Riley County, Kansas

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Riley County, Kansas
County
Riley (Kansas) County Courthouse 1.jpg
Riley County Courthouse in Manhattan (2005)
Map of Kansas highlighting Riley County
Location in the U.S. state of Kansas
Map of the United States highlighting Kansas
Kansas's location in the U.S.
Founded August 25, 1855
Named for Bennet C. Riley
Seat Manhattan
Largest city Manhattan
Area
 • Total 622 sq mi (1,611 km2)
 • Land 610 sq mi (1,580 km2)
 • Water 12 sq mi (31 km2), 2.0%
Population (est.)
 • (2016) 73,343
 • Density 117/sq mi (45/km²)
Congressional district 1st
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5
Website RileyCountyKS.gov

Riley County (standard abbreviation: RL) is a county located in the U.S. state of Kansas. As of the 2010 census, the population was 71,115.[1] The largest city and county seat is Manhattan.[2]

Riley County is home to two of Kansas' largest employers: Fort Riley and Kansas State University.

History[edit]

Riley County, named for Mexican-American War general Bennet Riley, was on the western edge of the 33 original counties established by the Kansas Territorial Legislature in August 1855. For organizational purposes, Riley County initially had attached to it Geary County and all land west of Riley County, across Kansas Territory into present-day Colorado.[3]

The first Territorial Capital of Kansas Territory was located in the boundaries of Riley County, in the former town of Pawnee. The site now falls within the boundaries of Fort Riley, a U.S. Army post.[4]

Manhattan was selected as county seat in contentious fashion. In late 1857, an election was held to select the county seat, with Ogden prevailing. However, Manhattanites suspected election fraud, and were eventually able to prove that a number of votes were illegally cast.[3] Sheriff David A. Butterfield was forced to secure the county's books and records for Manhattan, and Manhattan was finally officially declared the county seat in 1858.[3][5]

On May 30, 1879, the "Irving, Kansas Tornado" began in Riley County. This tornado is estimated to have been an F4 on the Fujita scale, with a damage path 800 yards (700 m) wide and 100 miles (200 km) long. Eighteen people were killed and sixty were injured.[6]

Geography[edit]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 622 square miles (1,610 km2), of which 610 square miles (1,600 km2) is land and 12 square miles (31 km2) (2.0%) is water.[7]

The eastern border of the county follows the former course of the Big Blue River. The river was dammed in the 1960s and Tuttle Creek Lake was created as a result. The county falls within the Flint Hills region of the state.

Adjacent counties[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Age pyramid
Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 1,224
1870 5,105 317.1%
1880 10,430 104.3%
1890 13,183 26.4%
1900 13,828 4.9%
1910 15,783 14.1%
1920 20,650 30.8%
1930 19,882 −3.7%
1940 20,617 3.7%
1950 33,405 62.0%
1960 41,914 25.5%
1970 56,788 35.5%
1980 63,505 11.8%
1990 67,139 5.7%
2000 62,843 −6.4%
2010 71,115 13.2%
Est. 2016 73,343 [8] 3.1%
U.S. Decennial Census[9]
1790-1960[10] 1900-1990[11]
1990-2000[12] 2010-2016[1]

Riley County is part of the Manhattan, KS Metropolitan Statistical Area. Millennials (ages 15-34 years old) make up 53.6% of the population of Riley County, one of the highest rates in the United States.[13]

Millennials (ages 15-34 years old) make up 53.6% of the population of Riley County, one of the highest rates in the United States.[14]

2000 census[edit]

As of the census[15] of 2000, there were 62,843 people, 22,137 households, and 12,263 families residing in the county. The population density was 103 people per square mile (40/km²). There were 23,397 housing units at an average density of 38 per square mile (15/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 84.78% White, 6.88% Black or African American, 0.63% Native American, 3.22% Asian, 0.17% Pacific Islander, 1.89% from other races, and 2.43% from two or more races. 4.57% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 22,137 households out of which 27.80% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.20% were married couples living together, 6.80% had a female householder with no husband present, and 44.60% were non-families. 27.50% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.10% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.42 and the average family size was 2.99.

In the county, the population was spread out with 18.80% under the age of 18, 34.50% from 18 to 24, 25.90% from 25 to 44, 13.30% from 45 to 64, and 7.50% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 24 years. For every 100 females there were 114.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 115.40 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $32,042, and the median income for a family was $46,489. Males had a median income of $26,856 versus $23,835 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,349. About 8.50% of families and 20.60% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.20% of those under age 18 and 6.70% of those age 65 or over.

