Decatur County, Kansas

Decatur County (county code DC) is a county located in Northwest Kansas. As of the 2020 census, the county population was 2,764.[1] Its county seat and most populous city is Oberlin.[2] The county is named in honor of Commodore Stephen Decatur, Jr.

Decatur County
Bank of Oberlin (2014)
Map of Kansas highlighting Decatur County
Location within the U.S. state of Kansas
Map of the United States highlighting Kansas
Kansas's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 39°48′N 100°28′W / 39.800°N 100.467°W / 39.800; -100.467Coordinates: 39°48′N 100°28′W / 39.800°N 100.467°W / 39.800; -100.467
Country United States
State Kansas
FoundedMarch 20, 1873
Named forStephen Decatur, Jr.
SeatOberlin
Largest cityOberlin
Area
 • Total894 sq mi (2,320 km2)
 • Land894 sq mi (2,320 km2)
 • Water0.6 sq mi (2 km2)  0.07%%
Population
 • Total2,764
 • Density3.1/sq mi (1.2/km2)
Time zoneUTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
Area code785
Congressional district1st
Websiteoberlinks.com

HistoryEdit

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.

19th centuryEdit

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 1854, the Kansas Territory was organized, then in 1861 Kansas became the 34th U.S. state. Decatur County was established March 20, 1873 and organized on December 15, 1879. It is named for the Navy war hero Commodore Stephen Decatur, Jr.,[3] who served during the First Barbary War and the Second Barbary War and the War of 1812.

In 1878, the Sappa Creek valley in Decatur county was the scene of the last raid by Native Americans (Indians) in Kansas. In the Northern Cheyenne Exodus after the Battle of Punished Woman's Fork, a band of Cheyenne needing horses and provisions raged through the valley, killing more than 30 civilians and raping several woman. Several Cheyenne elderly, women, and children were also killed in the region by soldiers and civilians.[4] In Oberlin, the Decatur County Last Indian Raid Museum commemorates the Cheyenne raid.[5][6]

GeographyEdit

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 894 square miles (2,320 km2), of which 894 square miles (2,320 km2) is land and 0.6 square miles (1.6 km2) (0.07%) is water.[7]

Adjacent countiesEdit

DemographicsEdit

Historical population
Census Pop.
18804,180
18908,414101.3%
19009,2349.7%
19108,976−2.8%
19208,121−9.5%
19308,8669.2%
19407,434−16.2%
19506,185−16.8%
19605,778−6.6%
19704,988−13.7%
19804,509−9.6%
19904,021−10.8%
20003,472−13.7%
20102,961−14.7%
20202,764−6.7%
U.S. Decennial Census[8]
1790-1960[9] 1900-1990[10]
1990-2000[11] 2010-2020[1]

As of the 2000 census,[12] there were 3,472 people, 1,494 households, and 981 families residing in the county. The population density was 4 people per square mile (2/km2). There were 1,821 housing units at an average density of 2 per square mile (1/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 97.87% White, 0.52% Black or African American, 0.09% Native American, 0.14% Asian, 0.12% Pacific Islander, 0.37% from other races, and 0.89% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.98% of the population.

There were 1,494 households, out of which 25.80% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.00% were married couples living together, 5.60% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.30% were non-families. 32.80% of all households were made up of individuals, and 17.50% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.24 and the average family size was 2.83.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 23.60% under the age of 18, 4.70% from 18 to 24, 22.90% from 25 to 44, 22.60% from 45 to 64, and 26.20% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 44 years. For every 100 females there were 97.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.40 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $30,257, and the median income for a family was $34,982. Males had a median income of $25,139 versus $17,368 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,348. About 8.00% of families and 11.60% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.20% of those under age 18 and 6.30% of those age 65 or over.

