- Allen County, Kansas
Infobox U.S. County
founded=August 25, 1855
census estimate yr=LookupUSEstPop|20001|EYR
named for=William Allen
Allen County (county code AL) is a county located in southeast
Kansas, in the central United States of America. The population was 14,385 at the 2000 census, and it was estimated to be formatnum:LookupUSEstPop|20001|EST in the year LookupUSEstPop|20001|EYR. Its county seatand most populous city is Iola.GR|6
Allen County, one of the 33 counties established by the first territorial legislature, was named in honor of William Allen, United States senator from
Ohio. It was organized at the time of its creation in 1855, Charles Passmore being appointed probate judge; B.W. Cowden and Barnett Owen county commissioners, and William Godfrey sheriff. These officers were to hold their offices until the general election in 1857, and were empowered to appoint the county clerk and treasurer to complete the county organization.
The first white inhabitants located in the county during the early part of the year 1855. Richard J. Fuqua may have been the first, settling in the valley of the
Neosho River, in the northwestern part of the county, with his wife, two boys, and three girls. B.W. Cowden and H.D. Parsons arrived in March and selected claims in the valley of the Neosho River, near the mouth of Elm Creek. The next settlement was made near the mouth of Deer Creek by Major James Parsons, and his two sons, Jesse and James, and Mr. Duncan. During the spring and summer settlement progressed quite rapidly, the most of it being along and near the Neosho River. Though many of the early settlers of the county were pro-slavery men, but few slaves were brought into the county. The free-state people showing so much antagonism toward slave-holders, it was not long until most of the slaves were either liberated or taken from the county by their masters. During the summer and fall of 1856, immigration continued, though not in very large numbers.
The first town and
county seatwas Cofachique. In the spring of 1855 a party of pro-slavery men from Fort Scott formed a town company and laid out a town on the high land east of the Neosho River, south of the mouth of Elm Creek. There was a heavy trade with the neighboring tribes of Native Americans, and for a time the town had good prospects. But the town began to decline in 1857, and the greater part of it was later moved two miles north to the new town of Iola.
Allen County is located in the southeastern part of the state, in the second tier of counties west of
Missouri, and about fifty miles north of Oklahoma. In extent it is twenty-one miles from north to south and twenty-four miles from east to west. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 505 square miles (1,308 km²), of which 503 square miles (1,303 km²) is land and 2 square miles (6 km²), or 0.43%, is water.GR|2
The general surface of the country is slightly rolling, though much more level than the greater portion of eastern Kansas. The soil is fertile and highly productive. The bottom lands along the streams average one and one-half miles in width, and comprise one-tenth the area of the county. The remainder is the gently rolling or level upland prairie. The principal varieties of trees native to the county are black walnut, hickory, cottonwood, oak, hackberry and elm.
The main water course is the
Neosho River, which flows through the western part of the county from north to south. Its tributaries are Indian, Martin's, Deer, Elm, and other small creeks. The Marmaton Riverrises east of the center of the county, and flows through the southeastern part of the county. The Little Osage Riverrises not far from the head of the Marmaton and flows northeast. Its tributaries are Middle Creek on the north and the South Fork on the south.
Allen County's population was estimated to be formatnum:LookupUSEstPop|20001|EST in the year LookupUSEstPop|20001|EYR, LookupUSEstPop|20001|TXT.Cite web| url=http://www.census.gov/popest/estimates.php| title=Population Estimates| publisher=U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division| Annual estimates of the population to 20001|EDT. Released 20001|RDT. Population change is from 20001|IDT to 20001|EDT.]
As of the U.S. Census in 2000,GR|2 there were 14,385 people, 5,775 households, and 3,892 families residing in Allen County. The
population densitywas 29 people per square mile (11/km²). There were 6,449 housing units at an average density of 13 per square mile (5/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 94.80% White, 1.63% Black or African American, 0.78% Native American, 0.26% Asian, 0.86% from other races, and 1.68% from two or more races. Hispanicor Latinoof any race were 1.93% of the population. 28.8% were of German, 20.3% American, 9.8% English and 8.6% Irish ancestry according to Census 2000.
There were 5,775
households out of which 29.80% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.60% were married couples living together, 8.90% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.60% were non-families. 28.50% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.40% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.43 and the average family size was 2.98.
