Courthouse History

Cheyenne County Courthouse
County Seat: St. Francis, Kansas
Founded: 1886

Cheyenne County Courthouse in 1886.

Cheyenne County was officially organized in April 1886.  In November  of 1886, a building owned by D.W. Cave, Benjamin Bird and Charles I. Kerndt was leased for $75 per month.  The final election for the permanent location of the county seat was held February 26, 1889 and soon afterwards plans were made to construct a courthouse in St. Francis.  The building was to be forty feet by sixty feet by twenty feet high and built by Kincaid Eaton for $2,465.  By October 1889, the finishing touches were made and the courthouse was ready.  The building stood in the park east of the present courthouse.

Cheyenne County Courthouse Dedication, July 7, 1925

On May 8, 1924, the cornerstone for the present day county courthouse was laid.  Robert Good, State Business Manager, spoke on Good Citizenship.  More than 2,500  were present.  The courthouse was dedicated April 7, 1925, with 5,000 in attendance.  Judge Simmons and Attorney General C.B. Griffith made inspiring addresses.  The new structure cost $163,921.39

Cheyenne County Courthouse Dedication, July 7, 1925

Thomas W. Williamson and Co. of Topeka, Kansas were the architects and Thomas S. Hoard of Hutchinson was the General Contractor.

Present day Cheyenne County courthouse in St. Francis, Kansas

"People come, people go, but the treasures of a county courthouse linger on for generations.  Its mere presence can be a reassurance that the present and the future will somehow be linked to the past.  The ambiance of sifting through dusty boxes and files in a dimly-lit back room of a courthouse is enough to conjure up images of the past: legal matters involving early settlers; who went bankrupt; who was considered a lunatic; how much your great grandfather paid for his 160 acres.  It is a genealogist's dream, or if not well organized, a nightmare."         by Bob Shilland