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Meade County, Kansas

Meade County was organized on November 4, 1885, by Daniel Dillon; John Joslin; A. D. McDaniel; L. S. Sears; H. L. Mullen; and E. M. Mears. Named for Civil War General George G. Meade, the county contains the cities of Fowler, Meade and Plains.

The Lone Tree Massacre in which a survey party, sent by the U. S. Government to survey land southwest of Dodge City, was attacked and killed by Cheyenne Indians on August 24, 1874. Continued problems with Cheyenne in the area kept settlement at a standstill until after 1878. In the late 1870s and early 1880s, the discovery and use of artesian wells in the northern part of the county contributed significantly to settlement and growth.

The First Congregational Church of Crooked Creek was the first organized (1887) church in the county. A county fair was held in Meade, but the exact dates are unknown. The first school was held in a store building in Meade in 1885.


R. M. Painter was the first state representative of Meade County. He was an early settler, newspaperman, and was the Grand Army of the Republic President of the Southwestern Veterans Association, and Department Commander of the G. A. R. of Kansas.


The Dalton (Gang) brothers' sister, Eva, lived in Meade. It was said, and often known, that the brothers often visited her. An escape tunnel was constructed to allow them to get away if pursued. The house is now a Western Museum, renovated by the Works Progress Administration.

The Whipple House, operated as a museum in conjunction with the Dalton Gang hideout, is an interesting site in Meade County.

For more information see the Meade County website. The Meade County Historical Museum has some published and primary source materials relating to the history of the county and Meade. There are also photographs and stories available of Meade County.

Entry: Meade 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.