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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Kansas Facts and Figures

Gleaned from the Historical Marker Database

 

on February 4, 2023

 
1876 artwork by Henry Mitchell, via Wikipedia Commons

 Kansas ranks 25th among states and provinces with markers in this database. Kansas is a state in the United States of America located in the American Midwest. It is also in the Upper Plains region. Kansas is some 82 thousand square miles in size with a population of around 2.9 million people. The state is divided into 105 counties and 104 of them have entries in this database. In Kansas we have discovered historical markers in 322 cities and towns lying in 322 different ZIP Codes.

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There are at least 2,152 historical markers in Kansas, by our count. We have cataloged 2,135 historical markers and 445 war memorials—each individually presented on 2,522 illustrated, annotated, and searchable pages of the Historical Marker Database. Pages for historical markers from this state make up 1.1% of our total. In addition, we are reasonably certain of another 17 historical markers in Kansas that we don’t yet have, and instead show on our Want List. Our correspondents have been finding and adding hundreds of markers a month to the database from all over the world, so next time you visit this page you will probably find that the numbers here have changed.

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The first Kansas marker in the database, Nicodemus, was added August 6, 2007. It was photographed in Nicodemus in Graham County. The last one added was submitted on January 18, 2023, and titled Liberal Army Air Base Memorial. It is in Liberal in Seward County. Keeping in mind that the erection date of many markers in the database is not known, the earliest historical marker we know of in Kansas was erected in 1886. It was this one: Baxter Springs Civil War Memorial, and one of our correspondents found it near Baxter Springs in Cherokee County on July 26, 2009.

Kansas Historical Topics
638 • Settlements and Settlers
540 • Industry and Commerce
299 • Roads and Vehicles
248 • Education
222 • Native Americans
209 • Civil War
189 • World War II
180 • Churches and Religion
174 • Charity and Public Work
155 • Cemeteries and Burial Sites
    ... and others ...

Kansans don’t want to forget their Settlements and Settlers history. How do we know? Because there are more historical markers in the database from Kansas about Settlements and Settlers—638 of them—than about any other historical topic. It is followed by Industry and Commerce with 540 markers.

The first marker added to the database with the Settlements and Settlers topic was also Nicodemus, added August 6, 2007. It had been erected in Nicodemus in Graham County. The last one submitted was submitted on January 13, 2023, and titled Santa Fe Trail. It had been erected in 1906 in Kinsley in Edwards County. One of the earliest marker erected with the Settlements and Settlers topic that we have listed was erected in 1906. More than one was erected in 1906. This is one of them: Santa Fe Trail, found in Dodge City in Ford County on August 22, 2022.

What is the most interesting historical marker in Kansas? What we know is that The Buffalo Soldier Monument is the most viewed entry in the database from Kansas since it was added in 2007. It is located in Fort Leavenworth in Leavenworth County. This year so far, the most viewed Kansan entry is located in Hays in Ellis County. It is Tommy Drum's Saloon.

Counties, Cities and Towns

The Kansas county with the most historical markers listed in this database is Sedgwick County, with 129 of them. It is followed by Leavenworth County with 106 markers. The Wichita area of Sedgwick County has the highest number of markers within its limits, 127. In Leavenworth County the area with the most markers, 65, is Leavenworth.

Historical Markers in These
Kansas Counties
129 • Sedgwick County
106 • Leavenworth County
104 • Douglas County
104 • Johnson County
104 • Wyandotte County
88 • Shawnee County
83 • Cherokee County
83 • Ellis County
66 • Crawford County
65 • Linn County
    ... and others ...

Checking the database for the city or town in Kansas with the most markers we again find Wichita at the top of the list with 127 markers in or near it. It is followed by Kansas City in Wyandotte County with 96 markers. For the ZIP Code with the most markers it’s 67202 at the top of the list with 79 markers in its delivery area. (ZIP Code 67202 is assigned to Wichita KS.) It is followed by ZIP Code 67601 with 68 markers. (67601 is assigned to Hays KS including the Antonino delivery area.)

Historical Markers Near These
Kansas Cities and Towns
127 • Wichita
96 • Kansas City
84 • Topeka
68 • Hays
67 • Lawrence
65 • Leavenworth
56 • Council Grove
53 • Concordia
51 • Fort Scott
49 • Baxter Springs
    ... and others ...

Getting back to Sedgwick County, the first marker added to the database from there, Edwin A. Ulrich, was added June 10, 2012. in Wichita. The last one submitted was uploaded on November 10, 2014, and is titled Delano Township and was erected in 1993, in Wichita. The earliest marker erected in Sedgwick County that we have listed was erected in 1901. It was Spanish-American War Memorial, found in Wichita on October 27, 2012.

Latest entry from Kansas. Click to go there
By Cosmos Mariner, August 17, 2022
Latest Entry from Kansas
“Liberal Army Air Base Memorial”

And finally the first, last, and oldest markers from Kansas City. The first: Maple Hill Cemetery Civil War Memorial, was added September 4, 2009. It had been erected in 1910. The last: Ralph Houk added on July 13, 2022. The earliest marker erected was erected in 1910: Maple Hill Cemetery Civil War Memorial, added on September 4, 2009.

Who Puts Up Historical Markers?

There is no organization in charge of erecting official historical markers state-wide in Kansas today but the Kansas State Historical Society was once responsible for erecting the familiar big brown and white historical markers. They erected their first marker in 1938, and we have 224 of their markers in the database. Also, a number of counties have erected historical markers on their streets and roads and within their public areas, as have some cities and towns.

Latest entry from Kansas. Click to go there
By William J. Toman, May 6, 2017
A Kansas State Historical Society Historical Marker

Then there are federal government agencies that put up historical markers, especially in national parks and other areas under their jurisdiction. And finally, there are the numerous public and private organizations and individuals that erect markers. Some do this as a continual endeavor, and others once in a while, to mark something, someone, or someplace they find important or interesting. When one of our correspondents comes across one that satisfies our criteria, we add it to the database.

Off the Beaten Path

You’ll find that even the smallest, least populated, or most rural areas of Kansas have been marked with history. Check out Greeley County, Gove County and Cheyenne County. We've only found one historical marker in each. Visiting one or more of these parts of Kansas might make for a pleasant road trip, and maybe you’ll discover more historical markers while you’re there. If you do, perhaps you’ll take the time to photograph them and, when you get home, become an HMdb correspondent by adding them to the database. Happy Hunting!

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Feb. 4, 2023