The world's first Pizza Hut restaurant opened in Wichita, Kansas in 1958.
Russell County, located in the state of Kansas, has a rich and diverse history that spans centuries. The region was originally inhabited by Native American tribes, particularly the Kansa and Pawnee tribes, who utilized the area's fertile land for hunting and agriculture. In the early 19th century, European settlers began to explore and settle in the region, leading to the establishment of Russell County.

The county was officially organized in 1867 and named after US Senator, George A. Russell. The area quickly became a hub for agriculture, with settlers taking advantage of the vast prairies and rich soil to grow crops such as wheat, corn, and sorghum. This led to the establishment of numerous farming communities across the county.

The arrival of the railroad in the late 19th century brought further growth and prosperity to Russell County. The town of Russell, the county seat, became a major trading center and transportation hub, attracting new businesses and industries. The railroad not only facilitated the transportation of crops but also brought in new residents and immigrants, further diversifying the population.

Over the years, Russell County has faced periods of economic challenges, particularly during the Great Depression. However, the county has remained resilient, adapting to new industries and technologies. Today, Russell County is known for its agricultural heritage, picturesque landscapes, and friendly communities. It continues to thrive as a center for farming and ranching while also embracing modern advancements and technologies.

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

  • Russell County was established on February 26, 1867.
  • In 1871, the first county courthouse was built in Russell Springs, the original county seat.
  • In 1872, Catherine Russell, widow of Avra P. Russell, donated land for a new county seat, which was named Russell after her late husband.
  • In 1880, the Union Pacific Railroad reached Russell, leading to increased settlement and economic growth.
  • The first newspaper in Russell County, the Record, was established in 1880.
  • In 1888, the county built a new courthouse in Russell, replacing the previous structure.
  • In 1928, the Smoky Hill River overflowed, causing significant damage to bridges and infrastructure in Russell County.
  • During the Dust Bowl era of the 1930s, Russell County experienced severe drought, soil erosion, and economic hardships.
  • In 1951, Wilson Reservoir was completed, providing a recreational area and water source for the county.
  • Russell County celebrated its centennial in 1967 with various events and commemorations.
  • In recent years, the county has focused on promoting tourism and outdoor activities, utilizing its natural attractions and historical sites.