Butler County, KS

County in Southeast KS

Butler County is named for Senator Andrew Pickens Butler (1796-1857) of South Carolina. Senator Butler was an ardent proslavery advocate although he had voted for the Kansas-Nebraska Act, perhaps thinking like many others that Kansas would become a slave state and Nebraska a free state.

Butler County was one of the 33 original counties created by the “Bogus Legislature” composed of pro-slavery Missourians, border state ruffians and the fraudulently elected. A late Free State legislature allowed the name to remain unchanged. One account states that they thought Butler County was named after Massachusetts’s politician and late Union Army General, Ben Butler.

Since the early days, the regional economy had been focused on farming and ranching. This would all change when, in the fall of 1915, a cable tool-drilling rig owned by Wichita Natural Gas began to drill an oil well on the John Stapleton farm north of town. Day after day the tools stomped their way into the solid earth until a depth of 670 feet oil was discovered. Word spread like a wind-whipped prairie fire and the black gold rush was on.

Butler’s economy changed almost overnight. Lease prices for land skyrocketed as men sought riches from deep within the earth. New shops and businesses were built to meet the demands of thousands of incoming workers.

The company owned towns of Oil Hill, Midian, Gordon, Browntown, and others prospered. Oil Hill and El Dorado grew and by 1918 their population totaled 20,000. In a single year, more than 28 million barrels of crude oil were produced.

Sponsors of Butler County, KS

Since the founding of our communities, organizations, businesses and citizens have stepped forward to build and serve their community. Click on any of the logos below to learn about those who made this website possible! If you would like to learn about becoming a sponsor CLICK HERE!

Towns of Butler County, KS

The small towns of the Midwest are rich in history and a great way of life! Below you can visit and learn about the small towns we call home! Towns that have their name highlighted have become FEATURED TOWNS. Businesses/organizations from these towns have stepped forward as SPONSORS enabling us to include (or will include as acquired) stories and website links to ALL their community organizations (chambers, groups and departments, etc.), stories and website links to ALL their points of interest, annual festivals/events and stories done about their citizens, veterans and faith community. To learn how to become a featured town CLICK HERE!

Businesses of Butler County, KS

The businesses of our towns are truly the lifeblood of each community, click on any businesses below to learn about them, to learn how to add your business to your town and county page CLICK HERE!