Morris County, Kansas
|Morris County, Kansas|
Location in the state of Kansas
Kansas's location in the U.S.
|Founded||February 11, 1859|
|Named for||Thomas Morris|
|Largest city||Council Grove|
|• Total||702.84 sq mi (1,820 km2)|
|• Land||697.38 sq mi (1,806 km2)|
|• Water||5.46 sq mi (14 km2), 0.78%|
|• Density||8.7/sq mi (3.3/km²)|
|Time zone||Central: UTC-6/-5|
Morris County (standard abbreviation: MR) is a county located in the U.S. state of Kansas. As of the 2010 census, the county population was 5,923. The largest city and county seat is Council Grove.
- 1 History
- 2 Law and government
- 3 Geography
- 4 Demographics
- 5 Cities and towns
- 6 Townships
- 7 Education
- 8 See also
- 9 Further reading
- 10 References
- 11 External links
Council Grove, established by European Americans in 1825, was an important supply station on the Santa Fe Trail. The town was also the site of an encampment by John C. Fremont in 1845 and in 1849 the Overland Mail established a supply headquarters there.
The county was originally organized as Wise County in 1855. The county was named for Virginia Governor Henry A. Wise. When Wise presided over the hanging of abolitionist John Brown at Harpers Ferry in 1859, abolition supporters renamed it to Morris County in honor of Thomas Morris, a former United States Senator from Ohio who was an opponent of slavery.
From 1846 to 1873, a Kaw Indian Reservation was centered around Council Grove, Kansas on 20 square miles of land. In 1851, the Methodist Church established an Indian Mission in Morris County.
Between 1877 and 1879, Benjamin "Pap" Singleton, a former slave who escaped to freedom in 1846, staked out a settlement in Morris County for freedmen known as "Exodusters". Thousands of families migrated from the post-Reconstruction South to seek more opportunities and better living conditions in the Midwest.
In 1887, the Chicago, Kansas and Nebraska Railway built a main line from Topeka to Herington. This main line connected Topeka, Valencia, Willard, Maple Hill, Vera, Paxico, McFarland, Alma, Volland, Alta Vista, Dwight, White City, Latimer, Herington. The Chicago, Kansas and Nebraska Railway was foreclosed in 1891 and taken over by Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railway, which shut down in 1980 and reorganized as Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas Railroad, merged in 1988 with Missouri Pacific Railroad, merged in 1997 with Union Pacific Railroad. Most locals still refer to this railroad as the "Rock Island".
In 1887, Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway built a branch line from Neva (3 miles west of Strong City) to Superior, Nebraska. This branch line connected Strong City, Neva, Rockland, Diamond Springs, Burdick, Lost Springs, Jacobs, Hope, Navarre, Enterprise, Abilene, Talmage, Manchester, Longford, Oak Hill, Miltonvale, Aurora, Huscher, Concordia, Kackley, Courtland, Webber, Superior. At some point, the line from Neva to Lost Springs was pulled but the right of way has not been abandoned. This branch line was originally called "Strong City and Superior line" but later the name was shortened to the "Strong City line". In 1996, the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway merged with Burlington Northern Railroad and renamed to the current BNSF Railway.
Law and government
Following amendment to the Kansas Constitution in 1986, the county remained a prohibition, or "dry", county until 1992, when voters approved the sale of alcoholic liquor by the individual drink with a 30% food sales requirement.
According to the 2000 census, the county has a total area of 702.84 square miles (1,820.3 km2), of which 697.38 square miles (1,806.2 km2) (or 99.22%) is land and 5.46 square miles (14.1 km2) (or 0.78%) is water.
- Geary County (north)
- Wabaunsee County (northeast)
- Lyon County (southeast)
- Chase County (south)
- Marion County (southwest)
- Dickinson County (west)
As of the census of 2000, there were 6,104 people, 2,539 households, and 1,777 families residing in the county. The population density was 9 people per square mile (3/km²). There were 3,160 housing units at an average density of 4 per square mile (2/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 97.49% White, 0.34% Black or African American, 0.33% Native American, 0.23% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.70% from other races, and 0.88% from two or more races. 2.23% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 2,539 households out of which 30.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.70% were married couples living together, 6.60% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.00% were non-families. 28.00% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.90% 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 2.90.
