Fort Hays State University > About FHSU > Academic Divisions > Forsyth Library > Kansas Heritage > Logan County
Prentis, Noble Lovely. "History of Kansas". Winfield, KS: E. P. Greer, 1899
originally called St. John County, sits between Wallace County and Gove County.
This county also shares borders with Thomas County, Wichita County, Scott
County, and even part of Sheridan County. After a dispute with Russell Springs
in the 1960s, Oakley, Kansas, became and still is the location of the county
seat. This county is home to the Fick Fossil and History Museum in Oakley,
Kansas, and part of the Smoky Hill Trail the ended in Russell Springs, Kansas.
The Smoky Hill Trail is
critical to the formation of Logan County. This trail, along the Smoky River,
provided a route to Fort Wallace and then on west toward California. The trail
passed through three stage lines: The Butterfield Overland Dispatch, Overland
Express, and Wells Fargo. The Eaton Station, a stop along the Butterfield
Overland Dispatch, is now Russell Springs, Kansas. Russell Springs was named
after rancher William Russell. The Union Pacific Railroad was also crucial in
the county’s formation. With western railroad expansion, came the need for two
new counties to be formed. The counties of Wallace (present-day Wallace and
Logan) and Gove were formed.
Originally, Wallace County included
both present-day Logan and Wallace Counties, until 1881 when a bill was passed
that divided this area into two counties. Wallace County remained but the eastern
half became known as St. John County, named after Governor John P. St. John, which later became Logan County. In 1887, St. John County was officially
renamed Logan County, in honor of the late General John A. Logan. The name
change came about because Governor St. John had lost favor with the Republican
Party after he left it to become the leader of the Prohibitionists.
Donald D. The Controversy Over the Location of the County Seat in Logan County, Kansas. MPS
Thesis. Fort Hays State University, 1962. Web.
Paragraphs written by intern Holly Younger in 2012
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