Russell County was organized on July 18, 1872 by Benjamin Pratt and A. E. Mathews and is 1 of 105 counties in Kansas. Russell County has 8 towns that are serviced by an excellent transportation system, being the crossroads of US Highway 281 and Interstate 70 as well as other State maintained highways.
Russell County contains the cities of Gorham, Bunker Hill, Lucas, Luray, Paradise, Dorrance, Russell and Waldo. The county was named for Captain Avra P. Russell, Second Kansas Regiment, killed at Prairie Grove, Arkansas, in December, 1862.
A large portion of the residents are of German descent and intensely proud of their heritage, celebrating many of the traditions from their homeland. The county seat is the City of Russell, which is home to approximately 4,400 residents. The friendliness of small-town living and community pride can be found everywhere.
The introduction of Turkey Red Wheat into the county in 1880 greatly changed the agricultural picture for the area. The discovery of oil in 1923, over 150 miles from the nearest oil producing field, enabled Russell County to become one of the state's leading producers.
The first Russell County fair was held in 1874 in Russell, and continues at the 4H Grounds in Russell, Kansas. The first school district was formed in Bunker Hill on December 27, 1872.
United States Senator (1969-present) Robert Dole was born and raised in Russell. He has served as a Congressman (1961-1969), as the majority and minority leader in the U. S. Senate, and in 1987 is an announced candidate for the presidency of the United States.
A mystery has surrounded the 1893 murder near Lucas of Fred Dininny. His body was not found for six months. The accused murderers were removed from the jail and hanged from a railroad trestle before they could stand trial. No one knows how or why the murder was committed.
Robert Day's novel, The Last Cattle Drive, is set in the cattle country of Kansas including Gorham, Kansas and Russell County.
Russell County contains several interesting sites including the Fossil Station Museum, the Gernon House, the Garden of Eden, the Log House, Bowl Plaza and beautiful Wilson Lake Reservoir.
"Come Capture Our Beauty" by experiencing our several interesting sites including the Fossil Station Museum, the Gernon House, the Garden of Eden, the Log House, Bowl Plaza and beautiful Wilson Lake Reservoir, rolling hills of green pastures, clear blue skies, limestone bluffs, and beautiful fields of grain!