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The first woman mayor in the United States, Susanna Salter, was elected in Argonia, Kansas in 1887.
Allen County, located in Kansas, has a rich and varied history that dates back thousands of years. Prehistoric Native American tribes, including the Osage and Kansa, were the first inhabitants of the region. These tribes relied on hunting, gathering, and agriculture to sustain their communities.

The European settlement of Allen County began in the mid-19th century when French fur trappers and traders established trading posts in the area. The La Harpe and Neosho River valleys were particularly attractive to settlers due to the fertile soil and natural resources. Allen County was officially organized in 1855 and named after Colonel William Allen, a prominent politician and attorney.

During the Civil War, Allen County was divided in its loyalty, with some residents siding with the Union and others supporting the Confederacy. The region experienced skirmishes and raids by Confederate bushwhackers, leading to instability and tension. After the war, agriculture became the primary economic activity in Allen County, with farmers cultivating crops such as corn, wheat, and soybeans.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Allen County underwent significant changes due to industrialization and modernization. The arrival of railroads connected the county to larger markets and facilitated the growth of industries such as mining, manufacturing, and agriculture. Coal mining became a major industry, attracting immigrants from various parts of Europe to work in the mines. The town of Iola, the county seat, became an important center of commerce and industry.

Today, Allen County continues to be a thriving community with a diverse economy and a strong sense of history. It preserves its heritage through various historical sites and museums, reflecting the challenging and evolving history of the region.

This timeline provides a condensed summary of the historical journey of Allen County, Kansas.

  • 1855: Allen County, KS is established as a county in the Territory of Kansas.
  • 1861: The first post office in Allen County is established.
  • 1863: The first railroad is built in Allen County, contributing to its growth and development.
  • 1864: Allen County becomes a part of the newly formed state of Kansas.
  • 1870: The town of Iola is surveyed and platted, becoming the county seat of Allen County.
  • 1871: The county's first newspaper, the Iola Register, is founded.
  • 1893: The Allen County Courthouse, a historic landmark, is completed.
  • 1902: The first oil well is drilled in Allen County, leading to the growth of the oil industry in the region.
  • 1919: The Emerson Big Inch Pipeline, an important oil pipeline, is constructed in Allen County.
  • 1931: The City of Humboldt is struck by a devastating tornado, resulting in significant destruction and loss of life.
  • 1943: The Sunflower Army Ammunition Plant is established in Allen County, contributing to the local economy during World War II.
  • 1966: The Allen County Historical Society is founded to preserve and promote the county's history.
  • 2007: The Allen County War Memorial, honoring local veterans, is dedicated in Iola.