Early Settlement

Early Settlement

Scott County was organized in 1886, two years after settlement of the area. By the 1880s, the desire to own land largely overcame the view of the western plains as a desert. Drought, crop failures, and blizzards resulted in population fluctuations during the early years of settlement.  Nonetheless, settlers stayed, with hopes that they would eventually reap the rewards.

Indian cultures living in the region varied through different segments of  time: the Apache during the 17th Century, with Pawnee, Kiowa, and Cheyenne dwelling in the area of current-day Scott County in the early 1800s.        

As the environment of western Kansas gradually changed after the Ice Age, its native people adjusted their ways of living also, over a relatively shorter period of time. Hunting provided much of the food supply for these indigenous people. Streams fed by rainwater and underground springs cut valleys through the nearly level plains. Shallow depressions dot the rolling uplands. Occasional pools form after heavy or continuous rains in these playas. Water was thus provided for animals and humans.

Houses of the later European settlers were made of sod, with roofs of wood and sod on top, in order to provide some protection from hot summer and cold winter temperatures.


Go to top