In the county the population was spread out with 25.20% under the age of 18, 5.60% from 18 to 24, 23.90% from 25 to 44, 24.30% from 45 to 64, and 21.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females there were 97.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.30 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $32,163, and the median income for a family was $39,717. Males had a median income of $28,912 versus $21,239 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,491. About 6.70% of families and 9.00% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.40% of those under age 18 and 13.30% of those age 65 or over.
Cities and towns
Name and population (2004 estimate):
- Council Grove, 2,253
- White City, 492
- Dwight, 328
- Wilsey, 189
- Dunlap, 81
- Parkerville, 72
- Latimer, 21
- Less than 1 km2 (0 sq mi) of Herington (pop. 2,469) is within the county border with the majority of the city in Dickinson County.
- Skiddy, the unincorporated hamlet of Skiddy lies less than one mile south of the Geary County line in north central Morris County.
Morris County is divided into eleven townships. The cities of Council Grove and Herington 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|
|Highland||31975||94||1 (3)||93 (36)||0 (0)||0.03%|
|Overland||53750||60||1 (2)||88 (34)||0 (0)||0.01%|
|Township 1||71202||551||2 (4)||356 (138)||1 (0)||0.28%|
|Township 2||71206||688||3 (7)||270 (104)||12 (5)||4.37%|
|Township 3||71210||503||5 (12)||109 (42)||0 (0)||0.06%|
|Township 4||71214||252||2 (4)||155 (60)||0 (0)||0.02%|
|Township 5||71218||686||7 (19)||93 (36)||0 (0)||0.02%|
|Township 6||71222||111||1 (4)||78 (30)||0 (0)||0.18%|
|Township 7||71227||258||2 (4)||170 (66)||0 (0)||0.10%|
|Township 8||71232||212||1 (3)||186 (72)||0 (0)||0.08%|
|Township 9||71237||368||2 (5)||202 (78)||0 (0)||0.08%|
Unified school districts
- USD 417, Morris County
- USD 481, Rural Vista
- District Office In Neighboring County
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
- Morris County
- The Story of Council Grove on the Santa Fe Trail; 2nd Ed; Lalla Maloy Brigham; 176 pages; 1921. (Download 16MB PDF eBook)
- Standard Atlas of Morris County, Kansas; Geo. A. Ogle & Co; 63 pages; 1923.
- Standard Atlas of Morris County, Kansas; Geo. A. Ogle & Co; 53 pages; 1901.
- 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)
- The Story of the Marking of the Santa Fe Trail by the Daughters of the American Revolution in Kansas and the State of Kansas; Almira Cordry; Crane Co; 164 pages; 1915. (Download 4MB PDF eBook)
- The National Old Trails Road To Southern California, Part 1 (LA to KC); Automobile Club Of Southern California; 64 pages; 1916. (Download 6.8MB PDF eBook)
- "2010 County Population and Housing Occupancy Status". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved March 31, 2011.
- Morris County History; legendsofkansas.com
- Rock Island Rail History
- "Map of Wet and Dry Counties". Alcoholic Beverage Control, Kansas Department of Revenue. November 2006. Retrieved 2007-12-26.
- "Census 2000 U.S. Gazetteer Files: Counties". United States Census. Retrieved 2011-02-13.
- U.S. County 2012 Estimated Census; census.gov
- U.S. Decennial Census; census.gov
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- Blackmar, Frank Wilson (1912). Kansas: A Cyclopedia of State History, Embracing Events, Institutions, Industries, Counties, Cities, Towns, Prominent Persons, Etc.. Standard Publishing Company. p. 517.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Morris County, Kansas.|
- Morris County - Official Website
- Morris County - Directory of Public Officials
- Morris County - Information, Skyways
- Morris County Maps: Current, Historic Collection
- Kansas Highway Maps: Current, Historic Collection
- Kansas Railroad Maps: Current, 1915-1918
- Kansas School District Maps: Current
||Geary County||Wabaunsee County|
|Marion County||Chase County||Lyon County|