The first successful oil well west of the Mississippi was drilled in 1860 in Neodesha, Kansas, which led to the state becoming a major oil producer in the early 20th century.
Greenwood County, Kansas has a rich and colorful history that dates back to its founding in 1855. The area was originally inhabited by Native American tribes, namely the Osage and Kansa tribes, who were later displaced due to European settlements. In the mid-19th century, pioneers began to settle in the area, attracted by the fertile soil and abundant natural resources.

The county was officially established on March 25, 1855, and was named after Alfred B. Greenwood, a prominent lawyer from the neighboring city of Emporia. The first town to be established in the county was Eureka, which quickly became a hub for trade and commerce. The discovery of oil in the late 19th century further fueled the county's growth, attracting more settlers and boosting the local economy.

During the early 20th century, Greenwood County saw a period of sustained growth and prosperity. Agriculture, particularly wheat farming, became a major industry in the area, with many farmers establishing successful operations. The county's rich oil reserves also continued to be a significant driver of economic development, with numerous wells being drilled and oil companies setting up operations in the area.

However, the Great Depression of the 1930s had a devastating impact on Greenwood County, as it did on many other parts of the country. The local economy suffered greatly, and many residents struggled to make ends meet. It wasn't until the late 20th century that the economy began to recover, as new industries, such as manufacturing and services, emerged in the area.

Today, Greenwood County is known for its beautiful rural landscapes, friendly communities, and strong sense of community. Its history is still evident in the historic buildings and landmarks that dot the landscape, serving as a reminder of the county's past. With a diverse economy and a rich cultural heritage, Greenwood County continues to be a vibrant and thriving part of Kansas.

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

  • 1855: Greenwood County is established as an original county with its county seat in present-day Eureka.
  • 1857: The first settlers arrive in the area.
  • 1873: The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway reaches the county, leading to increased immigration and economic development.
  • 1875: The city of Hamilton is established and becomes the largest city in the county.
  • 1886: A boom in oil production begins, leading to the discovery of several productive oil wells.
  • 1893: The county seat is moved from Eureka to the newly established city of Madison.
  • 1907: The county experiences a decline in population due to the depletion of oil resources.
  • 1951: Oil production in the county experiences a brief revival.
  • 1971: Eureka regains its status as the county seat.
  • 1989: The county celebrates its 125th anniversary with various events and activities.