Historic Washington County

As civilization moved west in the 1800s, many of the great trails crossed Washington County -- the Oregon-California Trail, the Overland Trail, the Pony Express, the Parallel Road to the Colorado gold mines, the Fort Kearney-Fort Riley Military Roads and the Mormon Trails.  Many of these trails followed some of the plains Indian trails which crisscrossed the area.

Some historians contend that Coronado and his Spanish expedition from Mexico marched through the state and crossed the Little Blue River near the northern boundary of Washington County in 1542.  The first recorded settlers of Washington County arrived in 1857.

Washington County was organized in 1860 and named in honor of the first President of the United States, George Washington.

Historic County Sites

1856 Surveyor's Monument -- near Mahaska; the survey point for five states, at the 40th parallel. A new monument was dedicated in 1987.

1857 California/Oregon Trail and Hollenberg Pony Express Station -- near Hanover.  This is the only unaltered pony express station still in existence.  It stands at its original location.  It is a Kansas State Historic Site.

1877 R.R. Depot -- Clifton Community Historical Society and Museum, Clifton.

1880 Log Cabin -- Washington City Park.

1899 Sheriff's Residence and Jail -- 23 "C" St., Washington.  Listed on the National Historic Register.

1901 Jail -- Haddam.

1925 Jail -- Greenleaf.

1925 World's First Bulldozer -- Morrowville.  A replica of the original is displayed in Cummings Park in Morrowville, one block west of Highway 15 on Main Street between Walnut and Oak Streets.

1932 Washington County Courthouse -- Washington.  Listed on the National Historic Register.

Barnes Bank Building -- Barnes.

Washington County Kingpost Bridge -- Barnes.  Listed on the National Historic Register.

Herrs Car and Truck Museum -- Washington.

Morman Springs Monument -- Highway 15 South, Washington

Horse Soldier Monument - Washington County Courthouse Lawn, Washington