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Coordinates: 38°18′N 96°35′W / 38.3, -96.583

Chase County, Kansas
Chase County Courthouse in Cottonwood Falls
Map of Kansas highlighting Chase County
Location in the state of Kansas
Map of USA KS
Kansas's location in the U.S.
Founded February 11, 1859
Named for Salmon P. Chase
Seat Cottonwood Falls
Largest city Cottonwood Falls
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

778 sq mi (2,015 km²)
773 sq mi (2,002 km²)
4.7 sq mi (12 km²), 0.6%
 - (2010)
 - Density

3.6/sq mi (1/km²)
Congressional district 1st
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5

Chase County (county code CS) is a county located in the U.S. state of Kansas. As of the 2010 census, the county population was 2,790.[1] Its county seat and most populous city is Cottonwood Falls.[2]

The county has been the subject of a book by William Least Heat-Moon. Notre Dame coach Knute Rockne died in a 1931 plane crash in the county. The Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve was established in the county in 1996. The center of population of Kansas is located in Chase County, about four miles north of Strong City.


Early historyEdit

For many millennia, the Great Plains of North America was inhabited by nomadic Native Americans. From the 16th century to 18th century, the Kingdom of France claimed ownership of large parts of North America. In 1762, after the French and Indian War, France secretly ceded New France to Spain, per the Treaty of Fontainebleau. In 1802, Spain returned most of the land to France, but keeping title to about 7,500 square miles.

In 1803, most of the land for modern day Kansas was acquired by the United States from France as part of the 828,000 square mile Louisiana Purchase for 2.83 cents per acre. In 1848, after the Mexican-American War, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo with Spain brought into the United States all or part of land for ten future states, including southwest Kansas. In 1854, the Kansas Territory was organized, then in 1861 Kansas became the 34th U.S. state.

19th centuryEdit

Map elk chase kansas

1893 Railroad Map.

In 1806, Zebulon Pike led the Pike expedition westward from St Louis, Missouri, of which part of their journey followed the Cottonwood River through modern Chase County.[3]

In 1859, Chase County was established within the Kansas Territory.

In 1871, the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway extended a main line from Emporia to Newton.[4] In 1887, Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway built a branch line from Neva (3 miles west of Strong City) to Superior, Nebraska. This branch line connected Strong City, Neva, Rockland, Diamond Springs, Burdick, Lost Springs, Jacobs, Hope, Navarre, Enterprise, Abilene, Talmage, Manchester, Longford, Oak Hill, Miltonvale, Aurora, Huscher, Concordia, Kackley, Courtland, Webber, Superior. At some point, the line from Neva to Lost Springs was pulled but the right of way has not been abandoned. This branch line was originally called "Strong City and Superior line" but later the name was shortened to the "Strong City line". In 1996, the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway merged with Burlington Northern Railroad and renamed to the current BNSF Railway.

The south-western border one mile "notch" into Marion County was established under unusual circumstances. A murder had occurred and Marion County didn't want to have the trial, so a section one mile wide and eighteen miles long was ceded to Chase County to ensure the murder had occurred there.[5] The one mile strip of land remains in Chase County to this day.

Historical markersEdit

Historical mapsEdit


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 778 square miles (2,020 km2), of which 773 square miles (2,000 km2) is land and 4.7 square miles (12 km2) (0.6%) is water.[6]

Chase County is centrally located in the eastern half of the state in the Flint Hills geologic region. It's located in the Neosho River drainage basin.[7]

Adjacent counties Edit

National protected areaEdit

Major highwaysEdit

Sources: National Atlas,[8] U.S. Census Bureau[9]

  • Interstate 35 All of I-35 in Chase County is part of the Kansas Turnpike and inaccessible to the general public from within the county. The closest access points are via U.S. Route 50 in Emporia or Kansas Highway 177 in Cassoday. There is a private interchange located southeast of Bazaar for loading cattle. The overpass names the interchange the "Bazaar Cattle Crossing."[10]
  • U.S. Route 50
  • K-150
  • K-177


Historical populations
Census Pop.
1860 1,046 [11]
1870 1,975 88.8%
1880 6,081 207.9%
1890 8,233 35.4%
1900 8,246 0.2%
1910 7,527 −8.7%
1920 7,144 −5.1%
1930 6,952 −2.7%
1940 6,345 −8.7%
1950 4,831 −23.9%
1960 3,921 −18.8%
1970 3,408 −13.1%
1980 3,309 −2.9%
1990 3,021 −8.7%
2000 3,030 0.3%
2010 2,790 −7.9%
Est. 2013 2,700 −10.9%
U.S. Decennial Census[12]
1790-1960[13] 1900-1990[14]
1990-2000[15] 2010-2013[1]
USA Chase County, Kansas age pyramid

Population pyramid

As of the U.S. Census in 2000,[16] there were 3,030 people, 1,246 households, and 817 families residing in the county. The population density was 4 people per square mile (2/km²). There were 1,529 housing units at an average density of 2 per square mile (1/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 96.90% White, 1.02% Black or African American, 0.56% Native American, 0.13% Asian, 0.56% from other races, and 0.83% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.75% of the population.

