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Gove County, Kansas

Gove county was organized on September 2, 1886, by J. H. Baker; D. D. Drake; Thomas H. Moore; Gruce Sanders; Vern Smith; F. W. Norton; Willis Walker; Richman Hart; S. S. Howe; and Frank Wright. Named for Union soldier Grenville L. Gove, Company F, 11th Kansas Cavalry the county contains the cities of Quinter, Gove City, Grainfield, Grinnell and Park.

On August 2, 1887, the Denver, Memphis, and Atlantic Railroad Company laid its track into the town of Horace. The railroad, later part of the Missouri Pacific, contributed to the settlement of the county. Later, in the 1920s, a large portion of the county's sod was broken to plant wheat. This caused extreme difficulties in the county during the 1930s dust bowl.

The oldest church is the Park Congregational Church erected about 1879. The first county fair was held in 1923 and continued until 1933. Currently a 4-H fair is held each year. The first school was District Number 1, organized in the fall of 1879 in Buffalo Park.

Gove is home to some interesting Kansans. W. P. Harrington a local teacher, writer, and farmer, was involved in many civic and cultural activities. J. J. Barley was a doctor for more than 50 years. D. A. Crist was a minister for more than 50 years. Mary Mardian was a nurse for more than 50 years.

Gove County contains the sights of the Grainfield Opera House, Grinnell Blacksmith Shop, the Buffalo Park Catholic Church, the "Cathedral of the West" and Stone Swedish Church in Lewis Township.

Research materials and county records are available at the courthouse. Additional materials are available at the Gove County Historical Association in Gove.

Entry: Gove 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: February 2013

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