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Present day Logan County, Kansas, was part of Wallace County from 1868 until 1881, when the land was divided. The Eastern part was then called St. John County, after the Governor, from 1881 until 1887, when he fell out of favor in this county for changing political parties. On September 17, 1887, Logan County, named after General John A. Logan, was organized and Russell Springs was named the temporary county seat. The earliest known settler of "Russell" Springs was William D. Russell, a cattleman that ran large herds of cattle on the open range. The cattle were watered at the clear-water springs near where the town would eventually be located. Debris of his huts were still visible when the town was first surveyed in 1886. On december 22, 1887, Russell Springs won the election and became the permenent county seat. The population of the county was 3,112, or about the same as today.

The Logan County courthouse in Russell Springs, was built and dedicated in 1887, and officers moved into the building in January of 1888. In the fall of 1887, along with the $10,000 courthouse and $5000 school, over 100 houses were built in Russell Springs, as well as a hotel, two churches, a bank, and several stores. Christmas Eve was celebrated with a dance in the new courthouse. The population of Russell Springs was near 800 by then. In 1890, the county commissioners accepted a gift of 100 trees for the courthouse grounds. Efforts to move the county seat to Oakley were defeated in 1937, 1945, and 1960. However, in 1963, Russell Springs lost the election, and the county offices were moved to Oakley, which had prospered through the years due in a large part to the Union Pacific railroad. It was a bitter battle which still has undertones today.

On October 27, 1964, a meeting was held to establish an historical society, and on April 29, 1965, a charter was presented and accepted. The old Logan County courthouse became the Butterfield Trail Historical Museum, opening on September 5, 1965. The first Trail Ride was held on Sunday, May 7, 1967. A local rancher, C.C. Porter, deeded some of his land located in Russell Springs for Porter Park to the Butterfield Trail Historical Association on May 13, 1970. The first rodeo was held in 1972, North of the school on Saturday evening of the Trail Ride. Russell Springs acquired the title "Cow Chip Capital of Kansas" in March, 1974.

"A Stage Ride To Colorado"
The text of a story that appeared in the July, 1867 edition of Harper's New Monthly Magazine

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