There were 1,246 households out of which 28.30% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.60% were married couples living together, 7.60% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.40% were non-families. 31.10% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.90% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.34 and the average family size was 2.92.

In the county the population was spread out with 24.10% under the age of 18, 6.50% from 18 to 24, 26.60% from 25 to 44, 24.10% from 45 to 64, and 18.70% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 103.90 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 99.40 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $32,656, and the median income for a family was $39,848. Males had a median income of $27,402 versus $21,528 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,422. About 4.10% of families and 8.60% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.00% of those under age 18 and 6.30% of those age 65 or over.


Following amendment to the Kansas Constitution in 1986, the county remained a prohibition, or "dry", county until 1988, when voters approved the sale of alcoholic liquor by the individual drink with a 30% food sales requirement.[17]

Education Edit

Unified school districts Edit

District Office In Neighboring County


Map of Chase Co, Ks, USA

2005 KDOT Map of Chase County (map legend)


Unincorporated placesEdit

Ghost townsEdit


Chase County is divided into nine townships. None of the cities within the county are considered governmentally independent, and all figures for the townships include those of the cities. In the following table, the population center is the largest city (or cities) included in that township's population total, if it is of a significant size.

Township FIPS Population
Population Population
/km² (/sq mi)
Land area
km² (sq mi)
Water area
km² (sq mi)
Water % Geographic coordinates
Bazaar 04700 81 0 (1) 293 (113) 0 (0) 0.17% 38°15′55″N 96°32′3″W / 38.26528, -96.53417
Cedar 11225 116 1 (2) 142 (55) 0 (0) 0.22% 38°8′54″N 96°46′30″W / 38.14833, -96.775
Cottonwood 15875 184 1 (2) 209 (81) 0 (0) 0.23% 38°17′23″N 96°45′44″W / 38.28972, -96.76222
Diamond Creek 17975 237 1 (2) 373 (144) 1 (0) 0.24% 38°25′31″N 96°40′35″W / 38.42528, -96.67639
Falls 22850 Cottonwood Falls 1,163 9 (23) 131 (51) 1 (0) 0.42% 38°21′55″N 96°32′27″W / 38.36528, -96.54083
Homestead 32950 52 0 (1) 141 (54) 0 (0) 0.27% 38°10′56″N 96°42′14″W / 38.18222, -96.70389
Matfield 45125 155 0 (1) 316 (122) 1 (0) 0.29% 38°8′59″N 96°30′56″W / 38.14972, -96.51556
Strong 68600 Strong City 740 4 (11) 172 (67) 0 (0) 0.24% 38°24′20″N 96°32′18″W / 38.40556, -96.53833
Toledo 70775 302 1 (3) 233 (90) 1 (0) 0.44% 38°24′49″N 96°23′50″W / 38.41361, -96.39722
Sources: "Census 2000 U.S. Gazetteer Files". U.S. Census Bureau, Geography Division. 

In popular cultureEdit

Made famous by William Least Heat-Moon's epic book PrairyErth: A Deep Map (1991).

NRHP sitesEdit

The following sites in Chase County are listed on the National Register of Historic Places:

See alsoEdit

Information on this and other counties in Kansas

Other information for Kansas

Further readingEdit

Chase County


  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 22, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ 1806 Pike Expedition map through Marion County.
  4. ^ Santa Fe Rail History
  5. ^ Kansas State Historical Society - Marion County
  6. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  7. ^ Wikisource-logo "Chase". The American Cyclopædia. 1879. 
  8. ^ National Atlas
  9. ^ U.S. Census Bureau TIGER shape files
  10. ^ Google Maps Street View
  11. ^ The census population cited for 1860 includes Otoe county which was annexed before 1870. In 1860, the census population was 808 for Chase and 238 for Otoe.
  12. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 22, 2014. 
  13. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved July 22, 2014. 
  14. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 22, 2014. 
  15. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 22, 2014. 
  16. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  17. ^ "Map of Wet and Dry Counties". Alcoholic Beverage Control, Kansas Department of Revenue. November 2006. Retrieved 2007-12-26. 

External linksEdit

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