Welcome to Morton County
“The Cornerstone of Kansas”
Small parks within the communities have their own enhancements. Depending on the park, one may find cooking facilities, picnic areas, playground equipment or tennis and basketball courts.
The newest city park, Whistle Stop Park, runs parallel to the railroad tracks of Elkhart and covers 23.5 acres. Visitors will find a trail suitable for walking, roller blading, bicycling, or relaxing on benches next to the trail.
The Cimarron National Grassland, north of Elkhart, is the largest parcel of public land in the State of Kansas. Trails allow visitors to see first hand the native flora and fauna indigenous to the area. Wild turkeys, Prairie Chickens booming, rattlesnakes, elk and antelope can be spotted among the wildlife of the grasses. Also included in the 108,000 acres of National Grassland, are bird watching, fishing ponds and picnic areas. The Atwood Ponds, also known as the Cimmaron Recreation Area, has been improved, it has a campground, drinkable (potable) water, rest room facilities, a dock accessible for persons with disabilities and a designated group area that can be rented. USDA Forest Service office, located on U.S. Highway 56 in Elkhart, offers information about auto tours, hunting and fishing.
Located in the Southwest Corner of Kansas, is home to Elkhart, Rolla, and Richfield. Elkhart, the county seat, is situated on the Oklahoma State Line and approximately 8 miles East of Colorado.
Morton County … a land of contrast and historical diversification. Coronado traveled across this land on his return to Mexico. Kiowa, Cherokee and
Apache Indians hunted buffalo until Army generals ordered the massacre of 400,000 in one day, believing “the only way to get rid of the Indians was to kill the buffalo.”
Thirty-three miles of the Historic Sante Fe Trail cross 108,000 acres of the Cimarron National Grassland. Today one can still see ruts and the site where freight wagons camped at Middle Spring and used Point of Rocks as a lookout point from 1821-1880.
A former trading post, Richfield became the county seat. It was shot up on many a Saturday night by cowboys who traveled the National Cattle Trail from Texas to Nebraska because of the cattle quarantine.
The Sante Fe Trail Railroad headed southwest from Dodge City, and the towns of Rolla, Wilburton and Elkhart sprung up along the southern border because of the tracks.
Morton County was established in 1886 and after several battles for the county seat, it was moved from Richfield to Elkhart in 1961.
A land of notable people, two Olympic medal winners … Glenn Cunningham and Thane Baker call Morton County “home”. Elease Tucker, 1962 World Barrel Racer trained and practiced her sport in Morton County.
Ranching and farming were the main businesses until the latter 1950’s when natural gas was discovered. Land owners who have retained their “mineral rights” during the Dirty 30’s realized their “dream” and the country became prosperous and progressive..
Points of Interest
Cimarron National Grassland
Morton County Historical Society Museum – The MCHS Museum was designated as an Official Interpretive Facility for the Santa Fe Historical Trail by the National Parks Service. The Morton County Historical Society Museum houses memorabilia from a by-gone era depicting the early days of Morton County when people lived in dugouts and attended one room school houses.
Grassland Heritage Festival – The mission of the “Grassland Heritage Festival” is to educate and present performing arts that celebrate the culture of the Santa Fe Trail’s historic travelers and to inform audiences about the need to preserve the Cimarron National Grassland and the high plains prairie where this convergence of culture continues.
Whistle Stop Park – It is a park that is run through donations and the work of the city staff. Whistle Stop Park, runs parallel to the railroad tracks of Elkhart and covers 23.5 acres. Visitors will find a trail suitable for walking, roller blading, bicycling, or relaxing on benches next to the trail.
Tri-State Windmill – The Windmill marks the exact spot where the States of Kansas, Colorado & Oklahoma meet.
Point Rock Golf Club
- Completely Restructured in 1998
- Newest of 9 New Golf Courses in Sw Kansas
- Money Saving Memberships Available
- Open to the Public
- Clubhouse Rental for small gatherings
The Richfield Methodist Church – Built in the 1800’s still serves an active congregation. The bricks in the building were made in Richfield.
WPA Bridge – The bridge was completed in 1939 as part of the Works Progress Administration or WPA. The WPA was one of many programs of President Roosevelt’s “New Deal” administration designed to help the nation recover from the Great Depression. At 96 feet in length and 28 feet wide, here where you would least expect it, is located one of the longer stone arch bridges in the state. Due to its unique and historic properties, the bridge was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1986.
Elkhart Chamber of Commerce
PO Box 696
544 Morton St.
Elkhart, KS 67950
Phone: (620) 697-4600
Morton County Historical Society Museum
370 E. US Hwy 56
PO Box 1248
Elkhart, KS 67950
Phone: (620) 697-697-2833
Fax: (620) 697-4390
Web Site: http://www.mtcoks.com/museum
Cimarron National Grassland Office
USDA Forest Service
PO Box 300
242 E. US Hwy 56
Elkhart, KS 67950
Phone: (620) 697-4621
Web Site: http://www.fs.fed.us/r2/psicc/cim/index.shtml
Morton County Economic Development
PO Box 1269
533 Morton St
Elkhart, KS 67950
Phone: (620) 697-2275
Fax: (620) 697-1221