The boundaries as thus established are the same as those given to Arapahoe county in 1873. It is bounded on the north by Finney county; on the east by Gray and Meade; on the south by Seward, and on the west by Grant. It is exactly 24 miles square and has an area of 576 square miles, or 368,640 acres, and was named for Dudley C. Haskell, formerly a Congressman from Kansas.
The history of the early settlement of Haskell county is about the same as that of the other western counties of the state. A few cattle men established ranches, and emigrants from the older states added to the population. On March 31, 1887, "in response to a memorial," Gov. Martin appointed Charles A. Stauber to take a census and make an appraisement of the property in the county. Mr. Stauber filed his report with the governor on June 27, showing that there were 2,841 inhabitants, of whom 556 were householders, and that the value of the taxable property was $850,119.
Upon receipt of this information, the governor issued his proclamation on July 1, 1887, declaring the county organized. He appointed as commissioners James E. Marlow, Joseph Comes and C. H. Huntington; county clerk, Lowry C. Gilmore; sheriff, J. B. Shumaker, and designated Santa Fe as the temporary county seat. The question of the location of the county seat had been decided by popular vote before the governor issued his proclamation, Santa Fe receiving 562 votes, Ivanhoe 396, and Lockport, 1.
At the general election on Nov. 8, 1887, a full quota of county officers were chosen as follows: Representative, M. C. Huston; probate judge, A. P. Heminger; clerk of the district court, W. F. Felton; county clerk, W. E. Banker; county attorney, C. R. Dollarhide; register of deeds, L. A. Crull; treasurer, J. M. Beckett; sheriff, J. P. Hughes; county superintendent of schools, L. McKinley; surveyor. W. M. Haley; coroner, J. C. Newman; commissioners, James E. Marlow, C. H. Huntington and A. T. Collins. Of these first officials, Huston Banker, Beckett, Hughes, Haley and Collins belonged to the People's party and the others were Republicans.
The surface of Haskell county is generally level or gently rolling prairie. The only watercourse in the county is the Cimarron river, which flows across the extreme southwest corner, and the absence of streams means a corresponding scarcity of timber, though a few artificial groves have been planted. There are a few natural springs in the county, and good well water is obtained at a depth of from 50 to 100 feet.
The opening of new lands in Oklahoma and a lack of railroad facilities caused many of the early settlers to leave the county. In 1890 the population was but 1,077, less than one-half what it was when the county was organized, and by 1900 it had dwindled to 457. