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List of Kansas Counties

Achilles | Atwood | Blakeman | Herndon | Ludell | McDonald

Homesteading in Rawlins County


J. M. Matheny and T. A. Andrews established the town of Attwood in April 1879, naming it after Matheny's 14 year old son. The original town site was two mile east of the present location of Atwood. By the fall of 1879, several businesses had set up shop in the fledging town, including a drug store, two general stores, a weekly newspaper and a post office. When it became apparent that Attwood was on school land, the town was moved to its present location in February 1880. The name changed to Atwood in 1882 at the request of the Post Office.

Atwood was named the county seat in 1881 after both Ludell and Atwood vied for it. Atwood later became involved in a county seat fight with Blakeman. (See Blakeman for that story.) Atwood remained the county seat. The railroad had laid tracks a mile north of town, so a dray (a heavy dead-axle wagon used for transporting heavy loads) line for passengers and freight was set up to make it easier for people to get to the train. By 1901 the population had grown to 500 and the town continued to grow as businesses were built.

The ethnicity of its settlers is unknown.


Hayden, Ruth Kelley. "The Time That Was: The Courageous Acts and Accounts of Rawlins County, Kansas, 1875-1915". H.F.Davis Memorial Library, Colby Community College, Colby, KS, 1973.

"History of Rawlins County, Kansas". Rawlins County Genealogical Society, 1988.


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