Fort Hays State University > About FHSU > Academic Divisions > Forsyth Library > Kansas Heritage > Rice County
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Prentis, Noble Lovely. "History of Kansas". Winfield, KS: E. P. Greer, 1899.
The area that was to become Rice County was part of the Santa Fe Trail. About 30 miles of the 800 mile trail crossed the mid-section of the county. There were four stopping points along the trail with the most used point probably being Cow Creek. The trail from Cow Creek on west to Dodge City was considered to be very dangerous, so troops were stationed at Cow Creek.
Even before the Kansas Territory became a state in 1861, there was an attempt to create a county that was called Peketon County by the 12 men who met on November 6, 1960. The county seat was named Beach Valley in honor of Beach's trading post. A post office was established at Beach Valley, but the town (and the county) never really took off and just faded away.
The legislature set aside an area in 1868 for the purpose of establishing a county. The Atlanta Town Company was formed to set up a town in the center of the proposed county. The Santa Fe Trail was its Main Street and the Santa Fe railroad had proposed that a line would be built through the town.
Governor J.M. Harvey organized Rice County on August 18, 1871. Rice County was named in honor of General Samuel A. Rice who was killed in the Battle of Jenkins Ferry during the Civil War. Atlanta, later renamed Lyons, was selected as the county seat.
"Rice County Centennial: Land of Quivira." Rice County Centennial Committee, 1971.
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