Place:Atchison, Kansas, United States

Alt namesATsource: Wikipedia
Atchinson Countysource: USGS, GNIS Digital Gazetteer (1994) GNIS20014494
Atchisonsource: Getty Vocabulary Program
Coordinates39.533°N 95.3°W
Located inKansas, United States     (1855 - )


County of Atchison

Atchison is a county situated in the northeastern part of the state of Kansas, United States of America. The county seat and largest city in the county is also named Atchison. The county is bounded on the north by the county of Brown, on the north and east by the county of Doniphan, on the east by the state of Missouri (including the counties of Buchanan and Platte), on the south by the counties of Leavenworth and Jefferson, and on the west by the county of Jackson. The Missouri river, separating the states of Kansas and Missouri, forms most of the eastern boundary of the county.


Atchison was one of the first 33 counties erected, on 25 August 1855, by the first legislative Assembly of the territory of Kansas. It was named after David R. Atchison, United States senator from Missouri, who helped found the town of Atchison as a pro-slavery settlement. The territory within the limits of the county originally formed a part of the Kickapoo reserve, established by the treaty of 1833, with the exception of the southwest corner which was a part of the Delaware reserve and outlet, established by the treaty of 1831. These lands were ceded, under certain conditions, to the general government in 1854 and opened to settlement. In 1833, the Methodist Episcopal church established a mission among the Kickapoo, located in what is now the northwestern corner of the county near Kennekuk. The first white man to locate permanently and erect a home is supposed to have been a Frenchman named Pensoneau, who married a Kickapoo Indian and settled on the banks of Stranger creek in 1839. The county was surveyed into townships in 1855, and into sections in fall of that year. The overland stage route to California ran west through Atchison county into Franklin county; the Butterfield overland dispatch to Denver started from Atchison, as did also the parallel roads to the gold fields. Thousands passed along these well known highways, but there were few settlers in Atchison county from any state except Missouri.

The county commissioners of Atchison county were elected by the territorial legislature, and Gov. Woodson signed their commissions on 31 August 1855. They met and organized on 17 September at the house of O.B. Dickerson in Atchison, the members present being William J. Young, James M. Givens and James A. Headley, probate judge. William McVay had been appointed sheriff previous to this meeting, at which time the following officers were appointed by the board: Ira Morris, clerk and recorder; Samuel Walters, assessor; Samuel Dickson, treasurer. The county was divided into three townships: Grasshopper, Mount Pleasant and Shannon. The next day Eli C. Mason was appointed sheriff in place of McVay, who resigned, and Dudley McVay was chosen coroner. Voting precincts were established for each township in preparation for the election of a delegate to Congress, which was set for the first Monday of October. There was some question as to the permanent location of the county seat, and this was not settled until the election held on the first Monday in October 1858, when Atchison received the majority of votes.


The boundaries of the county, as first defined by the first legislative Assembly, were as follows:

Beginning at the southeast corner of the county of Doniphan; thence west twenty-five (25) miles; thence south sixteen (16) miles; thence east to the Mississippi (Missouri) river; thence up said river to the place of beginning.

In 1868, the boundaries of the county were redefined as follows:

Commencing at the southeast corner of Doniphan county; thence with the southern boundary of Doniphan county, to the township line between townships 4 and 5 south; thence west with the said township line between townships 4 and 5 south, to the range line between ranges 16 and 17 east; thence south with said range line, to the southwest corner of section 19, of township 7 south, of range 17 east; thence east with the section lines to the intersection with the western boundary line of the State of Missouri; thence north with said boundary line of the State of Missouri, to the place of beginning. (G.S. 1868, ch. 24; § 4; R.S. 1923, 18-103; L. 1949, ch. 196, § 1; _, with additional stipulations.)


Census Year 1860 1870 1880 1890 1900 1910 1920 1930 1940 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990
Population 7,72915,50726,66826,75828,60628,10723,41123,94522,22221,49620,89819,16518,39716,932
Source:Population of States and Counties of the United States: 1790-1990


Date Event Source
1855 County formed Source:Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources
1855 Land records recorded Source:Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources
1855 Marriage records recorded Source:Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources
1855 Probate records recorded Source:Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources
1858 Court records recorded Source:Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources
1860 First census Source:Population of States and Counties of the United States: 1790-1990
1860 No significant boundary changes after this year Source:Population of States and Counties of the United States: 1790-1990
1891 Birth records recorded Source:Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources


See the category: Cemeteries of Atchison County, Kansas, United States.

Research Tips


  • Blackmar, Frank W. Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. (Chicago, Illinois: Standard Publishing, 1912). WorldCat
  • Standard atlas of Atchison County, Kansas. (Chicago, Illinois: Ogle, 1903). Images. KansasMemory
  • [Cutler, William G.] History of the State of Kansas. (Chicago, Illinois: Andreas, 1883). WorldCat KanColl
  • Tuttle, Charles R. A new centennial history of the state of Kansas being a full and complete civil, political and military history of the state, from its earliest settlement to the present time. (Madison, Wisconsin, and Lawrence, Kansas: Inter-state Book, 1876). WorldCat


From Wikipedia

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Atchison County (county code AT) is a county located in northeastern Kansas, in the Central United States. As of the 2010 census, the county population was 16,924. Its county seat and most populous city is Atchison. The county is named in honor of David Rice Atchison, a United States Senator from Missouri.

This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Atchison County, Kansas. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog