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Leavenworth County, Kansas

Leavenworth county was organized on September 17, 1855, as one of the original 33 counties organized by the Territorial Legislature. Its founders were Robert Wilson; John A. Halderman; Joseph M. Hall; and Mathew Walker, and it contains the cities of Tonganoxie, Lansing, Easton, Basehor, Leavenworth and Linwood. The county is named for Colonel Henry Leavenworth, founder of the fort.

The establishment of Fort Leavenworth in 1827, as a cantonment, and the founding of a Methodist Mission in 1833 assisted in establishing settlement in the county.

The Leavenworth Methodist Church, established in 1855, and the Leavenworth Catholic Church, organized the same year, are the oldest churches in the county. The first county fair was held in Leavenworth on October 6-9, 1863. The first school was established in 1855, but as regular school system did not begin until 1858.

Colonel D. R. Anthony, a native of Leavenworth county and editor of the Leavenworth Conservative newspaper (founded 1861) was an influential editor, politician and spokesman for the state of Kansas. Four generations of this family have been associated with either the newspaper, the practice of law, and/or as elected officials and representatives.

The north "Esplanade" district of Leavenworth is an historic district on the National Register. A complete listing can be obtained from the Leavenworth County Historical Society, or from the Chamber of Commerce.

For more information see the Leavenworth County website.The Leavenworth County Historical Society has a large archives, manuscripts collections, and other primary and secondary source materials available for research.

Entry: Leavenworth 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.