Earliest Settlers

Morton County is a land of contrast and historical diversification. Coronado traveled across this land on his return to Mexico. Kiowa 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.

Sante Fe Trail

Thirty-three miles of the Historic Sante Fe Trail crosses 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 to 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.

Sante Fe Railroad

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.

Establishment of the County

Morton County was established in 1886 and after several battles for the county seat, it was moved from Richfield to Elkhart in 1961.

Famous Individuals

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 when natural gas was discovered. Landowners who retained their "mineral rights" during the Dirty '30s realized their "dream" and the country became prosperous and progressive.