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McPherson County, Kansas


McPherson County Courhouse is located at 117 North Maple, McPherson KS 67460; phone: 620-241-8149.

Prior to the advent of European settlement of Kansas, the area of McPherson County was inhabited by indigenous North American Indians. Tribes that were living permanently in Kansas included the Kanzas (called Kaw by some), Pawnee, Osage, and Wichita. Other tribes, primarily the Comanche, migrated through the western area of the state. The Wichita tribe claimed south-central Kansas in the area of the Arkansas river, and this area included present day McPherson County. The Kanza, Pawnee, Osage, and Wichita tribes lived in villages. They built earth or grass-covered houses. Their gardens included maize (corn), beans, squash, pumpkin, and other crops. The gardens were protected from wandering deer, antelope, elk, and buffalo by erecting stockade type fences around them. These tribes also engaged in hunting, fishing, and gathering in fairly close proximity to their villages. (Riley County Kansas by Winifred N. Slagg)

It is believed that the Spanish explorer, Coronado, may have led his band of men from Santa Fe into present day Kansas and McPherson County in the year of 1541 on his historic search for the seven cities of gold. Coronado Heights, the sandstone formation located northwest of Lindsborg just over the county line in Saline County, is named after this explorer.

It is believed that the first European to settle in McPherson County was Isaac Sharp, who moved with his parents from Pennsylvania in the winter of 1859-60. Mr. Sharp engaged in hunting, trapping, and trade with the Indians of the area. He built a log cabin southwest of what is now Lindsborg. Later he moved to Council Grove, Kansas. Some accounts have Mr. Sharp setting up a hunting camp along Sharps Creek in partnership with a Swede named Knutson (Prairie Vikings by P.H. Pearson 1927).

  1. McPhereson County Comprehensive Plan, Appedix F: History, www.mcphersoncountyks.us, accessed May, 2009