GovernmentEdit

Decatur county is heavily Republican. The last time a democratic candidate carried the county was in 1936 by Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Presidential electionsEdit

United States presidential election results for Decatur County, Kansas[13]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 1,260 84.11% 218 14.55% 20 1.34%
2016 1,210 83.33% 178 12.26% 64 4.41%
2012 1,218 79.50% 266 17.36% 48 3.13%
2008 1,189 76.81% 343 22.16% 16 1.03%
2004 1,355 77.87% 355 20.40% 30 1.72%
2000 1,255 71.35% 424 24.10% 80 4.55%
1996 1,255 68.06% 417 22.61% 172 9.33%
1992 940 45.00% 576 27.57% 573 27.43%
1988 1,291 60.10% 793 36.92% 64 2.98%
1984 1,770 78.15% 467 20.62% 28 1.24%
1980 1,642 72.98% 443 19.69% 165 7.33%
1976 1,232 52.74% 1,011 43.28% 93 3.98%
1972 1,707 70.22% 616 25.34% 108 4.44%
1968 1,654 65.74% 652 25.91% 210 8.35%
1964 1,382 50.96% 1,314 48.45% 16 0.59%
1960 1,846 63.83% 1,038 35.89% 8 0.28%
1956 2,028 68.58% 920 31.11% 9 0.30%
1952 2,451 74.54% 821 24.97% 16 0.49%
1948 1,545 51.41% 1,402 46.66% 58 1.93%
1944 1,758 59.92% 1,159 39.50% 17 0.58%
1940 2,018 56.16% 1,546 43.03% 29 0.81%
1936 1,727 42.08% 2,362 57.55% 15 0.37%
1932 1,439 36.26% 2,422 61.02% 108 2.72%
1928 2,314 66.53% 1,129 32.46% 35 1.01%
1924 1,621 46.89% 1,218 35.23% 618 17.88%
1920 1,448 51.55% 1,221 43.47% 140 4.98%
1916 1,007 27.73% 2,431 66.95% 193 5.32%
1912 256 14.88% 955 55.52% 509 29.59%
1908 898 39.33% 1,250 54.75% 135 5.91%
1904 1,215 59.71% 411 20.20% 409 20.10%
1900 848 41.77% 1,158 57.04% 24 1.18%
1896 594 36.37% 1,032 63.20% 7 0.43%
1892 619 38.59% 0 0.00% 985 61.41%
1888 1,224 57.41% 731 34.29% 177 8.30%

LawsEdit

Following amendment to the Kansas Constitution in 1986, the county remained a prohibition, or "dry", county until 2002, when voters approved the sale of alcoholic liquor by the individual drink with a 30% food sales requirement.[14]

