Elk County, Kansas

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Elk County
Pratt Truss Bridge near Elk Falls (2015)
Map of Kansas highlighting Elk County
Location within the U.S. state of Kansas
Map of the United States highlighting Kansas
Kansas's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: Coordinates: 37°27′N 96°14′W / 37.450°N 96.233°W / 37.450; -96.233
Country United States
State Kansas
FoundedMarch 25, 1875
Named forElk River
SeatHoward
Largest cityHoward
Area
 • Total650 sq mi (1,700 km2)
 • Land644 sq mi (1,670 km2)
 • Water6.2 sq mi (16 km2)  1.0%%
Population
 • Total2,483
 • Density3.9/sq mi (1.5/km2)
Time zoneUTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
Area code620
Congressional district4th
Websiteelkcountyks.org

Elk County (county code EK) is a county located in the U.S. state of Kansas. As of the 2020 census, the county population was 2,483.[1] Its county seat and most populous city is Howard.[2]

History[edit]

Early history[edit]

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[edit]

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, after first serving as an area to relocate Native American tribes from the east, the United States organized Kansas Territory. In 1861, Kansas was admitted as the 34th U.S. state. The area that today is Elk County was, for a brief period, reserved to the Osage Indians as hunting grounds for buffalo and other game. In 1867, when Howard County was formed, it encompassed both present day Elk and Chautauqua counties. Disputes over county seats caused a division.[3] In 1875, Elk County was established, named for the Elk River.[4]

The first railroad in Elk County was built in 1879.[5] It connected cattle ranches and farms to eastern markets.

Geography[edit]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 650 square miles (1,700 km2), of which 644 square miles (1,670 km2) is land and 6.2 square miles (16 km2) (1.0%) is water.[6]

Adjacent counties[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
188010,623
189012,21615.0%
190011,443−6.3%
191010,128−11.5%
19209,034−10.8%
19309,2101.9%
19408,180−11.2%
19506,679−18.3%
19605,048−24.4%
19703,858−23.6%
19803,9181.6%
19903,327−15.1%
20003,261−2.0%
20102,882−11.6%
20202,483−13.8%
U.S. Decennial Census[7]
1790-1960[8] 1900-1990[9]
1990-2000[10] 2010-2020[1]

As of the 2000 census,[11] there were 3,261 people, 1,412 households, and 923 families residing in the county. The population density was 5 people per square mile (2/km2). There were 1,860 housing units at an average density of 3 per square mile (1/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 95.06% White, 0.21% Black or African American, 0.95% Native American, 0.18% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 1.20% from other races, and 2.33% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.18% of the population.

There were 1,412 households, out of which 24.40% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.00% were married couples living together, 6.10% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.60% were non-families. 32.90% 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 2.25 and the average family size was 2.84.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 22.50% under the age of 18, 5.80% from 18 to 24, 20.00% from 25 to 44, 26.50% from 45 to 64, and 25.30% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 46 years. For every 100 females there were 91.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.70 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $27,267, and the median income for a family was $34,148. Males had a median income of $28,580 versus $16,219 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,066. About 9.20% of families and 13.80% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.80% of those under age 18 and 15.00% of those age 65 or over.

Government[edit]

Presidential elections[edit]

United States presidential election results for Elk County, Kansas[12]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 1,140 83.76% 195 14.33% 26 1.91%
2016 1,048 83.24% 160 12.71% 51 4.05%
2012 1,049 76.63% 281 20.53% 39 2.85%
2008 1,042 72.66% 363 25.31% 29 2.02%
2004 1,119 73.86% 369 24.36% 27 1.78%
2000 1,080 69.68% 402 25.94% 68 4.39%
1996 933 56.79% 488 29.70% 222 13.51%
1992 748 42.94% 485 27.84% 509 29.22%
1988 1,075 63.01% 608 35.64% 23 1.35%
1984 1,301 72.89% 452 25.32% 32 1.79%
1980 1,280 69.68% 482 26.24% 75 4.08%
1976 1,087 54.84% 865 43.64% 30 1.51%
1972 1,522 76.02% 428 21.38% 52 2.60%
1968 1,327 64.64% 503 24.50% 223 10.86%
1964 1,267 55.74% 994 43.73% 12 0.53%
1960 1,830 68.46% 823 30.79% 20 0.75%
1956 1,909 69.90% 812 29.73% 10 0.37%
1952 2,380 76.38% 717 23.01% 19 0.61%
1948 1,962 63.80% 1,087 35.35% 26 0.85%
1944 2,283 70.33% 954 29.39% 9 0.28%
1940 2,774 64.77% 1,478 34.51% 31 0.72%
1936 2,355 53.24% 2,059 46.55% 9 0.20%
1932 1,746 43.04% 2,239 55.19% 72 1.77%
1928 3,007 77.50% 831 21.42% 42 1.08%
1924 2,443 64.26% 1,104 29.04% 255 6.71%
1920 2,253 65.27% 1,110 32.16% 89 2.58%
1916 1,769 43.94% 2,053 50.99% 204 5.07%
1912 605 24.09% 971 38.67% 935 37.24%
1908 1,454 54.11% 1,187 44.18% 46 1.71%
1904 1,713 67.47% 706 27.81% 120 4.73%
1900 1,632 55.21% 1,311 44.35% 13 0.44%
1896 1,339 47.57% 1,464 52.01% 12 0.43%
1892 1,235 47.19% 0 0.00% 1,382 52.81%
1888 1,566 53.70% 696 23.87% 654 22.43%


