Butler County

Early Explorations

In 1541 Coronado first explored what was to become Kansas. On his trip north to present day Corondo Heights, near Salina, he met the Quiverans Indians, ancestors of the Pawnee Indians. Other Indian tribes he might have come in contact with include the Osage, Kansas, Wichita, and Paducahs.

Kansas Territory

Before 1854, Kansas was Indian Territory and the area which now comprises Butler County was part of the hunting grounds of the Osage Indians.


In 1855, Butler County was first organized with Chelsea (now located under Lake El Dorado) as the county seat. The county was reorganized twice, with the county seat being moved to El Dorado in 1864, then the southern terminus of the Atchinson, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad.

In 1863, after the U.S. government's purchase of land from the Osage Indians, Butler County was generally opened to eastern settlement. Part of the land was sold at $1.25 an acre in trust for the Osage, and other portions were available for homesteading. In addition, a portion of land paralleling the railroad was donated to the railroad companies to help in building the tracks.

Go West Young Man 

In 1871, Horace Greeley, editor of the New York Tribune, wrote a letter to R. L. Sanderson, a young correspondent who had requested career advice. The letter contained the now famous advice to go west young man.

As the 1878 map of Butler County indicates, most settlements were along the many county rivers and streams. The major rivers and creeks include the White Water, Walnut, Little Walnut rivers and the Hickory, Rock, Indianola, Satchell, Four Mile, and Eight Mile creeks.

1878 Map of Butler County.

Beaumont Kansas

Beaumont Kansas is located in the southeast corner of Glencoe Township, bordering on Hickory Township where the first Van Huss in Kansas settled and farmed. In 1878, Beaumont did not exist. But to give some understanding of the population, consider that the townships of Glencoe and Hickory on the Little Walnut River, which included the early Van Huss settlers had a total population of 381 and 258 respectively.

Several of the small communities listed on the early Butler County map are now long gone. They include Quito and New Excelsior in Hickory and Glencoe Townships. Other extinct towns are Arizona (Arizonia), Aral, Amadour, Ayr, Buffalo Town Company, Bryant, Caribo, Cave Springs, Clear Ford, Chelsea Town Company (now under El Dorado Lake), Cleveland, Cornhill, Crettenden, Dixon, Edgecomb, Freedom, Glen, Holden, Inianola, Kossuth, Minneha (now part of east Wichita near the school of the same name), Modena, Mulburry Grove, Nellans, New Millwaukee, Minnesk, Oil City (now part of El Dorado), Overton , Providence, Pendell, Pine Grove, Plum Grove (near Potwin), Redden, Smithfield, Schonholm, Spring Branch, Sycamore Springs (west of Cassoday), Sunnyside, Tolle, Walnut, Webster City, and Whitewater City.

History of Butler County Kansas, 1916, Vol. P. Mooney, page 62.

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