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The town of Greensburg, Kansas was destroyed by an EF5 tornado in 2007, and has since rebuilt as a model "green town" using eco-friendly technologies and materials.
Norton County, located in the state of Kansas, holds a rich history that dates back centuries. The region was originally home to Native American tribes, including the Cheyenne and Sioux, who utilized the area's abundant natural resources for hunting and gathering. However, the arrival of European settlers in the mid-19th century would reshape the landscape and define the future of Norton County.

In 1867, the county was officially established and named after Orloff Norton, an officer who had fought in the Civil War. The region quickly attracted pioneers looking to establish farms and businesses, drawn by the fertile soil and potential for economic growth. The construction of the Union Pacific Railroad in the 1870s further fueled development by providing easier access to the area.

Agriculture became the backbone of Norton County's economy, with wheat and livestock farming dominating the landscape. The county experienced periods of prosperity and struggle, as changing weather patterns and economic fluctuations influenced the success of the agricultural industry. Despite these challenges, the community persisted and thrived, adapting to the changing times and diversifying its economy.

Norton County has also played a significant role in aviation history. In the early 20th century, pioneers in aviation such as Clyde Cessna and Amelia Earhart pushed the boundaries of flight here, with Cessna testing one of his early airplanes in the county. Today, Norton County continues to embrace its rich history while looking toward the future, offering a distinctive blend of rural charm and modern amenities to residents and visitors alike.

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

  • 1844: The first European explorers arrive in the area that is now Norton County.
  • 1850s: The area is inhabited by various Native American tribes, including the Kansa, Pawnee, and Cheyenne.
  • 1867: The construction of the Union Pacific Railroad through the county brings settlers and facilitates further development.
  • 1873: Norton County is officially established as a county in the state of Kansas.
  • 1874: The town of Norton, named after Civil War General Orloff Norton, is founded as the county seat.
  • 1885: The first courthouse in Norton County is constructed in Norton.
  • 1887: The town of Lenora is founded.
  • 1918: The Spanish flu pandemic greatly impacts Norton County, resulting in numerous deaths and disruptions to daily life.
  • 1930s: The Dust Bowl severely affects the county, causing economic hardships for farmers and residents.
  • 1984: The Norton County Courthouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
  • 2009: The Norton County Historical Society is established to preserve and promote the county's history.