One of the most important events in American History, the purchase of the Louisiana Territory in 1803, doubled the size of the United States.  Included in this purchase was most of the Eastern half of Colorado including our present Kiowa County.


On the first day of August 1876, President Grant, issued a proclamation declaring Colorado admitted to the Union of States.  Since it was the one hundredth anniversary of American Independence, Colorado was nicknamed the “Centennial State”.  At this time, Indians roamed the plains and big cattle and sheep ranches were prevalent on grassland that was free for the taking.

Governor Job A. Cooper, signed a bill creating the new county of KIOWA on April 11, 1889.  The name, Kiowa, came from the Kiowa Indians who lived in the region where Kiowa County was established.


During the early settlement of Kiowa County, the naturally occurring Great Plains Reservoirs attracted Indians, settlers and trappers.  The Indian named reservoirs include:   Neesopah, meaning “Black Water”; Neegronda, meaning “Big Water”; Neenoshe, meaning “Standing Water”; and Neeskah, meaning “Queens Lake”.  These recreational waters attract many people to this area today.


The early settlers arrived by covered wagon, horseback, foot and by train.  The Pueblo and State Line Railroad, later purchased by the Missouri Pacific Railroad, played a large part in the development of Kiowa County.  The major towns were located along its lines.  The towns remaining today are as follows:

ARLINGTON is located at the western end of Kiowa County and was once a prosperous community.  Little remains of it now but a post office and a few residences.

EADS, named after an engineer, was established in 1887 during the construction of the railroad.  Eads is located in the approximate center of the county and has been the county seat since 1901.


CHIVINGTON, named after Colonel John M. Chivington, was once the real town of Kiowa County.  In 1864 volunteer troops of Colonel Chivington, a former minister, engaged in a bloody battle with the Indians camped along Sand Creek.  This famous battle is known as the “Sand Creek Massacre”.

HASWELL, whose name is believed to have been chosen because the community has-a-well, was originally platted in 1908.  Having the “NATION’S SMALLEST JAIL” gives Haswell a distinction no other U.S. city can claim.



BRANDON was established in the latter part of  1887.  In its early days, Brandon was quite a little town.  It was the main trading spot for that area.  But the depression and the Dust Bowl era of the “Dirty Thirties” took their toll on this community as well as the others in the county.


SHERIDAN LAKE was a thriving community even before the railroad was constructed.  The town was named from a local body of water. The lake had gotten its name from the fact that General Phillip Sheridan of Civil War fame, camped on its shores when hunting buffalo.


TOWNER is the first town located in Kiowa County on the east end lying just two miles from the Colorado-Kansas state line.  Local Historians believe the settlement was started as a camp for a railroad construction crew in 1887.

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Eads, CO 81036
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Revised: 09/21/15 04:16:08 PM