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

A flood damaged pr destroyed some records at the county offices. Contact the county clerk for details on what is missing and what was salvaged.


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.

Kansas State Historical Society houses one of the largest newspaper collections.  They have 1321 reels of Cowley newspapers which may be available through interlibrary loan. Titles include Arkansas City Traveler 1876 - 2008, Cowley County Reporter 1967 - 1996, Winfield Daily Courier 1885 - 2007, and many more.

"Births and deaths of Cowley County, Kansas as abstracted from the Winfield Daily Courier and other sources, 1875-1969" [compiled by members of the Cowley County Genealogical Society including Cheryl Voigtlander and Ruby Mussen ; data entered by Connie Lea Becker Lawrence] is available from the Family History Library as book 978.189 V2b or FHL US/CAN Film 2055496 Item 1

"Obituary notices, Winfield Daily Courier" by Gale J. Bunner covering Dec. 1988-Mar. 1995 available as FHL US/CAN Book 978.189/W1 V4b 1988-1995

"Deceased persons from the Winfield daily courier : Winfield, KS, April 1995 to February 1998" compiled by Gale J. Bunner available as FHL US/CAN 978.189/W1 V4b 1995-1998 or FHL US/CAN Film 1425480 Item 8

Current Newspapers
  • Arkansas City Traveler (620) 442-4200; 200 E. Fifth Avenue / P. O. Box 988, Arkansas City, KS 67005
  • Cowley County Reporter (620) 438-2370; Burden, KS 67019
  • Winfield Daily Courier (620) 221-1050; 201 E. Ninth Street / P.O. Box 543, Winfield, KS 67156



Vital Records

See County Offices above.

Societies and Libraries



  • Cherokee Strip Land Rush Museum (620) 442-6750; Attn: Heather Ferguson, Director/ P.O. Box 778; 31639 US 77; Arkansas City, KS 67005 The mission of the Cherokee Strip Land Rush Museum is to collect, preserve, and interpret, natural material culture and documentary items which focus on the history and development of the South-Central Kansas and North-Central Oklahoma areas as it relates to Arkansas City. The emphases will include Native Americans, Land Settlement, and the Cherokee Strip/Outlet Run.
  • Cowley County Historical Museum (620) 221-4811; 1011 Mansfield, Winfield, KS 67156 The museum is dedicated to preserving the past for the future. In pursuit of this goal, the museum preserves historical documents, artifacts, and genealogy records pertaining to the rich history of the region.
  • 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 6700
  • East Central Cowley County Historical Society c/o Emory Lewis, 123 Easy Street, Burden, KS 67019; 620-438-3384 Our purpose is to preserve the past of East Central Cowley County in digital form and present it on the internet and at our new home, the old Burden City building. Online databases include lots of photographs of early people, places and things, plus birth and death records, Family Trees, early school records, and more.
  • Kansas State Historical Society, 6425 SW 6th Avenue, Topeka KS 66615-1099
  • Kansas Genealogical Society, PO Box 103, Village Square Mall; Library located at 2601 Central Avenue, Dodge City, KS 67801; (620) 225-1951.  The Kansas Genealogical Society Library is co-located with the Kansas Society Daughters of The American Revolution Library

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 KansasfckLRwas first published in 1883 by A. T. Andreas, Chicago, IL. COWLEY COUNTY.