Lawrence has many parades throughout the year including Christmas and St. Patrick's Day.[12][13]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 8,637
1870 20,592 138.4%
1880 21,700 5.4%
1890 23,961 10.4%
1900 25,096 4.7%
1910 24,724 −1.5%
1920 23,998 −2.9%
1930 25,143 4.8%
1940 25,171 0.1%
1950 34,086 35.4%
1960 43,720 28.3%
1970 57,932 32.5%
1980 67,640 16.8%
1990 81,798 20.9%
2000 99,962 22.2%
2010 110,826 10.9%
Est. 2012 112,864 [14] 1.8%
U.S. Decennial Census[15]
2012 estimate

As of the 2000 census,[16] there were 99,962 people, 38,486 households, and 21,167 families residing in the county. The population density was 219 people per square mile (84/km²). There were 40,250 housing units at an average density of 88 per square mile (34/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 86.1% White, 4.2% Black or African American, 2.6% Native American, 3.1% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 1.2% from other races, and 2.7% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.3% of the population.

There were 38,486 households out of which 27.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.1% were married couples living together, 8.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 45.0% were non-families. 28.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.37 and the average family size was 2.97.

In the county the population was spread out with 20.4% under the age of 18, 26.4% from 18 to 24, 28.3% from 25 to 44, 16.9% from 45 to 64, and 7.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 27 years. For every 100 females there were 98.70 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.70 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $37,547, and the median income for a family was $53,991. Males had a median income of $35,577 versus $27,225 for females. The per capita income for the county was $19,952. About 6.2% of families and 15.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.0% of those under age 18 and 7.3% of those age 65 or over.

Cities and towns[edit]

Incorporated cities[edit]

Name and population (2010 census):

Unincorporated places[edit]

Education[edit]

Scenic view of Rural Douglas County

Unified school districts[edit]

Douglas County is served by seven school districts.

Universities and Colleges[edit]

The University of Kansas's main campus is located in Lawrence as is Haskell Indian Nations University. Baker University, the state's oldest university, is located in Baldwin City.

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]

Information on this and other counties in Kansas

Other information for Kansas

References[edit]

  1. ^ "2010 County Population and Housing Occupancy Status". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved March 31, 2011. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. p. 108. 
  4. ^ Blackmar, Frank Wilson (1912). Kansas: A Cyclopedia of State History, Embracing Events, Institutions, Industries, Counties, Cities, Towns, Prominent Persons, Etc.. Standard Publishing Company. p. 539. 
  5. ^ Douglas County - Board of Commissioners
  6. ^ Douglas County - State Officials
  7. ^ "Census 2000 U.S. Gazetteer Files: Counties". United States Census. Retrieved 2011-02-13. 
  8. ^ http://www.nwk.usace.army.mil/CL/
  9. ^ http://douglas-county.org/depts/pw/pw_countyparks.aspx?category_id=
  10. ^ http://baldwincity.org/community/mapleleaf/
  11. ^ http://www.lecomptonterritorialdays.com/
  12. ^ http://lawrencestpatricksdayparade.com/
  13. ^ http://www.lawrencechristmasparade.org/
  14. ^ U.S. County 2012 Estimated Census; census.gov
  15. ^ U.S. Decennial Census; census.gov
  16. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 

Further reading[edit]

County
  • Armitage, Katie H., “‘Seeking a Home Where He Himself Is Free’: African Americans Build a Community in Douglas County, Kansas,” Kansas History, 31 (Autumn 2008), 154–75
State

External links[edit]

Maps