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Greeley County, Kansas

Greeley County, Kansas is located in the South-Western region of the state along the Colorado border. Despite its status as the last county to be organized in the state, its organization received some backlash.

Greeley County, Kansas was named after Horace Greeley of the New York Times. Greeley County, organized in 1888, was the last county in Kansas to be organized, having waited 15 years after its establishment in 1873. It was once part of the land that was the old Washington county, Peketon county, and later an enlarged Marion County. Tribune was the temporary county seat established for the county, but voters soon made that a permanent decision when they voted for Tribune over its contender Horace. There were accusations of “fraud and bribery” over the census records that lead to the organization of the county, but the injunction suit was denied and the organization took place.

The old Greeley County Courthouse, finished in 1890, is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

The Denver, Memphis, and Atlantic Railroad Company, eventually part of the Missouri Pacific laid its track into the town of Horace in 1887. A depot was built in Tribune in the same year.

In the 1920s a large portion of the county’s sod was broken to plant wheat, accounting for the extreme difficulties in the county during the 1930s dust bowl.

Despite the Kansas constitutional change in 1986, which allowed for the counties to decide whether they would allow for the sale of alcohol, Greeley County did not end prohibition within its borders until 2008.

Notable figures with connections to Greeley County are George L. Reid an attorney, who gave 110 acres for the State Experimental Station; David R. Beckstrom, a respected attorney, abstractor photographer, and teacher; Simon Fishman, a state senator who was instrumental in breaking the first sod for wheat planting; and Jess Taylor, who was not only a farmer, and stockman, but a state Representative and Speaker of the House.

Quick Facts

Date Established: March 20, 1873
Date Organized: July 9, 1888
County Seat: Tribune
Kansas Region: Southwest
Physiographic Region: High Plains
Courthouse: 1975


1855 - 1857-Part of what is now Greeley County is part of the old Washington County
1860 - 1867- Part of what is now Greeley County is part of Peketon County
1873 - Greeley County is established on March 20.
1887 - Missouri Pacific Railroad depot is built in Tribune
1888 - Greeley County is organized on July 9.
2008 - An election is held in which ends prohibition in the county.

More on Greeley County


Entry: Greeley 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.