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The famous novel "In Cold Blood" by Truman Capote is based on a true story that took place in Holcomb, Kansas in 1959.
Woodson County, Kansas is located in the southeastern part of the state, and its history dates back to the mid-19th century. The county was named after Daniel Woodson, the secretary of the Kansas Territory. The region was initially settled by Native American tribes, including the Osage and the Kanza, with whom peaceful relations were maintained.

The influx of Euro-American settlers began in the 1850s during the territorial period. Woodson County was officially established in 1855, and the town of Neosho Falls became the county seat. The area primarily relied on agriculture, with farms and ranches covering the fertile land. The county's proximity to the Verdigris River further boosted its agricultural potential.

During the Civil War, tensions ran high in Kansas due to the conflict between pro-slavery and anti-slavery factions. Woodson County saw some skirmishes, but it remained relatively peaceful compared to other parts of the state. After the war, the county continued to grow as more settlers arrived and established homesteads.

The early 20th century witnessed significant development in Woodson County, with the arrival of the railroad in the 1880s. This transportation infrastructure facilitated trade and brought economic growth to the region. However, like many rural areas, the county also faced challenges such as the Great Depression and the decline of the agricultural industry.

Today, Woodson County has a small population and remains predominantly rural. The county's rich history is preserved in various historical sites, including Neosho Falls, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The community continues to promote its agricultural heritage while embracing modern developments and industries.

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

  • 1855 - Woodson County established as a political subdivision of Kansas Territory.
  • 1857 - County named in honor of Daniel Woodson, Secretary of the Kansas Territory.
  • 1861 - Woodson County becomes officially recognized as a county within the state of Kansas.
  • 1871 - The first railroad, the Missouri Pacific, reaches Woodson County.
  • 1875 - Yates Center becomes the county seat.
  • 1887 - Kansas Legislature establishes the Woodson County State Lake as a public fishing and hunting area.
  • 1916 - Neosho State Fishing Lake, adjacent to Woodson County, is completed.
  • 1930 - Construction begins on the Woodson County Courthouse in Yates Center.
  • 1962 - Yates Center High School opens.
  • 1977 - Woodson County State Fishing Lake is renamed to Woodson State Fishing Lake.
  • 1997 - The town of Toronto is severely damaged by a tornado.