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Elk County

Elk County is named for the Elk River which was named after the abundance of elk in the region.


Surrounding County Courthouses: 

N – Greenwood County

E – Wilson County and Montgomery County

S – Chautauqua County

W – Cowley County and Butler County


Created:  March 3, 1875                         Map of Kansas highlighting Elk County

County Seat:

Howard  1875 – present


County Courthouse – Howard 


Location:  127 South Pine Street / East Washington Street

Built:  1907 – 1908

Style:  Romanesque Revival and Italian Renaissance

Architect:  George E McDonald of Omaha, Nebraska

Contractor:  Morse Contracting Company.


Description:  The building faces west and is a two story yellow buff colored brick, stone and concrete structure. The rectangular shaped building is located on spacious landscaped grounds in the center of Howard. The building has a raised basement. The exterior features a yellow-buff color brick exterior with red-tinted mortar. The bottom level is defined by a rusticated limestone finish. The north front has an arched entrance on the first story and rises to a high square brick clock tower with open section at the top. The front east and west sections are one story with a two story section behind. The north and south sides have arched recessed entrances. The red colored roof is hipped. In the interior, the first story hallway floor is covered with mosaic tile. The same tile appears in the stairwell landings between the first and second stories. All the doors and doorjambs are of oak. The County District Court courtroom is located along the east side of the second story and has a fireplace. The building houses the County District Court of the 13th Judicial District. The building was renovated in 1976 to 1977.


See:  The architect, George E McDonald of Omaha, Nebraska designed courthouses in Missouri in Andrew CountyBates County, Johnson County and Lawrence County; in Nebraska in Fillmore County and Nuckolls County and in Wyoming in  Niobrara County.


See:  National Register of Historic Places – Elk County Courthouse


See:  The 13th Judicial District includes Butler County and  Greenwood County.


History:  Originally Godfrey County was created in 1855 and changed to Seward County in 1860. Elk County was created in 1875 and Howard was selected as the county seat. The county occupied rented premises. The first courthouse was a two story structure on Wabash Avenue erected in 1878 by the citizens of Howard. The second courthouse was designed by Parsons and Son and constructed by J S Huntly in 1886 to 1887 at a cost of $40,000. The courthouse burned on October 24, 1906. L F Roberts was hired to tear down the remaining wall and the cost of construction of the third and present courthouse was $47,000 in 1907 to 1908.




County Courthouse – Howard




















County District Court courtroom

















Picture 1886-1887 County Courthouse





Photos taken 2010 and 2022