Law and government[edit]

Presidential Elections Results[16]
Year Republican Democratic Third Parties
2016 46.0% 10,107 42.5% 9,341 11.5% 2,526
2012 54.5% 11,507 42.5% 8,977 2.9% 617
2008 52.4% 12,111 45.4% 10,495 2.1% 494
2004 60.6% 12,672 37.8% 7,908 1.6% 331
2000 58.5% 10,672 33.9% 6,188 7.6% 1,393
1996 56.7% 11,113 34.4% 6,746 8.9% 1,748
1992 38.5% 8,394 36.4% 7,933 25.1% 5,470
1988 55.9% 9,507 42.8% 7,283 1.3% 217
1984 64.8% 11,308 34.2% 5,975 1.0% 175
1980 52.9% 8,904 31.1% 5,224 16.0% 2,690
1976 57.5% 9,518 39.5% 6,540 3.1% 510
1972 66.2% 11,120 31.7% 5,333 2.1% 356
1968 62.2% 8,296 31.9% 4,258 5.9% 791
1964 52.7% 6,396 46.1% 5,597 1.2% 144
1960 72.0% 9,068 27.6% 3,482 0.4% 50
1956 76.8% 9,385 22.8% 2,784 0.4% 44
1952 80.3% 9,799 19.3% 2,352 0.4% 50
1948 68.0% 9,227 29.9% 4,052 2.1% 288
1944 70.4% 6,511 28.8% 2,659 0.8% 74
1940 68.6% 7,420 30.4% 3,293 1.0% 105
1936 59.1% 6,077 39.9% 4,104 1.0% 99
1932 54.7% 5,337 42.0% 4,101 3.4% 327
1928 77.9% 6,592 21.2% 1,791 0.9% 78
1924 70.0% 5,455 21.1% 1,646 8.8% 689
1920 73.6% 4,875 24.3% 1,610 2.1% 141
1916 52.3% 3,320 41.6% 2,637 6.1% 386
1912 11.1% 425 30.7% 1,170 58.2% 2,220
1908 61.7% 2,276 35.0% 1,289 3.3% 123
1904 75.3% 2,251 17.5% 523 7.3% 217
1900 61.7% 2,119 37.2% 1,279 1.1% 37
1896 55.9% 1,890 42.7% 1,443 1.5% 50
1892 51.7% 1,574 48.3% 1,472
1888 62.5% 1,856 26.0% 772 11.5% 342

Owing to its history of Yankee anti-slavery settlement in “Bleeding Kansas” days, Riley County became rock-ribbed Republican following Kansas statehood, except when over half of its voters supported Progressive Theodore Roosevelt in 1912. Being relatively resistant to the Democratic populism of William Jennings Bryan, Woodrow Wilson and Franklin D. Roosevelt, Riley County stands as the westernmost of thirty-eight US counties to have never voted Democratic for President since the Civil War.[a] However, it is the only one whose status as “never Democratic” stands threatened: Donald Trump’s 46.0 percent is the third-worst by a Republican in history behind the 1912 and 1992 elections when major third party candidates influenced the result. Hilary Clinton’s losing margin of only 3.5 percent is the second-closest any Democrat has come to claiming the county behind her husband in that divided 1992 election.

Riley County is the only county in Kansas without an elected sheriff; the county police department handles all the Sheriff’s functions. [17]

Riley County was a prohibition, or "dry", county until the Kansas Constitution was amended in 1986 and voters approved the sale of alcoholic liquor by the individual drink with a 30 percent food sales requirement. The food sales requirement was removed with voter approval in 2004.[18]

Education[edit]

Colleges and universities[edit]

Unified school districts[edit]

Communities[edit]

2005 KDOT Map of Riley County (map legend)

Cities[edit]

Unincorporated communities[edit]

Ghost towns[edit]

  • Lasita
  • Walsburg
  • May Day

These former places were flooded when Tuttle Creek Lake was created in the 1950s and 1960s. Randolph was also flooded, but moved a mile west of its original location.

  • Cleburne
  • Garrison Cross
  • Stockdale
  • Winkler[19]

Fort Riley[edit]

Located north of the junction of the Smoky Hill and Republican rivers in Geary County, Fort Riley Military Reservation covers 100,656 acres (407 km2) in Geary and Riley counties. The fort has a daytime population of nearly 25,000 and includes a census-designated place:

Townships[edit]

Riley County Township map (1887)

Riley County is divided into fourteen townships. The city of Manhattan which is surrounded by Manhattan Township is considered governmentally independent and is excluded from the census figures for Manhattan Township or any other 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.

