Gove County, KS

County in Northwest KS

Gove County was created by the legislature in 1868 but was governed by Trego County until 1886 when it was organized and elected its own officials.

Gove County was named in honor of Grenville Lewellyn Gove, a Captain in the Eleventh Kansas Cavalry. The son of Moses Johnson Gove, at one time the Mayor of Manhattan, he was born in 1840 at Readfield, Maine.

Gove City is the county seat of Gove County and is the smallest county seat in the State of Kansas with a population of 99.

Gove County is thirty miles north and south and thirty-six miles east and west for a total of 1080 square miles. The creation of the county brought about the survey of the land. The government began the survey of Gove County in August 1868. It was first laid out in townships six miles square but for some reason, perhaps Indian troubles, the subdivision into sections and parts of sections was not made until 1869.

The survey noted the location of any marked trails, especially the Smoky Hill Trail and also the railroad that was built just prior to the survey being done. The survey was not entirely accurate, especially in marking the location of the watercourses; also, some section lines were not straight and cornerstones were often several rods out of line.

The first settler of record in Gove County was George Von Dehsen, who came to the county from Colorado with a party of buffalo hunters in 1871 and stayed on at Grinnell. He was a pumper on the railroad for a time but evidently had a claim and lived on the Hackberry Creek south of Grinnell. He was killed by a stroke of lightening in 1913. The second settler was Charles Johnson in Grainfield Township, who came to the county as a section hand for the railroad in 1874.

The original courthouse, a 32 ft by 36 ft stone structure still in use, was erected in 1885 for a hotel called the Benson House. The owners declared they would give the building to the county if Gove City was named the county seat. However, they reneged slightly on this offer as the county had to pay $1,000.00 for the building. The courthouse has been added onto twice, and in 1974 the entire exterior was brick veneered. This building now houses the court system, and the other offices were moved to a school building that was constructed in 1960.

Gove County is primarily agricultural with five small towns. Quinter, Park, Grainfield, Grinnell, and Gove City. The total population of the county is 3,162.

Interesting natural sights in the county include Castle Rock in the southeast part of the county and Hell’s Bar and Pyramids in the southwest part.

Sponsors of Gove County, KS

Since the founding of our communities, organizations, businesses and citizens have stepped forward to build and serve their community. Click on any of the logos below to learn about those who made this website possible! If you would like to learn about becoming a sponsor CLICK HERE!

Towns of Gove County, KS

The small towns of the Midwest are rich in history and a great way of life! Below you can visit and learn about the small towns we call home! Towns that have their name highlighted have become FEATURED TOWNS. Businesses/organizations from these towns have stepped forward as SPONSORS enabling us to include (or will include as acquired) stories and website links to ALL their community organizations (chambers, groups and departments, etc.), stories and website links to ALL their points of interest, annual festivals/events and stories done about their citizens, veterans and faith community. To learn how to become a featured town CLICK HERE!

Businesses of Gove County, KS

The businesses of our towns are truly the lifeblood of each community, click on any businesses below to learn about them, to learn how to add your business to your town and county page CLICK HERE!