Amelia Earhart, the famous aviator, was born in Atchison, Kansas in 1897.
Graham County, located in northwestern Kansas, has a rich history dating back thousands of years. The area was originally inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Pawnee and the Cheyenne, who relied on the land's resources for sustenance and shelter. European settlers began to arrive in the mid-19th century with the establishment of farming communities.

In 1872, Graham County was officially organized and named after Captain John L. Graham, who served during the Civil War. The county's development was greatly influenced by the arrival of the railroad in the late 1800s. The railroad brought new opportunities for trade and commerce, leading to the growth of towns like Hill City, the county seat. Agriculture, particularly wheat and livestock farming, became the mainstay of the local economy.

The early 20th century brought challenges to Graham County, including the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl. These events caused widespread economic hardship and forced many residents to leave in search of better opportunities. However, the county managed to rebound with the implementation of soil conservation measures and the introduction of modern farming techniques.

Today, Graham County continues to rely heavily on agriculture, while also embracing tourism as a significant economic driver. The region's natural beauty, such as the rugged landscape of the Smoky Hills and the abundant wildlife, attracts outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. Historical sites like the Graham County Historical Society Museum preserve the county's past and offer a glimpse into its rich heritage.

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

  • Graham County was originally inhabited by Native American tribes such as the Apache, Cheyenne, and Kiowa.
  • 1825: The region became part of the Indian territory under the provisions of the Treaty of Prairie du Chien.
  • 1854: The Kansas-Nebraska Act opened the area for settlement, attracting pioneers from the east.
  • 1873: Graham County was officially established, named after the Civil War politician, Captain John L. Graham.
  • 1887: The town of Morland was founded as the first settlement in Graham County.
  • Early 1900s: Agriculture, particularly wheat farming, became the primary industry in the region.
  • 1930s: The Dust Bowl greatly affected the county, causing severe soil erosion and economic hardships for farmers.
  • Mid-1940s: The arrival of the U.S. Army at the nearby Walker Army Airfield had a significant impact on the local economy.
  • 1950s-1970s: The agricultural industry evolved, with farmers transitioning to more diverse crops like sunflowers and sorghum.
  • Today, Graham County remains a rural agricultural community, known for its natural beauty and small-town charm.