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Kansas was named after the Kansa Native American tribe, which means "people of the south wind."
Coffey County, Kansas has a rich history that begins with its founding in 1855. The county was named after Colonel A.M. Coffey, a prominent figure in the early settlements of the region. The area was primarily inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Osage, until European settlers arrived in the mid-19th century.

The county experienced rapid growth in the late 1850s with the establishment of several towns, including Burlington, Waverly, and Lebo. These towns played a significant role in the early development of Coffey County, serving as centers for trade and commerce. The county became an important transportation hub with the construction of the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad in the late 1800s.

Coffey County also played a significant role in the American Civil War. Many residents enlisted in the Union Army and fought in various battles, including the Battle of Mine Creek, considered one of the largest cavalry engagements of the war. After the war, the county continued to thrive, and agriculture became a major industry, with farmers cultivating crops such as wheat and corn, and raising livestock.

In recent years, Coffey County has focused on developing its tourism industry. The county is home to several attractions, including John Redmond Reservoir, which provides opportunities for boating, fishing, and camping. The Spirit of the Flint Hills Nature Center and the Coffey County Historical Museum offer visitors a glimpse into the area's history and natural beauty. Today, Coffey County continues to be a vibrant community, embracing its past while looking toward the future.

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

  • 1855 - Coffey County is established by the Kansas Territory Legislature.
  • 1859 - The city of Burlington is founded as the first county seat.
  • 1862 - The county seat moves to LeRoy due to concerns of flooding in Burlington.
  • 1863 - A courthouse is built in LeRoy to accommodate the county government.
  • 1870 - Coffey County Agricultural Society is formed to promote agricultural development.
  • 1873 - The city of Gridley is founded and becomes a railroad shipping point.
  • 1879 - A new courthouse is constructed in Burlington.
  • 1888 - Waverly is established as a coal mining town.
  • 1904 - Several towns, including LeRoy, are devastated by a tornado.
  • 1909 - The Coffey County Historical Society is organized to preserve the county's history.
  • 1935 - The Wolf Creek Dam is constructed for flood control on the Neosho River.
  • 1957 - The completion of Wolf Creek Generating Station brings economic growth to the county.
  • 2012 - The county celebrates its 150th anniversary with various events and activities.