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Nemaha County, Kansas

Nemaha County was organized on April 4, 1858, by W. W. Moore; Walter Beeles; Greenbury Key; Thomas, John and Jacob Newton; John O'Laughlin; and B. F. Hicks. Containing the cities of Centralia, Oneida, Goff, Corning, Sabetha (part), Seneca, Bern and Wetmore, the county was named for the Nemaha river, an Indian word meaning either "muddy water" or "no papoose."

The first railroad to enter the county, the Atchison and Pike's Peak, reached Seneca in 1866. The first church was a Christian Church organized in Granada Township in 1856. The township also had the first school in 1857.

Nemaha is home to two interesting Kansans, Jean Harlow, then Harlean Carpenter, attended elementary school in the county in 1921-1922. Also Governor Willis J. Bailey (1903-1905) and Congressman (1899-1901) was from the county.

It is said that John Brown, while being pursued by men attempting to collect a reward for his capture, was forced into hiding in the county in 1859. This is supposedly the last night he spent in Kansas.

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Entry: Nemaha 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: February 2010

Date Modified: March 2016

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