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Greenwood County, Kansas

Containing the towns of Eureka, Climax, Hamilton, Virgil, Madison, Fall River and Severy, Greenwood County was named for For Alfred B. Greenwood, the Commissioner of Indian Affairs in 1854. The county was one of the original 33 counties organized by the Territorial Legislature in 1855, but because of an oversight and reorganization of county lines, Greenwood County was not officially organized until March 14, 1862. Isaac Sharp; James Hawkins; James and W. F. Osborn; Enoch Reeves; John McKeag; W. T. Gow; Allan Thompson; John McDaniel; David Smyth; Mark Hartly; Robert Clark; and Edwin Tucker are the founders of the town.

The first church was a Congregational church founded in 1862. The first county fair was held in 1872 and continues. The first school district was probably formed in 1868 near Madison.

Many Interesting public figures hail from the county.  Kate Addison, a militant worker for woman suffrage in 1895-1897 was President of the Kansas Equal Suffrage Association. In 1896 Mrs. Addison appeared before a Judiciary Committee of the U. S. House of Representatives. In 1896 she assisted in publishing the Kansas Suffrage Monthly Magazine. William Martindale settled in the county in 1857 and was the first County Treasurer. He then became Clerk of the District Court, and later served in both the Kansas House and Senate. He moved to Emporia in 1886, and was involved in a major bank failure that resulted in his attempt to repay all the bank's outstanding notes and debts to the depositors. Edwin Tucker, who supposedly called out "Eureka" when he first saw the town site, was a school teacher, merchant, and banker. He served as a regent for the Emporia State Normal School and Washburn University. In 1867-1868 he served in the Kansas House of Representatives, and in 1868-1870 in the Senate. William M. Brown, who became known as William McBrown, established a trading post hear Twin Falls. In January, 1870, he bought the first land which would become his 1,700 acre ranch. By 1909 he owned 3,500 acres. Fred Jackson served as a Congressman from the county from 1911 to 1913.

There is a story that outlaws, who lived in Greenwood County, buried their loot and failed to return and recover it. And, although partially fact, the story of the two Bledsoe brothers who were killed by vigilantes dressed as Indians has become legend.

William Martindale, a Greenwood County pioneer, is reported to have been the model for for William Allen White's book, A Certain Rich Man.

Interesting sites in the county include the Tucker House, the Bank in Eureka and the Greenwood Hotel.

For more information see the Greenwood County website. The Greenwood Historical Society, Eureka, has microfilm of newspapers, census, and cemetery records.

Entry: Greenwood 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: October 2015

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