Location and Natural Features of Jewell County, Kansas

Jewell County is located in the northernmost tier of counties, 150 miles from the Missouri River. The county is thirty miles square, divided into twenty-five Congressional townships, and contains 900 square miles, or 576,000 acres of land. The county is among the first in the State in agricultural resources. Its central portion is rolling, and in places somewhat broken, but contains many fine farms and much good pastureland. The valley of Marsh and Buffalo Creeks – a tract embracing the southeast quarter of the county is, next to the White Rock Valley, the finest, richest and most densely settled portion of the county. It is about fifty or seventy-five feet below the central portion, and is exceedingly fertile, and just rolling enough to afford proper drainage.

The valley of Limestone Creek in the southwest is a well-settled and fertile district, but the finest and most noted portion of the county is the valley of the famous White Rock, to which the Indians clung with most desperate pertinacity to the last. To them it was the paradise of the surrounding country, and today it is the richest, most thoroughly developed and well-improved portion of Jewell County. This valley extends east and west through Towns 2, south; the creek being wholly within that tier of towns. The first attempts at settlement were here made, but for years proved fruitless, owing to the determination of the savage occupant never to yield his possession. The Republican River touches the northeastern corner of Jewell County. ta

The principal streams are: White Rock, Buffalo, Limestone, Marsh and Brown’s creeks. White Rock flows east, and empties into the Republican River, in Republic County. Its principal tributaries from the north are: Burr Oak, Walnut and Montana, and from the south: Porcupine, Troublesome, Big Timber and John’s creeks. Buffalo has three principal branches, all rising near the center of the county, and flowing in a southeasterly course, forming a junction six and one-half miles from the south line of the county; thence running east and emptying into the Republican River in Cloud County. There are three branches of Marsh Creek that drain the eastern middle portion of the county, and, uniting, empty into Buffalo in Cloud County. There are five branches of the Limestone, all having a southerly direction, draining the southwest corner of the county, and emptying into the Solomon River, in Mitchell County. All of these streams have numerous small tributaries, which, with the main streams, are belted with from fifteen to seventy-five rods of timber, consisting principally of cotton-wood and elm; but including burr oak, ash, hackberry, walnut, red and white elm, box elder and red cedar.

The soil is a rich, black vegetable mould, from one to twenty feet deep, under laid principally with a porous clay. The valleys will produce good crops with far less rain than the upland, and are more seriously affected with too much rain. Good water is found at greatly varying depths in different parts of the county, ranging from the level surface or springs to 125 feet.

The principal building stone is magnesium limestone, it being found in every township except Highland. When first quarried it is generally soft and easily cut with a common saw, but by exposure becomes hard. Sandstone is found in the extreme south.


Source: Jewell County, Cutlers History of Kansas, 1883

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