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Morris County, Kansas

Morris County (standard abbreviation: MR) is a county located in the U.S. state of Kansas. As of 2000, the population is 6,104. The largest city and county seat is Council Grove.

Law and government

Following amendment to the Kansas Constitution in 1986, the county remained a prohibition, or "dry", county until 1992, when voters approved the sale of alcoholic liquor by the individual drink with a 30% food sales requirement.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 703 square miles (1,820 km²), of which, 697 square miles (1,806 km²) of it is land and 5 square miles (14 km²) of it (0.78%) is water.

Adjacent counties

History

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

Council Grove, established 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.

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, the county was renamed Morris, in honor of Thomas Morris, a former United States Senator from Ohio who was as an opponent of slavery.

In 1851 the Methodist Church established an Indian Mission at Morris County. Thirty Kaw boys lived and studied until 1854 when the tribe was removed to Oklahoma.

Between 1877 and 1879, Benjamin "Pap" Singleton, a former slave who escaped to freedom in 1846, staked out a settlement in Morris County for freedmen known as "Exodusters". Thousands of families migrated from the post-Reconstruction South to seek more opportunities and better living conditions in the Midwest.

Demographics

As of the census of 2000, there were 6,104 people, 2,539 households, and 1,777 families residing in the county. The population density was 9 people per square mile (3/km²). There were 3,160 housing units at an average density of 4 per square mile (2/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 97.49% White, 0.34% Black or African American, 0.33% Native American, 0.23% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.70% from other races, and 0.88% from two or more races. 2.23% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 2,539 households out of which 30.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.70% were married couples living together, 6.60% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.00% were non-families. 28.00% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.90% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.37 and the average family size was 2.90.

In the county the population was spread out with 25.20% under the age of 18, 5.60% from 18 to 24, 23.90% from 25 to 44, 24.30% from 45 to 64, and 21.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females there were 97.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.30 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $32,163, and the median income for a family was $39,717. Males had a median income of $28,912 versus $21,239 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,491. About 6.70% of families and 9.00% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.40% of those under age 18 and 13.30% of those age 65 or over.

Cities and towns

Incorporated cities

Name and population (2004 estimate):

Less than of Herington (pop. 2,469) is within the county border with the majority of the city in Dickinson County. The unincorporated hamlet of Skiddy lies less than one mile south of the Geary County line in north central Morris County.

Unincorporated community

Townships

Morris County is divided into eleven townships. The cities of Council Grove and Herington are considered governmentally independent and are excluded from the census figures for the townships. In the following table, the population center is the largest city (or cities) included in that township's population total, if it is of a significant size.

Sources: 2000 U.S. Gazetteer from the U.S. Census Bureau.
Township FIPS Population
center
Population Population
density
/km² (/sq mi)
Land area
km² (sq mi)
Water area
km² (sq mi)
Water % Geographic coordinates
Highland 31975 94 1 (3) 93 (36) 0 (0) 0.03%
Overland 53750 60 1 (2) 88 (34) 0 (0) 0.01%
Township No. 1 71202 551 2 (4) 356 (138) 1 (0) 0.28%
Township No. 2 71206 688 3 (7) 270 (104) 12 (5) 4.37%
Township No. 3 71210 503 5 (12) 109 (42) 0 (0) 0.06%
Township No. 4 71214 252 2 (4) 155 (60) 0 (0) 0.02%
Township No. 5 71218 686 7 (19) 93 (36) 0 (0) 0.02%
Township No. 6 71222 111 1 (4) 78 (30) 0 (0) 0.18%
Township No. 7 71227 258 2 (4) 170 (66) 0 (0) 0.10%
Township No. 8 71232 212 1 (3) 186 (72) 0 (0) 0.08%
Township No. 9 71237 368 2 (5) 202 (78) 0 (0) 0.08%

Education

Unified school districts

  • Morris County USD 417

See also

References

External links

General county information
* Blue Skyways - Morris CountyCounty Level Data
* Kansas Statistical Abstract

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