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
Ashland 02725 150 2 (4) 89 (35) 1 (0) 0.75% 39°6′48″N 96°37′42″W / 39.11333°N 96.62833°W / 39.11333; -96.62833
Bala 03825 Leonardville 762 7 (18) 108 (42) 0 (0) 0.12% 39°20′34″N 96°53′47″W / 39.34278°N 96.89639°W / 39.34278; -96.89639
Center 12100 81 1 (3) 82 (32) 0 (0) 0.04% 39°29′22″N 96°52′54″W / 39.48944°N 96.88167°W / 39.48944; -96.88167
Fancy Creek 22950 126 2 (4) 83 (32) 0 (0) 0.07% 39°24′55″N 96°53′14″W / 39.41528°N 96.88722°W / 39.41528; -96.88722
Grant 28075 833 9 (23) 92 (35) 7 (3) 7.38% 39°17′52″N 96°41′31″W / 39.29778°N 96.69194°W / 39.29778; -96.69194
Jackson 34900 Randolph 326 4 (10) 84 (32) 10 (4) 10.30% 39°26′43″N 96°45′1″W / 39.44528°N 96.75028°W / 39.44528; -96.75028
Madison 44125 Fort Riley CDP (part) 8,173 22 (58) 366 (141) 0 (0) 0.11% 39°15′32″N 96°50′26″W / 39.25889°N 96.84056°W / 39.25889; -96.84056
Manhattan 44275 3,275 37 (95) 89 (35) 3 (1) 3.28% 39°12′45″N 96°35′46″W / 39.21250°N 96.59611°W / 39.21250; -96.59611
May Day 45225 78 1 (2) 81 (31) 0 (0) 0.04% 39°32′39″N 96°53′41″W / 39.54417°N 96.89472°W / 39.54417; -96.89472
Ogden 52300 Ogden 2,423 69 (178) 35 (14) 1 (0) 2.32% 39°7′6″N 96°41′54″W / 39.11833°N 96.69833°W / 39.11833; -96.69833
Sherman 65075 524 7 (18) 76 (29) 5 (2) 6.06% 39°22′30″N 96°43′58″W / 39.37500°N 96.73278°W / 39.37500; -96.73278
Swede Creek 69650 Cleburne (hist.) 157 1 (3) 125 (48) 4 (1) 3.00% 39°32′24″N 96°42′9″W / 39.54000°N 96.70250°W / 39.54000; -96.70250
Wildcat 79175 750 10 (25) 77 (30) 0 (0) 0.10% 39°13′26″N 96°42′28″W / 39.22389°N 96.70778°W / 39.22389; -96.70778
Zeandale 80900 357 2 (6) 154 (60) 2 (1) 0.97% 39°7′39″N 96°27′19″W / 39.12750°N 96.45528°W / 39.12750; -96.45528

Notable people[edit]

Among notable current and former residents of Riley County are former Governor John W. Carlin, General Glen Edgerton, millionaire miner Horace A. W. Tabor, NFL receiver Jordy Nelson.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

Further reading[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 16, 2015. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ a b c Olson, Kevin (2012). Frontier Manhattan. University Press of Kansas. pp. 54, 107–108. ISBN 978-0-7006-1832-3. 
  4. ^ Nichols, Roy Franklin (1931). Franklin Pierce: Young Hickory of the Granite Hills. Newtown, Connecticut: American Political Biography Press. p. 418. ISBN 0-945707-06-1. 
  5. ^ Riley County Official Website - History
  6. ^ Joe Furr, "Historical Tornadoes"
  7. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  8. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017. 
  9. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on May 12, 2015. Retrieved July 28, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved July 28, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 28, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 28, 2014. 
  13. ^ http://overflow.solutions/demographic-data/what-states-and-counties-have-the-most-millennials/
  14. ^ http://overflow.solutions/demographic-data/what-states-and-counties-have-the-most-millennials/
  15. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on September 11, 2013. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  16. ^ http://uselectionatlas.org/RESULTS
  17. ^ https://www.sheriffs.org/sites/default/files/tb/Office_of_Sheriff_State-by-State_Election_Chart.pdf
  18. ^ "Map of Wet and Dry Counties". Alcoholic Beverage Control, Kansas Department of Revenue. November 2006. Archived from the original on October 8, 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-28. 
  19. ^ Blackmar, Frank Wilson (1912). Kansas: A Cyclopedia of State History, Volume 2. Standard Publishing Company. p. 926. 

External links[edit]

County
Historical
Maps

Coordinates: 39°20′N 96°42′W / 39.333°N 96.700°W / 39.333; -96.700