Sedgwick County, Kansas

Sedgwick County, Kansas

Sedgwick County, Kansas
Old Sedgwick County Courthouse in Wichita
Map of Kansas highlighting Sedgwick County
Location in the state of Kansas
Map of the United States highlighting Kansas
Kansas's location in the U.S.
Founded February 26, 1867
Named for John Sedgwick
Seat Wichita
Largest city Wichita
 • Total 1,009 sq mi (2,613 km2)
 • Land 998 sq mi (2,585 km2)
 • Water 12 sq mi (31 km2), 1.2%
Population (est.)
 • (2014) 508,803
 • Density 500/sq mi (193/km²)
Congressional district 4th
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5

Sedgwick County (standard abbreviation: SG) is a county located in the U.S. state of Kansas. As of the 2010 census, the population was 498,365,[1] making it the second-most populous county in Kansas. The county seat is Wichita,[2] the most populous city in the state.

Sedgwick County is part of the Wichita, KS Metropolitan Statistical Area.


  • History 1
    • Early history 1.1
    • 19th century 1.2
    • 20th century 1.3
  • Geography 2
    • Adjacent counties 2.1
  • Demographics 3
  • Government 4
  • Transportation 5
    • Airports 5.1
  • Education 6
    • Unified school districts 6.1
  • Points of interest 7
  • Communities 8
    • Cities 8.1
    • Census-designated places 8.2
    • Unincorporated places 8.3
    • Ghost towns 8.4
    • Townships 8.5
  • See also 9
  • Further reading 10
  • References 11
  • External links 12


1915 Railroad Map of Sedgwick County

Early history

For many millennia, the Great Plains of North America was inhabited by nomadic Native Americans. From the 16th century to 18th century, the Kingdom of France claimed ownership of large parts of North America. In 1762, after the French and Indian War, France secretly ceded New France to Spain, per the Treaty of Fontainebleau. In 1802, Spain returned most of the land to France, but keeping title to about 7,500 square miles.

In 1803, most of the land for modern day Kansas was acquired by the United States from France as part of the 828,000 square mile Louisiana Purchase for 2.83 cents per acre. In 1848, after the Mexican-American War, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo with Spain brought into the United States all or part of land for ten future states, including southwest Kansas. In 1854, the Kansas Territory was organized, then in 1861 Kansas became the 34th U.S. state.

19th century

Sedgwick County was founded in 1867, and named after John Sedgwick, who was a Major General in the Union Army during the American Civil War.[3]

In 1887, the Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas Railroad, merged in 1988 with Missouri Pacific Railroad, and finally merged in 1997 with Union Pacific Railroad. Most locals still refer to this railroad as the "Rock Island".

20th century

Sedgwick County was the setting for the murders committed by the BTK strangler from 1974 until 1991. Dennis Rader, an employee of the Sedgwick County city of Park City was arrested in early 2005 after he began sending incriminating letters taunting the police in 2004. He had not been heard from since 1979. Ken Landwehr of the Wichita Police Department led the task force which captured Rader, setting a new standard of serial crime detection in the process, which is still studied by police departments across the world. Rader is serving 10 life sentences at the El Dorado Correctional Facility in El Dorado.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,009 square miles (2,610 km2), of which 998 square miles (2,580 km2) is land and 12 square miles (31 km2) (1.2%) is water.[5]

Adjacent counties


Age pyramid

As of the census[11] of 2000, there were 452,869 people, 176,444 households, and 117,688 families residing in the county. The population density was 453 people per square mile (175/km²). There were 191,133 housing units at an average density of 191 per square mile (74/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 79.38% White, 9.13% Black or African American, 1.11% Native American, 3.34% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 4.17% from other races, and 2.81% from two or more races. 8.04% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 176,444 households out of which 34.40% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.70% were married couples living together, 10.90% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.30% were non-families. 28.20% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.70% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.53 and the average family size was 3.14.

