The City of Lakin was founded in 1873 by John O'Loughlin to serve the needs of the pioneer spirit sweeping the nation. The O'Loughlin trading post was established to accommodate the passengers using the A.T. & S.F. rail service and pioneers traveling by wagon on the Santa Fe Trail.
The city was named after David Long Lakin, who was a trustee for the railroad company. Since 1894, Lakin has served as the county seat of Kearny County. Lakin currently has a population of 2,542.
For a step back in time, you can visit the Kearny County Museum. You will be able to walk through history, viewing attractions from 1872 to the future. Some of the historical sites include: the oldest house in Lakin, the restored Columbian schoolhouse (1893), the Conestoga wagons which were used to haul freight on the Santa Fe Trail, the depot (1876), survey wagon (1800's), and the 12-sided barn built in 1909.
Within our county are several attractions and landmarks of the Santa Fe Trail, which was declared a National Historic Trail May 8, 1987. To the west, Chouteau's Island, Indian Mound and Bluff Station where the caravans sometimes went south to join the Cimarron Cut-Off. The mountain route of the trail followed the Arkansas River west to Bent's Fort. To the east of Lakin, approximately 3 miles can be seen old wagon ruts