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the seat of Cherokee County; population ~3,100
location of Columbus
The first settlers on the site of what is now Columbus arrived in early 1868. In the summer of that year a town company was organized, consisting of John Appleby, F. Fry, H. and H. A. Scovell, was organized. These four men each owned a quarter of section 13, and each donated 25 acres, so that the new plat consisted of 100 acres in the center of the section. Columbus was incorporated as a town on April 11, 1870, and at the suggestion of Mr. Fry was named for his old hometown of Columbus, Ohio.
The site of Columbus had been chosen by its founders because its position in the center of Cherokee County made it the logical location for the county seat. A vote to relocate the seat from Baxter Springs was taken on May 12, 1868, but none of the "contestants" received a majority of the votes. Another election was held May 26, and this time Baxter Springs was declared to have received a majority of the votes, and so retained the county seat. Columbus' founders charged that Baxter Springs had rigged the voting, however, so the County Commissioners granted another election. which was held February 17, 1869. According to contemporary accounts, both Baxter Springs and Columbus did their best to stuff the ballot boxes in their favor. A total of 2,276 votes were counted, of which 1,151 were for Columbus. (The total votes cast in Cherokee County for President in November, 1868, was but 1,358). The first county courthouse was erected in Columbus in the winter of 1870-71.
current Cherokee County Courthouse
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This page was last updated on August 27, 2017.