Kansas was the site of the Brown vs. Board of Education Supreme Court case in 1954, which declared segregation in public schools unconstitutional and paved the way for the Civil Rights Movement.
Cherokee County, located in the southeastern corner of Kansas, has a rich and diverse history that spans several centuries. The area was originally home to various Native American tribes, including the most prominent one, the Cherokee Nation. In the early 1800s, the Cherokee Nation established a homeland in present-day Georgia, but was forcibly removed during the Trail of Tears in the 1830s, which led to their resettlement in Indian Territory, now Oklahoma. Some Cherokees chose to settle in the area that would later become Cherokee County.

The county was officially established on August 25, 1855, as one of the original 33 counties of the Kansas Territory. Its early economy was based on agriculture, with settlers primarily engaging in farming, particularly growing corn and livestock. However, the discovery of valuable minerals, including lead and zinc, in the late 1800s brought a significant economic boom to the region. This led to the establishment of mining towns like Weir City, Baxter Springs, and Galena, which became major hubs of mining activity.

Cherokee County also played a role in the Civil War, as it was located on the Missouri-Kansas border. Baxter Springs, in particular, experienced multiple skirmishes and was a strategic location for both Union and Confederate troops. The Battle of Baxter Springs in 1863 was a significant event, during which Union forces successfully defended the town against Confederate guerrilla fighters.

In the 20th century, the mining industry declined, leading to a diversification of the economy. The county focused on agriculture, manufacturing, and later, tourism. Today, Cherokee County is known for its beautiful natural landscapes, such as the scenic Spring River and the expansive Crawford State Park, which offers various outdoor recreational activities. The county also preserves its rich heritage through museums and historical sites, allowing visitors to explore the history and culture of the area.

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

  • 1835 - Cherokee Nation established by Treaty of New Echota
  • 1837 - Land in present-day Kansas assigned to Cherokee Nation
  • 1849 - Treaty of Park Hill cedes Cherokee land to the United States
  • 1854 - Kansas Territory established
  • 1855 - Organization of Crawford County, which included present-day Cherokee County
  • 1860 - Creation of Cherokee County from Crawford County
  • 1862 - Cherokee County experiences violence during the Civil War
  • 1872 - Completion of the Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railway through Cherokee County
  • 1903 - Picher mining field discovery leads to a population boom
  • 1926 - Construction of Route 66, a major highway, through the county
  • 1967 - The city of Galena becomes known for its "Cars on the Route" attraction
  • Today, Cherokee County is a thriving area with a rich history and diverse community