Organization and Continued Settlement of Harvey County, Kansas

The birth and early years of Harvey County were somewhat difficult and contentious due to instances of fraud, bribery, payoffs, corruption, voter irregularities, fierce rivalries and panderings to people’s egos. The organization and continued settlement of Harvey County encompassed a number of transitions, challenges, and issues.

A plan to create a new county from townships in Sedgwick, McPherson and Marion Counties came when Newton’s Republican representatives to a Sedgwick County political convention were snubbed. They came back to Newton determined to form their own county with Newton as the county seat. The plan passed the Kansas Legislature on February 29, 1872. The county was named for James M. Harvey, Kansas Governor. Along with other events and happenings, these political maneuverings were instrumental in the formation of Harvey County.

Through on-line exhibits, this slideshow series gives short stories about Harvey County and its cities; and provides a sampling of the stories which can be discovered by viewing the on-site exhibits at HCHM, by examining source material in the Research Library and by utilizing the HCHM photo collection.

For even more stories of Harvey County’s people, events and businesses, check out:

  • The HCHM blog, “Voices of Harvey County” on the About Us tab.
  • The Story of Alta Mill.  A business of yesteryear that made flour and feed, it was an industry situated in Alta Twp of northwest Harvey County.  Additionally, Alta Mill was a community center due to its park in the nearby woods along the banks of the Little Arkansas River.  Within the park were picnic grounds and a camping area plus access to fishing, boating and swimming.  These features attracted the farming families who utilized the mill for grinding their grain.  Alta Mill played a key role in the lives of people from the communities of Burrton, Halstead, Moundridge and Buhler.  For many groups from Newton, Hutchinson, and other communities, Alta Mill became a favorite spot due to the recreational activities.  By clicking, the detailed story of Alta Mill can be learned.  (Note:  By going to the link, you’ll leave the HCHM website.)

Check the website regularly for the addition of new on-line slideshows in this series on Harvey County, Kansas.

Click anywhere on the first image below to scroll through Unit 5 — Organization and Continued Settlement of Harvey County, Kansas.