In the county the population was spread out with 25.20% under the age of 18, 9.80% from 18 to 24, 24.10% from 25 to 44, 22.90% from 45 to 64, and 18.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 95.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.70 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $31,481, and the median income for a family was $39,117. Males had a median income of $27,305 versus $19,221 for females. The
per capita incomefor the county was $15,640. About 11.30% of families and 14.90% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.20% of those under age 18 and 12.70% of those age 65 or over.
The first white inhabitants located in Allen County during the early part of the year 1855. Settlement progressed rapidly during the spring and summer with the greater number of settlers located along the
Neosho River. Although many of the early settlers were pro-slavery men, few slaves were brought into the county. The freestate men showed such open antagonism toward slaveholders, that the slaves were soon given their freedom or taken from the county by their masters.
The last year of the territorial period (1860) was one of the hardest because it was the year of the great drought. The population of the county was about 3,000, and with such a scanty crop, the prospect of starvation seemed imminent. Most of the people had come into the county within two years and with starvation and hardship before them, returned to the east.
During the years of the
American Civil Warthe country developed, but slowly. From 1865 to 1870 there was a steady increase, the population then numbering 7,022. For the next three years the country was settled rapidly, and numerous improvements were made, as well as thousands of acres of land brought under cultivation. This period was perhaps the most progressive one in the history of the county; money was plenty and nearly every one did business, or bought property to the full extent of his capital. The result was that with the financial panic of 1873, followed by the "grasshopper raid" of 1874, nearly all improvement stopped, value of property depreciated, and many of the settlers (nearly one-third) left the county. In 1875 the population numbered 6,638. The next year times began to look better, and by 1878 the population was 8,954. With the increasing prosperity of the country, the population numbered 10,436 in 1881, while improvements that were made kept pace with the settlement. In 1882 the population had increased to 11,098.
The population of the county continued to grow until it finally peaked at 27,640 with the census of 1910. In recent decades, the population decline has leveled off.
Cities and towns
Name and population (LookupUSEstPop|2034300|EYR estimate):Cite web| url=http://www.census.gov/popest/estimates.php| title=Population Estimates| publisher=U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division| Annual estimates of the population to 2034300|EDT. Released 2034300|RDT.]
*Iola, formatnum:LookupUSEstPop|2034300|EST (county seat)
*La Harpe, formatnum:LookupUSEstPop|2037725|EST
Allen County is divided into twelve townships. Because Humboldt, Iola, and La Harpe are cities of the second class, they are "governmentally independent" from the townships and are excluded from the census figures for the 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.
Law and government
Following amendment to the
Kansas Constitutionin 1986, the county remained a prohibition, or "dry", county until 2000, when voters approved the sale of alcoholic liquor by the individual drink with a 30% food sales requirement. [Cite web| url=http://www.ksrevenue.org/abcwetdrymap.htm| title=Map of Wet and Dry Counties| publisher=Alcoholic Beverage Control, Kansas Department of Revenue| month=November | year=2004| accessdate=2007-01-21]
Unified school districts
* Marmaton Valley USD 256
* Iola USD 257
* Humboldt USD 258
Colleges and universities
Allen County Community College
U.S. Route 54is an east/west route passing through (from east to west) the cities of Moran, La Harpe, Gas, and Iola (the county seat). Outside the county the route connects to Fort Scott in the east and Yates Center and eventually Wichita in the west. Passing through eastern portions of the county and the cities of Mildred and Moran, U.S. Route 59is one of two north/south routes. It connects to Kincaid and eventually Ottawa and Lawrence in the north and Erie in the south. The other route is U.S. Route 169which passes through western portions of the county and bypasses to the east of the cities of Iola, Bassett, and Humboldt. It connects to Chanute and eventually Coffeyville in the south. The segment between Iola and Chanute is a freewaywith fully-controlled access, although there is only one lane in each direction. US-169 provides a direct route for traveling between Kansas City and Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Allen County Airport(K88), public
*Croisant Airport (7KS5), private
*Ensminger Airport (74KS), private
*National Airport, public
*Womack Airport, public
* Main source of this town's history.
* [http://www.kshs.org/genealogists/places/counties.php?county=AL Kansas State Historical Society]
* [http://www.allencounty.org/ Allen County]
* [http://skyways.lib.ks.us/counties/AL/ Blue Skyways]
* [http://www.ku.edu/pri/ksdata/county.shtml Kansas Statistical Abstract]
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