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Coffey County, Kansas

Coffey County was organized as one of the original 33 counties created by the Territorial Legislature. The initial boundaries were established by the legislature on July 22, 1855, and the county was organized on February 17, 1857. The county contains the cities of Burlington, Gridley, Lebo, New Strawn and Waverly. The county was named for Colonel A. M. Coffey, a resident of Miami County, and member of the Territorial Legislature.

The first church was the Burlington Methodist founded in 1860. The first county fair was held in 1868, and is considered the state's oldest continuous county fair. The first school district was founded in Burlington in 1858.

Interesting public figures in Coffey county include Burton L. Kingsbury, an early day judge and county historian. Roy S. Pierson was a local attorney noted for his statewide fishing parties. Governor John W. Leedy (1897-1899) and Congressman Harrison Kelley (1889-1891) were from the county. John Redman, for whom the lake was named, was editor of the Burlington Republican and is another Kansas editor regarded as a member of Kansas' "golden era of Kansas journalism."

Interesting sites in Coffey County include Excelsior Mill Site and Mabel Hunt House.


For more information see the Coffey County website. The Burlington Museum has bound volumes of the Burlington Republican, the Gridley Light, and the Waverly Gazette newspapers. Each library in the county has a complete cemetery listing for the county.

Entry: Coffey County, Kansas

Author: Kansas Historical Society

Author information: The Kansas Historical Society is a state agency charged with actively safeguarding and sharing the state's history.

Date Created: February 2010

Date Modified: October 2015

The author of this article is solely responsible for its content.