In the county the population was spread out with 28.20% under the age of 18, 9.50% from 18 to 24, 30.30% from 25 to 44, 20.60% from 45 to 64, and 11.40% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 97.80 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.20 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $42,485, and the median income for a family was $51,645. Males had a median income of $37,770 versus $26,153 for females. The per capita income for the county was $20,907. About 7.00% of families and 9.50% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.90% of those under age 18 and 7.00% of those age 65 or over.


Sedgwick County was a prohibition, or "dry", county until the Kansas Constitution was amended in 1986 and voters approved the sale of alcoholic liquor by the individual drink with a 30% food sales requirement. The food sales requirement was removed with voter approval in 1988.[12]



The following public-use airports are located in Sedgwick County:


Unified school districts

  • Wichita USD 259 (Web site)
  • Derby USD 260 (Web site)
  • Haysville USD 261 (Web site)
  • Valley Center USD 262 (Web site)
  • Mulvane USD 263 (Web site)
  • Clearwater USD 264 (Web site)
  • Goddard USD 265 (Web site)
  • Maize USD 266 (Web site)
  • Renwick USD 267 (Web site)
  • Cheney USD 268 (Web site)

Points of interest


2005 KDOT Map of Sedgwick County (map legend)
Map of Townships in Sedgwick County


Census-designated places

Unincorporated places

Ghost towns

  • Davidson
  • Hatfield
  • Huckle
  • Jamesburg
  • Marshall
  • Oatville
  • Wichita Heights


Sedgwick County is divided into twenty-seven townships. The cities of Bel Aire and Wichita are considered governmentally independent and are excluded from the census figures for the townships. In the following table, the population center is the largest city (or cities) included in that township's population total, if it is of a significant size.

See also

Further reading

Sedgwick County
  • Wichita : Illustrated History 1868 to 1880; Eunice S. Chapter; 52 pages; 1914. (Download 3MB PDF eBook)
  • History of Wichita and Sedgwick County Kansas : Past and present, including an account of the cities, towns, and villages of the county; 2 Volumes; O.H. Bentley; C.F. Cooper & Co; 454 / 479 pages; 1910. (Volume1 - Download 20MB PDF eBook),(Volume2 - Download 31MB PDF eBook)
  • Standard Atlas of Sedgwick County, Kansas; Geo. A. Ogle & Co; 78 pages; 1905.
  • Historical Atlas of Sedgwick County, Kansas; John P. Edwards; 50 pages; 1882.
  • Kansas : A Cyclopedia of State History, Embracing Events, Institutions, Industries, Counties, Cities, Towns, Prominent Persons, Etc; 3 Volumes; Frank W. Blackmar; Standard Publishing Co; 944 / 955 / 824 pages; 1912. (Volume1 - 54MB PDF), (Volume2 - 53MB PDF), (Volume3 - 33MB PDF)
  • History of the State of Kansas; William G. Cutler; A.T. Andreas Publisher; 1883/1976.


  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 29, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ Kansas State Historical Society (1916). Biennial Report of the Board of Directors of the Kansas State Historical Society. Kansas State Printing Plant. p. 205. 
  4. ^ Rock Island Rail History
  5. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990".  
  6. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  7. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 29, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved July 29, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 29, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 29, 2014. 
  11. ^ "American FactFinder".  
  12. ^ "Map of Wet and Dry Counties". Alcoholic Beverage Control, Kansas Department of Revenue. November 2006. Retrieved 2007-12-28. 
  13. ^,P3_TITLE:473853%2CTrails%20View

External links

  • Sedgwick County - Official Website
  • Sedgwick County - Directory of Public Officials
  • Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum
  • KSGenWeb
  • Sedgwick County Maps: Current, Historic, KDOT
  • Kansas Highway Maps: Current, Historic, KDOT
  • Kansas Railroad Maps: Current, 1996, 1915, KDOT and Kansas Historical Society