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The county was established on ancient grounds of the Kaw American Indian tribe. Settlers and the Kaw lived in an increasingly uneasy relationship as settlers encroached on native lands.

Council Grove, established by European Americans in 1825, was an important supply station on the Santa Fe Trail. The town was also the site of an encampment by John C. Fremont in 1845 and in 1849 the Overland Mail established a supply headquarters there.[citation needed] From 1821 to 1866, the Santa Fe Trail was active across Morris County.

The county was originally organized as Wise County in 1855. The county was named for Virginia Governor Henry A. Wise. When Wise presided over the hanging of abolitionist John Brown at Harpers Ferry in 1859, abolition supporters renamed it to Morris County in honor of Thomas Morris, a former United States Senator from Ohio who was an opponent of slavery.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 703 square miles (1,820 km2), of which 695 square miles (1,800 km2) is land and 7.6 square miles (20 km2) (1.1%) is water.

Tuesday, June 12 10 a.m - 3 p.m.

The Kansas State Historical Society’s digitization team will be on site at Morris County Courthouse, 501 W Main St, on June 12 from 10-3 digitizing personal photographs and manuscripts of the community to share on Kansas Memory with no restrictions. We are interested in collections, primarily photographs, to digitize and share on Kansas Memory.

If you do, we would appreciate it if you could drop them off at the beginning of the event at 10 and retrieve them at the end of the event at 3. This way we have the opportunity to digitize your collections while we have less public visitors in hopes of achieving a more efficient workflow for scanning. I look forward to hearing if you have collections that you are interested in sharing with the Society.

History of Morris County by John Maloy 1820 - 1890

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