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Amelia Earhart, the famous aviator, was born in Atchison, Kansas in 1897.
Brown County is located in northeastern Kansas and has a rich and diverse history. The area was originally inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Kickapoo, Potawatomi, and Kansa tribes. European settlement began in the early 19th century when traders and missionaries arrived in the area.

The county was officially established in 1855 and named after Albert G. Brown, a U.S. Senator from Mississippi. The early settlers faced many challenges, particularly during the Bleeding Kansas era, when violent conflicts erupted between pro-slavery and anti-slavery factions. Brown County was a significant battleground during this time, with several incidents of violence and bloodshed.

During the Civil War, Brown County sent many soldiers to fight for the Union cause. The county also played a role in the Underground Railroad, as many abolitionists helped slaves escape to freedom through hidden routes and safe houses.

Throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Brown County thrived as an agricultural region, with farming becoming a major industry. The county experienced growth and development with the construction of railways, which facilitated the transportation of goods and services. Over the years, the county's economy diversified, and it became known for its production of livestock, grains, and dairy products.

Today, Brown County remains a rural area with a strong sense of community. The county is known for its picturesque landscapes, historic buildings, and annual events and festivals that celebrate its rich history. Although smaller in population compared to other counties in the state, Brown County continues to embrace its past while looking towards the future.

This timeline provides a glimpse into the major events and milestones that have shaped the history of Brown County, Kansas.

  • 1855: Brown County is established as a county in the state of Kansas.
  • 1857: The town of Hiawatha, the county seat, is incorporated.
  • 1859: The first railroad is built in Brown County.
  • 1861-1865: Brown County residents actively participate in the American Civil War.
  • 1867: The town of Horton is established.
  • 1871: The St. Benedict's Abbey is founded in Atchison, just outside of Brown County.
  • 1874: The northeast corner of the county is hit by a devastating tornado.
  • 1904: The Brown County Courthouse, in Hiawatha, is completed.
  • 1940: Horton Municipal Airport is established.
  • 1972: The Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge is established in the county.
  • 2003: The first ever tornado warning siren system is implemented in Brown County.