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Grant County, Kansas

Grant County was organized on June 9, 1888, by Richard Joyce; D. C. Sullivan; and Billie Joy. All three were early cattle ranchers utilizing most of the county. The county was named for General Ulysses S. Grant, and contains the town of Ulysses

The Santa Fe Trail passage through the county increased awareness of the area. The campaign and county seat fight for locating the county seat in either Ulysses, Appomoattox, Schockeyville, Golden, or Spurgeon called for a general election on October 16, 1888, with Ulysses winning. In 1909 Ulysses was moved from a location about three miles away to its present location.

The first church was organized by Methodists at the old town site of Ulysses in 1887. The county fair began in Ulysses in 1938 and the first school district was formed in the old town in 1885.

The occurrence in which Jedediah S. Smith, the early explorer, guide, and mountain man, was killed and the location is often legendary in the area. He was killed near Wagon Bed Springs, on the Santa Fe Trail in 1831; however, the exact location is unknown.

Interesting sites in the county include the Hotel from old town site in Ulysses and the Grant County Museum.

For more information see the Grant County website. The Grant County Museum and Historical Society, Ulysses, has a large collection of photographs, newspapers, publications, and some county records.

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: October 2015

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