History

 

Kingman County, located in the south central region of Kansas is the beginning of the "Cannonball Stageline" Highway and the 'true' gateway to the west. Kingman County was established in 1874 within the prairie hunting grounds of the Plains Indians.

Captain Nathan Boone, youngest son of Daniel Boone, was one of the first white men to enter Kingman County. The Plains tribes known to hunt this land were Osage, Kansas, Pawnee, Kiowa and Comanche. Kingman County is 36 miles east to west by 24 miles north to south or 864 square miles.

Kingman County was created after Governor Osborne received a somewhat questionable petition claiming that the county had over 600 settlers. The town and the county were named for Samuel A. Kingman, early president of the Kansas Bar Association and Chief Justice of the state supreme court as well as first president of the Kansas State Historical Society.

US Highway 54, from the east edge of Kingman through Greensburg, is officially designated as the Cannonball Stageline Highway.  Both the Cannonball Stageline and Greensburg were named after the colorful stagecoach driver, Donald R. "Cannonball" Green, who ran the Cannonball Stage Line from Wichita, through Kingman, then westward ahead of the railroads.  Cannonball Green prided his line for speed boasting that, "Father Time couldn't keep up with the Cannonball!"  At its height of popularity, the stageline had 70 vehicles, 1000 horses, and covered 1500 miles throughout Kansas.  Stageline service promoted settlement of western Kansas.  Without it, this portion of Kansas would have been settled much more slowly.