The famous abolitionist John Brown made a name for himself in Kansas during the Bleeding Kansas era by leading raids against pro-slavery settlers.
Labette County, Kansas, located in the southeastern part of the state, has a rich and vibrant history dating back to the mid-1800s. The area was originally inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Osage, Shawnee, and Potawatomi. European settlement began in the 1840s when pioneers began to establish farms along the Neosho River.

The county was officially organized in 1867 and named after the French fur trader Pierre La Bette. It quickly became an important center for trade and agriculture, attracting settlers looking for fertile land. The town of Oswego was established as the county seat, and it remains so to this day.

During the late 19th century, Labette County experienced significant growth and development. Railroads were built, connecting the county to larger cities, which helped to boost the local economy. The discovery of coal in the area also led to an increase in mining operations, further contributing to the county's prosperity.

In the early 20th century, Labette County faced challenges brought about by the Great Depression and the decline of the coal industry. However, the county persevered and diversified its economy, focusing on agriculture and manufacturing. Today, Labette County is known for its productive farming industry, including crops such as corn, soybeans, and wheat. The county also boasts several manufacturing facilities that produce various goods.

Labette County's history is characterized by a strong sense of community and resilience. Despite economic ups and downs, the county remains an important agricultural and industrial hub in Kansas, with a rich heritage that is celebrated and cherished by its residents.

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

  • 1867 - Labette County established as a county in Kansas.
  • 1870 - The first permanent settlers arrive in what is now Labette County.
  • 1871 - Neosho River Bridge is built, improving transportation in the area.
  • 1873 - The first newspaper, "The Oswego Independent," is published in Oswego.
  • 1875 - The first courthouse is built in Oswego.
  • 1876 - Neosho County is formed from a portion of Labette County.
  • 1881 - Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway is completed, boosting the local economy.
  • 1884 - Pittsburg & Gulf Railroad is built through Labette County.
  • 1904 - The Kansas City Southern Railway acquires the Pittsburg & Gulf Railroad.
  • 1926 - Route 66 is established, running through Labette County.
  • 1944 - The Fairview Lift Bridge is completed, providing a link across the Neosho River.
  • 1968 - The County Historical Society is established to preserve Labette County's history.
  • 1977 - The Oswego Museum opens its doors to the public.
  • 1985 - Labette Community College is established in Parsons.
  • 2001 - The Labette County Historical Society Museum is opened to showcase local artifacts.