Cowley County, Kansas Genealogy

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United States  > Kansas > Cowley County

County Offices

Registar of Deeds

The central location for vital records and land records for Cowley County. The Register of Deeds maintains a variety of records and prepares reports of some complexity; assists the public in preparing forms, answering inquiries, certifying copies of military discharges, and looking up records; receives, records, and indexes grantor, grantee, and related records; records plats and maps; files chattel mortgages; makes lien searches; maintains various office records; computes and posts figures; etc.

Phone: 620.221.5461; Fax: 620.221.5463
Location: County Courthouse; 311 E. 9th; Winfield, KS 67156
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 741; Winfield, KS 67156

County Clerk

Records minutes of Commission meetings and maintains files for minutes and resolutions; Assist in budget preparation, accounting, payroll, etc.; Manages elections and voting; Selling of hunting and fishing licenses, etc; Birth and death records from the 1800's to 1911 for the county are available; Land records from the 1800's are also available.

Phone: 620.221.5400 or 620.441.4500; Fax: 620.221.5498
Location: County Courthouse; 311 E. 9th; Winfield, KS 67156


Parent County

  • 1867--Cowley County was created 26 February 1867 from Butler County. County seat: Winfield [1]
  • These lands belonged to the Osage and were not opened to white settlement though many settlers crossed over from Butler County.  In January 1870, settlers paid head money to Chetopa, the Osage chief, to remain on Osage lands and laid out towns along the rivers.
  • On 28 Feb 1870, Cowley County was officially organized and on 15 Jul 1870, the Osage lands were opened for settlement.
  • Between 1870 and 1874, the land in Cowley was divided and redivided into townships and communities, the boundaries changing frequently with the changing population.
  • In 1874 and 1875 swarms of grasshoppers devoured the drought damaged crops causing many settlers to leave the county and state. In 1880 drought caused another exodus.[2]

Boundary Changes

Record Loss


Populated Places

Arkansas City
Maple City
New Salem

Neighboring Counties



Cowley County cemeteries web page.  Not all cemeteries have been transcribed.  If transcribed, gives the name, date of birth and death and comments if any.

Topographic Map Cemetery Features in Cowley County, Kansas lists the larger cemeteries and their gps locations. Also, links to topigraphical maps containing the cemetery locaions.


LDS Ward and Branch Records

  • Arkansas City



See Registar of Deeds above.

Local Histories

The History of Cowley County, Kansas. (1990) index and some pages transcribed available online through the Cowley, KS GenWeb site.

Cutler, William G., Cowley County, History of the State of Kansas, published 1883 by A. T. Andreas, Chicago, IL.


Cowley County GIS Maps A very detailed set of interactive and pdf maps of Cowley County including township lines, roads and water ways, towns, schools, and cemeteries.



Newspaper Files Transcribed by Mary Ann Wortman from Microfilm contains transcribed articles for various newspapers 1868-1895 and 1918-1922.



Vital Records

See County Offices above.

Societies and Libraries


  • Arkansas City Public Library (620) 442-1280; 120 E Fifth Avenue, Arkansas City, KS 67005
  • Southwestern College Library (620) 229-6225; 100 College Street, Winfield, KS 67156
  • Udall Public Library (620) 782-3435; 110 S. Main / P. O. Box 484, Udall, KS 67146
  • Winfield Public Library (620) 221-4470; 605 College, Winfield, KS 67156


  • Cherokee Strip Land Rush Museum (620) 442-6750 (Admission Charge); South Summit Street Road / P. O. Box 1002, Arkansas City, KS 67005
  • Cowley County Historical Museum; 1011 Mansfield, Winfield, KS 67156
  • Udall Community Historical Society; 113 E.First, Udall, KS 67146


  • Cowley County Genealogical Society (620) 221-4591; 1518 East 12th, Winfield, KS 67156
  • Cowley County Historical Society, 1011 Mansfield, Winfield 67156
  • Cowley County Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 102, Arkansas City 67005
  • Kansas State Historical Society, 6425 SW 6th Avenue, Topeka KS 66615-1099
  • Kansas State Genealogical Society, 2109 Twentieth Avenue, Monroe, WI 53566
  • Kansas Genealogical Society, PO Box 103, 700 Avenue G and Vine Street, Dodge City, KS 67801; (620) 225-1951

Web Sites


  1. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  2. William G. Cutler's History of the State of Kansas was first published in 1883 by A. T. Andreas, Chicago, IL. COWLEY COUNTY.