ASHLAND, Kan. (KSNW) — The KSN News team arrived in Ashland on Monday afternoon. Thank you to all the Clark County viewers who joined us at the Ashland City Library, 604 Main Street.

Ashland has a population of 783 people. It is the county seat of Clark County, about 155 miles west-southwest of Wichita. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the median household income in Ashland is $51,042.

The town is proud of its beautiful setting in Bear Creek valley and on the fringe of the Red Hills. It is a perfect spot for hunters and anglers as it has a lot of deer and nearby Clark County State Lake.

Hunting and fishing were also important to Native Americans who first lived in the area. According to AshlandKS.com, the area’s first “white man” was most likely Francisco Coronado’s expedition in the 1500s. Its goal was to find the riches of the legendary city of Quivira. Back then, the area had millions of buffalo, which Coronado described as the “beast of the plains.”

The city website says a Dodge City hunter killed 2,000 buffalo on the spot where Ashland is located and then went to Sand Creek and killed 3,000 more. The city says the buffalo were gone from Clark County by 1875. After that, cattlemen moved in.

A sod house called Bear Creek Mail Station was built on the east side of the creek in the 1870s. It was the first home in what became Ashland and originally housed soldiers.

It later became a stopping place for cowboys, freighters and other travelers. Charles Roby bought the sod house. He and Ashland Town Company members secured a clear title for the town site in 1884. The town was named after Ashland, Kentucky, where one of the Ashland Town Company’s members had a connection.

By the spring of 1885, Ashland had a population of 2,042. It had homes, a two-story hotel, restaurants, stores and a post office. Those were followed by the building of a courthouse, a school, and churches.

Ashland got a boost when the first railway cars arrived in 1887. The railroad made it easier to get livestock to market. Ranching and farming continue to be at the center of Ashland’s economy.

Things to do around Ashland

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