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Atchison County, Kansas

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Please add profiles of those who were born, lived or died in Atchison County, Kansas.

Official Website


Named for David Rice Atchison (1807-1886), United States senator from Missouri at the time of the Kansas-Nebraska Act.

French explorers and trappers were the first Europeans to journey across what became Atchison County. Etienne de Bourgmont, military commander of the French colony of Louisiana, led the first recorded expedition to the region in the summer of 1724, although others had probably visited before him. The next recorded explorer was Perin du Luc, who reached the area in 1802-1803.

Perhaps the most famed explorers of Atchison County were Lewis and Clark, whose expedition travelled up the Missouri River in the summer of 1804. On the evening of July 4th, the company discovered a creek in the northeast corner of the county, naming it Independence Creek in honor of the holiday.

Paschal Pensoneau (or Pensinau) was the first settler to take up permanent residence in the county, settling along Stranger Creek in 1839. Five years later he opened a trading post and a farm.

When Kansas Territory was opened for settlement in 1854, the townsite of Atchison was founded by Senator Atchison and his friends, and dedicated on July 4, 1854. The town of Sumner, twelve miles to the south, attempted to replace Atchison as the county seat in 1858, but the proposal was soundly defeated.

Adjacent Counties

Cities, Townships & Communities

Arrington | Atchison (County Seat) | Benton | Center | Cummings | Curlew | Eden | Effingham | Farmington | Good Intent | Grasshopper | Hawthorn | Huron | Kapioma | Kennekuk | Lancaster | Larkinburg | Monrovia | Mount Pleasant | Muscotah | Oak Mills | Pardee | Parnell | Port William | Potter | St. Pats | Shannon | Sumner | Walnut



National Register of Historic Places

Genealogy Trails

Atchison County Genealogical Society

Roots Web