National Register Listings in
Meade County, Kansas

The famous abolitionist John Brown made a name for himself in Kansas during the Bleeding Kansas era by leading raids against pro-slavery settlers.
Meade County, located in southwestern Kansas, has a rich history that dates back to the mid-19th century. The area was originally inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Comanche and Kiowa, who roamed the Great Plains region. European settlement began in the 1870s when pioneers arrived in search of land and opportunities.

In 1872, Meade County was established and named after army general George G. Meade. The county's growth was initially slow, but it gained momentum with the arrival of the railroad in 1887. The railroad brought new settlers, businesses, and industries, such as farming and cattle ranching, which became vital to the county's economy.

During the early 20th century, Meade County faced several challenges, including severe droughts and the Great Depression. Many farmers suffered financial hardships, forcing some to abandon their land and search for better opportunities elsewhere. However, the county persevered, and with the introduction of new agricultural technologies, it experienced a revival in the post-World War II era.

In recent decades, Meade County has continued to evolve. It is renowned for its rich agricultural heritage and is a major producer of wheat, corn, and beef. The county also promotes eco-tourism due to its beautiful landscapes, including the world's largest hand-dug well in the town of Meade. Despite its small population, Meade County remains a tight-knit community with a strong sense of pride in its history and contributions to the state of Kansas.

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

  • 1873 - Meade County is founded.
  • 1885 - The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway extends to Meade County, stimulating growth in the area.
  • 1888 - The first newspaper, The Meade Globe, is published in Meade County.
  • 1890 - The population of Meade County reaches over 2,000 residents.
  • 1907 - The town of Meade is officially incorporated.
  • 1929 - The Dust Bowl begins, causing severe drought and economic hardship in Meade County.
  • 1941 - World War II begins, and Meade County residents actively participate in the war effort.
  • 1953 - The Blackwell Oil Company discovers oil in Meade County, leading to the growth of the oil industry.
  • 1971 - The Dalton Gang Hideout, a historic site, is opened to the public in Meade County.
  • 1985 - The Meade County Historical Society is established to preserve the area's history.