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Gove County, Kansas

Gove County, Kansas is home to interesting natural formations, and the county has been featured in a series of photographs by Alexander Gardner.

Gove County, Kansas, organized in 1886, was named after Grenville L. Gove who served in Civil War on the side of the Union and died in 1864.

The Union Pacific Railroad established towns as they built their railroads and one such town was the town of Grainfield which was formed in 1879. The town experienced an increase in population around 1886 and the cattle industry became better than crops. 

In 1880, the county experienced a drought which caused much suffering for the inhabitants of the county.

The county contains many interesting formations such as the Castle Rock, located along what was the Butterfield Overland Dispatch route, and the Castle Bluffs. Petroglyphs were discovered in the county. When Alexander Gardner made his “Across the Continent” series of photographs along the Union Pacific Railway, Gove County was featured. The Smoky Hill Trail ran through Gove County.


Quick Facts

Date Established: March 11, 1868
Date Organized: September 2, 1886
County Seat: Gove
Kansas Region: Northwest
Physiographic Region: High Plains and Smoky Hills
Scenic Byways: Western Vistas
Courthouse: 1885


1868 - Gove County is established.
1880 - Bad drought occurs in the area.
1886 - Gove County is organized.

More on Gove County


Entry: Gove 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: August 2023

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