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Logan County, Kansas

Before the days the railroad reached far enough west, Logan County, Kansas had a stop along the Butterfield Overland Dispatch Stagecoach Line. The Butterfield Trail connected Fort Riley, Kansas and Denver, Colorado.

Logan County was named after General John Alexander Logan, a veteran of the Mexican-American War, who served in the Union Army during the Civil War, and as a U.S. senator from Illinois. The county once as called St. John County, but the name was changed in 1887 to Logan.

Russell Springs was found in 1865 and served as a stop on the Butterfield Overland Dispatch Stage Line. The Butterfield Trail went straight through Indian territory that wasn’t the safest. The trail’s purpose was to connect Fort Riley and Denver, Colorado, where there were gold mines. The stage lined served these travel needs until the Kansas Pacific Railroad took over.

Logan County, Kansas - WikipediaRussell Springs was the county seat from the late 1880s when the county was established, until 1963. The question of the county kept appearing after Russell Springs was made the county seat. There was an election in 1937, a failed movement to get the question on the ballot in 1945, and in a 1960 election it very much seemed Russell Springs would hold its position. But when 11 voters were disqualified from the election, things changed. Soon a legal battle began and in 1963, the Kansas Supreme ruled that Oakley had won the election and the county seat was moved. The old Russell Springs courthouse is now the Butterfield Trail Museum and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

The discovery of mineral nickel in 1888, and the beginning of the quarrying industry of lime and sandstone in the late 1880s contributed to the economy of the county.

During World War II, a U.S. Navy ship was named U. S. S. Logan, and commissioned October 14, 1944. The ship represented this county in Kansas as well as Logan counties in nine other states.

The Niobrara Formation is a natural rock formation located in Logan County. Formations reach around 100 feet high.

Quick Facts

Date Established: February 24, 1887
Date Organized: September 17, 1887
County Seat: Olathe
Kansas Region: Northwest
Physiographic Region: High Plains and Smoky Hills
Scenic Byways: Western Vistas
Courthouse: October 2, 1965


1865 - Russell Springs is established and is a stop on the Butterfield Overland Dispatch Stage Line.
1881 - St. John County is established.
1887 - St. John County ceases to exist and Logan County is established and organized.
1963 - County seat is officially changed from Russell Springs to Oakley. 

More on Logan County


Entry: Logan 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.