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Butler County, Kansas

Butler County was organized on February 11, 1859, by William Hildebrand; Jerry Conner; Captain J. Cracklin; Henry Martin; Martin Vaught; Samuel Stewart; William Beemis; Jacob Carey and William Crimble. It was named for Andrew Pickens Butler, Senator from South Carolina, and contains the cities of Andover, Augusta, Benton, Cassoday, Douglass, Elbing, El Dorado, Lastham, Leon, Potwin, Rose Hill, Towanda and Whitewater.

The discovery of oil in 1915 made the county one of the largest oil producers in the state.

The first church was the El Dorado Presbyterian founded on January 9, 1870. The first school district was started in Chelsea during the 1860's and the first fair was held in Towanda in the fall of 1872.

William Allen White, famed newspaper publisher of the Emporia Gazette, was a native of Butler County. The book Court of Boyville was based on him. Robert Hazlett, the first major breeder of Hereford cattle ranched in the county. Rolla A. Clymer, well-known editor of the El Dorado Times was one of the "golden age of journalism in Kansas" editors.

Also from the county is Congressman Bob Whittaker, elected in 1979 and currently (1987) still serving.

Interesting sites in the county include the August Log Cabin, the Butler County Courthouse, the Conner Cabin Hazlett House, the France Frazier House, the Thomas Benton Murdock House, and the Dick Morris House.

For more information see the Butler County website. Butler County Historical Society has an archives, library, and a variety of collections related to the county.

Entry: Butler County, Kansas

Author: Kansas Historical Society

Author information: The Kansas Historical Society is a state agency charged with actively safeguarding and sharing the state's history.

Date Created: February 2010

Date Modified: November 2012

The author of this article is solely responsible for its content.