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List of Kansas Counties

Brewster | Colby | Gem | Halford | Levant | Menlo | Mingo | Otterbourne | Rexford

Homesteading in Thomas County


J. R. Colby homesteaded near the geographical center of the county in 1882. It was located 3 miles south of the present site of Colby. In 1884, Mr. Colby got a patent for his town and started a post office. However, before he could carry out his plans for a town, the Colby Town site Company recorded a plan for a town 3 miles north of the Colby homestead and worked out a compromise with Mr. Colby in March 1885. Mr. Colby received a business lot and a location for his house, as well as being the namesake of the new town.

A county government was established on October 8, 1885, and Colby was named the county seat. The first court house was a two-story, thirty feet square structure which was built after funds were raised by private donations and it opened for business on July 15, 1886. The courthouse shown below was built in 1907.

The ethnicity of its settlers is unknown.

Thomas County - Colby Courthouse


Forsyth Library Photo Archives

Wingo, Wayne C. A History of Thomas County. Masters Thesis, Fort Hays Kansas State College, 1964.

Bruner, R. I., Editor. Land of the Windmills Thomas County, Kansas. Thomas County Historical Society, 1976.


Hours and Contacts

Extended Hours starting Sunday, March 23 until the end of the semester:
Sun:             1:00 pm - 2:00 am
Mon-Thurs: 7:30 am - 2:00 am
Friday:         7:30 am - 7:00 pm
Sat:            10:00 am - 5:00 pm

For current month(s) and detailed information, please select desired month under announcements (below).

Phone: 785.628.4434
Fax: 785.628.4096
Contacts Directory
Mailing Address:
   Forsyth Library
   600 Park Street
   Hays, KS 67601
Physical Address:

   502 South Campus Drive
   Hays, KS 67601-4099