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Liberal, Kansas

Liberal is located in the Southwest corner of Kansas, and is the seat of Seward County. Coronado crossed into what is now Kansas, near the present site of Liberal in 1541. This western short grass country was occupied by the Plains Apache, followed by the Kiowa, Cheyenne, Commanche, and Arapaho. The indian villages raised corn, beans and squash. From Coronado's exploration of this area in 1541 to the time of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, the conditions of this area remained about the same.

Captain John R. Bell reported on August 14, 1820, that the far west, an area including Seward County, was uninhabitable for civilized men because of the lack of rain. This created an image that the generations of Kansas would struggle to repute. Congress designated all of this territory as Indian Territory in 1830, and until 1872 western Kansas was practically uninhabited. Settlement came to the area only after the railroads came through.

Kansas was admitted to statehood on January 29, 1861, and was the 34th state. Seward County was established March 20, 1873. A post office was set up at the town of Liberal in June of 1886. Seward County, like many other western counties, was the scene of many county seat fights in its early history. After many battles a vote on December 8, 1892 made Liberal the seat of Seward County.


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