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Cloud County, Kansas

Cloud County was organized on September 6, 1866, by John Seymour; James N. Hagaman; John B. Rupe; and Moses Heller. The Territorial Legislature originally named the county Shirley, supposedly for a Leavenworth prostitute named Jane Shirley. In 1867 the legislature changed the name in honor of Colonel William F. Cloud, a Civil War hero. Cloud County contains the cities of Aurora, Clyde, Concordia, Glasco, Jamestown, Miltonvale and Simpson (part). Minersville was a community that formed in 1869 after the discovery of coal deposits. It no longer exists.

Indian raids during 1864 forced many of the settlers to leave the county. Sarah White, the 17-year-old daughter of Benjamin White, was captured by Indians on August 13, 1868. The family lived on White (Granny) Creek. The father was killed in the attack, and Sarah was held captive until she was rescued on March 19, 1869, in the Texas Panhandle by George Armstrong Custer.

The first church was the Methodist church founded in Clyde in November 1866, with Reverend R. P. West as pastor. The first fair was held in Concordia, October 15-16, 1873, but was not technically a "county" fair. The current fair is held in Glasco. The first school was formed in June 1866, a mile west of the village of Ames. It later became School District No. 1.

Cloud County had a German prisoner-of-war (POW) camp was from June 1943 until the end of World War II. Camp Concordia, which offered housing, mess facilities, recreation, and hospitalization, was among the largest of eight main POW facilities in Kansas.

Two interesting Kansans are connected to Cloud County. Frank Carlson, of Concordia, has been a state legislator, a Congressman (1935-1947), Governor (1947-1950), and U. S. Senator (1950-1969). Boston Corbett, the purported killer of Lincoln's assassin John Wilkes Booth, lived in Cloud County from 1878 to 1887. Corbett, who once "adjourned" the Kansas House of Representatives at gunpoint, was declared insane by a local Justice of the Peace Court, and committed to an asylum.

Cloud County contains the sites of the Nazareth Convent and Academy Building, the Harris Building, and the Brown Grand Opera House.

For more information see the  website. Historical scrapbooks, known as Paulsen's Scrapbook, are located at the Concordia Blade-Empire newspaper office. The Cloud County Historical Society has a small research collection.

Entry: Cloud County, Kansas

Author: Kansas Historical Society

Author information: The Kansas Historical Society is a state agency charged with actively safeguarding and sharing the state's history.

Date Created: June 2010

Date Modified: February 2017

The author of this article is solely responsible for its content.