EducationEdit

Unified school districtsEdit

CommunitiesEdit

 
2005 KDOT Map of Decatur County (map legend)

CitiesEdit

Unincorporated placesEdit

TownshipsEdit

Decatur County is divided into twenty-five townships. The city of Oberlin is considered governmentally independent and is excluded from the census figures for the townships. 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
center
Population Population
density
/km2 (/sq mi)
Land area
km2 (sq mi)
Water area
km2 (sq mi)
Water % Geographic coordinates
Allison 01300 39 0 (1) 93 (36) 0 (0) 0.01% 39°35′36″N 100°12′24″W / 39.59333°N 100.20667°W / 39.59333; -100.20667
Altory 01650 16 0 (0) 93 (36) 0 (0) 0% 39°47′22″N 100°21′15″W / 39.78944°N 100.35417°W / 39.78944; -100.35417
Bassettville 04475 26 0 (1) 93 (36) 0 (0) 0% 39°41′12″N 100°40′38″W / 39.68667°N 100.67722°W / 39.68667; -100.67722
Beaver 05050 86 1 (2) 92 (36) 0 (0) 0.11% 39°58′42″N 100°34′2″W / 39.97833°N 100.56722°W / 39.97833; -100.56722
Center 11650 60 1 (2) 93 (36) 0 (0) 0.03% 39°47′5″N 100°27′38″W / 39.78472°N 100.46056°W / 39.78472; -100.46056
Cook 15375 44 0 (1) 93 (36) 0 (0) 0.08% 39°36′16″N 100°40′32″W / 39.60444°N 100.67556°W / 39.60444; -100.67556
Custer 16850 27 0 (1) 93 (36) 0 (0) 0.04% 39°41′17″N 100°26′59″W / 39.68806°N 100.44972°W / 39.68806; -100.44972
Dresden 18625 141 2 (4) 92 (36) 0 (0) 0.01% 39°36′39″N 100°27′5″W / 39.61083°N 100.45139°W / 39.61083; -100.45139
Finley 23425 39 0 (1) 93 (36) 0 (0) 0% 39°57′42″N 100°41′20″W / 39.96167°N 100.68889°W / 39.96167; -100.68889
Garfield 25525 41 0 (1) 92 (36) 0 (0) 0% 39°46′38″N 100°14′44″W / 39.77722°N 100.24556°W / 39.77722; -100.24556
Grant 27600 31 0 (1) 92 (36) 0 (0) 0.07% 39°57′36″N 100°14′11″W / 39.96000°N 100.23639°W / 39.96000; -100.23639
Harlan 30050 51 1 (1) 92 (36) 0 (0) 0.05% 39°56′50″N 100°20′56″W / 39.94722°N 100.34889°W / 39.94722; -100.34889
Jennings 35400 173 2 (5) 93 (36) 0 (0) 0.34% 39°40′35″N 100°18′56″W / 39.67639°N 100.31556°W / 39.67639; -100.31556
Liberty 39975 48 1 (1) 91 (35) 0 (0) 0.03% 39°53′2″N 100°33′31″W / 39.88389°N 100.55861°W / 39.88389; -100.55861
Lincoln 40600 203 2 (6) 92 (36) 0 (0) 0.02% 39°50′58″N 100°12′21″W / 39.84944°N 100.20583°W / 39.84944; -100.20583
Logan 41825 52 1 (1) 93 (36) 0 (0) 0% 39°52′38″N 100°42′42″W / 39.87722°N 100.71167°W / 39.87722; -100.71167
Lyon 43450 24 0 (1) 93 (36) 0 (0) 0% 39°36′52″N 100°21′8″W / 39.61444°N 100.35222°W / 39.61444; -100.35222
Oberlin 52025 91 1 (3) 89 (34) 0 (0) 0.08% 39°47′32″N 100°34′20″W / 39.79222°N 100.57222°W / 39.79222; -100.57222
Olive 52675 68 1 (2) 92 (35) 1 (0) 0.65% 39°51′43″N 100°28′18″W / 39.86194°N 100.47167°W / 39.86194; -100.47167
Pleasant Valley 56525 46 0 (1) 93 (36) 0 (0) 0.05% 39°41′53″N 100°13′59″W / 39.69806°N 100.23306°W / 39.69806; -100.23306
Prairie Dog 57475 50 1 (1) 93 (36) 0 (0) 0.01% 39°36′33″N 100°33′49″W / 39.60917°N 100.56361°W / 39.60917; -100.56361
Roosevelt 61025 32 0 (1) 93 (36) 0 (0) 0.07% 39°53′1″N 100°21′43″W / 39.88361°N 100.36194°W / 39.88361; -100.36194
Sappa 63050 43 0 (1) 93 (36) 0 (0) 0.04% 39°45′57″N 100°41′48″W / 39.76583°N 100.69667°W / 39.76583; -100.69667
Sherman 64900 25 0 (1) 92 (36) 0 (0) 0.01% 39°57′5″N 100°28′7″W / 39.95139°N 100.46861°W / 39.95139; -100.46861
Summit 69075 22 0 (1) 93 (36) 0 (0) 0.09% 39°41′27″N 100°34′37″W / 39.69083°N 100.57694°W / 39.69083; -100.57694
Sources: "Census 2000 U.S. Gazetteer Files". U.S. Census Bureau, Geography Division. Archived from the original on August 2, 2002.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c "QuickFacts; Decatur County, Kansas; Population, Census, 2020 & 2010". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on August 15, 2021. Retrieved August 15, 2021.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  3. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. p. 102.
  4. ^ Leiker, James N.; Powers, Ramon (2011). The Northern Cheyenne Exodus in History and Memory. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. pp. 59–67. ISBN 9780806142210.
  5. ^ "Decatur County Last Indian Raid Museum". Decatur County. Retrieved July 10, 2022.
  6. ^ Weiser, Kathy (March 2012). "Cheyenne Raid in Kansas". Legendsofkansas.com. Retrieved November 10, 2016.
  7. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2011.
  8. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 24, 2014.
  9. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved July 24, 2014.
  10. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 24, 2014.
  11. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Archived (PDF) from the original on March 27, 2010. Retrieved July 24, 2014.
  12. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  13. ^ "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections".
  14. ^ "Map of Wet and Dry Counties". Alcoholic Beverage Control, Kansas Department of Revenue. November 2006. Archived from the original on October 8, 2007. Retrieved December 26, 2007.

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit

County
Maps