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Grant County, Kansas

Grant County’s history includes a county seat dispute and claims of fraud going all the way to the Kansas Supreme Court. Grant County, Kansas, organized in 1888, was named for the 18th U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant, who was commanding general of the Union Army during the Civil War. It was once part of the land that was the old Washington County, Peketon County, and later an enlarged Marion County.

The county was established in 1873, but due to changes in county borders, it disappeared into the borders of Hamilton and Finney counties. In 1888, Grant reappears and starts out with a county seat disputes. The election over the county seat determined that Ulysses had won over Appomattox. The election was accused of fraud and the case went to the Kansas Supreme Court. The Supreme Court declared in 1890 that the election had indeed been fraudulent and ruling Appomattox as the county seat. They never were the county seat, however, because by the time the ruling came it was an abandoned town and Ulysses retained its status as the county seat.

Grant County Treasurer's Office | Grant County, KS - Official WebsiteGas was discovered in the county in 1930, called Sullivan Number 1. The Jones and Spicer company drilled the first well in 1936.

Ranching is also an important industry; the county has among the largest inventory of cattle and calves in the state.

Grant County properties listed in the National Register of Historic Places include the Grant County Courthouse District in Ulysses, and the Santa Fe Trail -Grant County Segment One (Klein’s Ruts), remains of the Santa Fe Trail having passed through Grant County.

Quick Facts

Date Established: March 20, 1873
Date Organized: June 9, 1888
County Seat: Ulysses
Kansas Region: Southeast
Physiographic Region: High Plains and Arkansas River Lowlands
Courthouse: October 4, 1930


1873 - Grant County is established
1883 - Grant County disappears due to changes in county borders.
1888 - Grant County is reestablished.
1890 - Kansas Supreme Court rules that the election of 1888 over the county seat was fraudulent.

More on Grant County


Entry: Grant 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.