Front coverWelcome to Cherokee County, located in the very southeast corner of Kansas. If you’re looking for the prairies or the plains of Kansas, we have some of those features, but we feel we have a more diverse landscape than any other part of Kansas. Traveling through southeastern Kansas you get a much different picture of Kansas than most would expect. We have the beautiful features of what are known as the “Kansas Ozarks,” where a small portion of the Ozarks extends into the very southeast corner of Kansas. We have caves, swift streams, tall limestone bluffs, steep cliffs, and just a touch of the Ozark forest lands, yet you are in Kansas.
In Cherokee County, we have the “First Cow Town in Kansas.” The southern section of the county was part of the Tri-State Mining District, the lead and zinc mining capital of the world at one time. In the northern part of the county, the strip mining of the coal was prominent. Coal mining left behind many strip pits, some of which were nearly one hundred feet deep. Though some of the scars from mining are still visible, many of the pits were reclaimed by nature. Others were reclaimed and re-contoured by man, which now comprise the Mined Land Wildlife Areas. In addition to the natural rivers, streams and creeks that populate our area, the repurposed mined lands provide excellent hunting and fishing opportunities. Cherokee County is also home to Kansas’s 13.2 miles of Route 66, which is lined with many interesting stops and attractions devoted to the Mother Road’s numerous travelers.
I have been the publisher of the Sentinel-Times for nearly thirty-six years, a publication that has the distinction of being one of the oldest newspapers in the area. The Sentinel-Times has had the privilege of “Serving Galena Since 1880.” Our staff saw a need for a county publication and has but forth the time and energy to pull this publication together. We feel privileged to be publishing this brand new magazine for the citizens of Cherokee County and the many travelers and tourists who take the time to visit our “Southeast Corner of Kansas.”
I was born and raised in this area most of my life, though I spent five years of my youth in western Kansas in Great Bend. There I first experienced the tumbleweed, snow fences, and snow drifts taller than the road grader clearing the road. My parents returned to southeast Kansas in the summer of 1961. I attended school in Riverton, Kansas, and then graduated from Pittsburg State University. Today, my wife Barbara, son Anthony, and I reside in the country, just north of Riverton. Over the years I have had an opportunity to travel all across this great country and have loved visiting all the people and regions of America, from the Great Lakes areas, the Rocky Mountains, the high plateaus and desert regions to the shores of either coast, the gulf coast areas, as well as the Land of Ten Thousand Lakes. But Kansas is in my blood . . . my father’s ancestors emigrated from Sweden to Chanute, Kansas, to begin farming operations in their new country. My mother’s parents moved from Texas to Kansas with the Katy Railroad. Kansas is my home, and southeast Kansas is the region I love. The communities and the people of Cherokee County welcome you to our region of Kansas.

David Nelson, Publisher