Laws[edit]

The Kansas Constitution was amended in 1986 to allow the sale of alcoholic liquor by the individual drink, with approval by voters. Elk County voters have chosen to remain a prohibition, or "dry", county.[13]

Education[edit]

Unified school districts[edit]

Communities[edit]

2005 KDOT Map of Elk County (map legend)

Cities[edit]

Unincorporated communities[edit]

Ghost towns[edit]

Townships[edit]

Elk County is divided into ten townships. None of the cities within the county is designated as governmentally independent. All population 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.

Township FIPS Population
center
Population Population
density
/km2 (/sq mi)
Land area
km2 (sq mi)
Water area
km2 (sq mi)
Water % Geographic coordinates
Elk Falls 20325 196 1 (3) 152 (59) 0 (0) 0.19% 37°22′17″N 96°12′26″W / 37.37139°N 96.20722°W / 37.37139; -96.20722
Greenfield 28550 321 2 (5) 171 (66) 1 (0) 0.62% 37°21′8″N 96°27′5″W / 37.35222°N 96.45139°W / 37.35222; -96.45139
Howard 33275 Howard 1,006 6 (16) 166 (64) 1 (1) 0.86% 37°28′3″N 96°15′14″W / 37.46750°N 96.25389°W / 37.46750; -96.25389
Liberty 40025 117 1 (2) 154 (59) 0 (0) 0.19% 37°34′22″N 96°1′55″W / 37.57278°N 96.03194°W / 37.57278; -96.03194
Longton 42675 530 5 (12) 116 (45) 0 (0) 0.11% 37°22′38″N 96°5′27″W / 37.37722°N 96.09083°W / 37.37722; -96.09083
Oak Valley 51950 154 1 (3) 116 (45) 0 (0) 0.24% 37°21′59″N 96°1′14″W / 37.36639°N 96.02056°W / 37.36639; -96.02056
Painterhood 54075 68 0 (1) 154 (59) 1 (0) 0.37% 37°27′35″N 96°2′37″W / 37.45972°N 96.04361°W / 37.45972; -96.04361
Paw Paw 54925 116 1 (2) 141 (54) 0 (0) 0.24% 37°33′19″N 96°13′46″W / 37.55528°N 96.22944°W / 37.55528; -96.22944
Union Center 72500 116 0 (1) 371 (143) 2 (1) 0.46% 37°31′44″N 96°23′31″W / 37.52889°N 96.39194°W / 37.52889; -96.39194
Wildcat 79150 637 5 (12) 135 (52) 2 (1) 1.35% 37°21′33″N 96°19′10″W / 37.35917°N 96.31944°W / 37.35917; -96.31944
Sources: "Census 2000 U.S. Gazetteer Files". U.S. Census Bureau, Geography Division. Archived from the original on August 2, 2002.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "QuickFacts; Elk County, Kansas; Population, Census, 2020 & 2010". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on August 16, 2021. Retrieved August 16, 2021.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  3. ^ "Elk County". June 16, 2022.
  4. ^ "Elk County, Kansas". Kansas Historical Society. Retrieved March 20, 2014.
  5. ^ Blackmar, Frank Wilson (1912). Kansas: A Cyclopedia of State History, Embracing Events, Institutions, Industries, Counties, Cities, Towns, Prominent Persons, Etc. Standard Publishing Company. pp. 573–574.
  6. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  7. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 24, 2014.
  8. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved July 24, 2014.
  9. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 24, 2014.
  10. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 24, 2014.
  11. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  12. ^ "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections".
  13. ^ "Map of Wet and Dry Counties". Alcoholic Beverage Control, Kansas Department of Revenue. November 2004. Archived from the original on October 8, 2007. Retrieved January 21, 2007.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

County
Maps