Kansas is known as the "Wheat State" and is a major producer of wheat, as well as other crops like corn, soybeans, and sorghum.
Geary County, Kansas, has a rich history rooted in its early settlement and development. The area was originally inhabited by several Native American tribes, including the Kaw, Osage, and Pawnee. European settlement began in the 1850s when the Kansas Territory was opened for settlement. Geary County was officially established in 1855 and named after John W. Geary, the first governor of the Kansas Territory.

During the 19th century, Geary County became a significant transportation hub due to its location along the Smoky Hill Trail, which was used by pioneers and traders traveling westward. The establishment of Fort Riley in 1853 further contributed to the county's growth and development. The military installation played a vital role in westward expansion, serving as a staging point for various military campaigns and providing economic stimulus to Geary County.

By the late 1800s, Geary County's economy diversified, with the advent of agriculture, particularly wheat farming. The county quickly became known for its fertile soil and agricultural productivity. Additionally, the construction of railroads in the late 19th century boosted trade and encouraged further settlement in the area.

Geary County experienced significant growth during the 20th century, largely due to the military presence and the establishment of Camp Forsyth (later renamed Camp Funston) near Fort Riley for World War I training. The expansion of Fort Riley and the involvement of the military in subsequent wars brought prosperity and opportunity to the area.

Today, Geary County continues to be shaped by its military heritage and its vibrant community. It is home to a diverse population, including active-duty military personnel, veterans, and civilians. The county's history is preserved through various historical sites and museums, showcasing its importance in the settlement of the American West and the role it has played in national defense.

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

  • 1855 - Geary County is established as an administrative division of Kansas Territory.
  • 1860 - Population in Geary County reaches 623.
  • 1873 - Junction City is incorporated as a city.
  • 1882 - Fort Riley established and becomes a major military base in the area.
  • 1901 - Construction of the Junction City to Fort Riley streetcar line begins.
  • 1930 - Population in Geary County increases to over 10,000.
  • 1940 - Geary County Courthouse is built in Junction City.
  • 1950 - Construction of Milford Dam and Reservoir is completed, providing flood control and recreational opportunities.
  • 1966 - Geary County Historical Society is founded to preserve and promote the county's history.
  • 1988 - Bill Snyder becomes head coach of the Kansas State University football team, located in Geary County.
  • 2010 - Geary County celebrates its 150th anniversary.