The famous novel "In Cold Blood" by Truman Capote is based on a true story that took place in Holcomb, Kansas in 1959.
Anderson County, Kansas, located in the eastern part of the state, has a rich and diverse history. The region that would become Anderson County was initially explored by French fur traders in the 1700s. However, it was not until the early 1800s that the area began to see permanent settlement and development.

The county was officially established on August 25, 1855, and named in honor of Joseph C. Anderson, a territorial legislator. The town of Garnett was selected as the county seat, and it quickly became a bustling center of commerce and trade. The agricultural boom in the late 19th and early 20th centuries helped fuel the county's growth, with crops like wheat, corn, and oats dominating the local economy.

As with many Kansas counties, Anderson County played a significant role in the Civil War. Though the region was generally pro-Union, it saw its fair share of conflicts between supporters of the Union and Confederate sympathizers. The Battle of Garnett, fought on June 17, 1861, was one of the first battles of the war and resulted in Union victory. The county's residents also contributed to the war effort by enlisting in Union regiments and providing supplies and resources.

Over the years, Anderson County has experienced both triumphs and challenges. The devastating tornado of June 1965, known as the Palm Sunday Tornado outbreak, caused significant damage and loss of life to the community. However, the county has shown resilience and rebuilt in the aftermath. Today, Anderson County is known for its farming heritage, picturesque landscapes, and small-town charm, making it a beloved destination for history enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.

This timeline provides a concise overview of the key events in the history of Anderson County, Kansas.

  • 1854 - Anderson County established as a political subdivision of the Kansas Territory
  • 1855 - First white settlers arrive in present-day Anderson County
  • 1857 - First post office opens in present-day Anderson County
  • 1858 - County seat established in present-day Garnett
  • 1862 - Anderson County officially organized
  • 1863 - First courthouse constructed in Garnett
  • 1870s - Agriculture becomes the main economic activity in the county
  • 1883 - Railroad reaches Garnett, boosting economic growth
  • Early 1900s - Oil and gas production becomes significant in the county
  • 1920s - The Great Depression negatively impacts the county's economy
  • 1954 - Anderson County Historical Society is founded
  • 1978 - Neosho River flood causes widespread damage in the county
  • 2000s - Anderson County experiences population growth and economic development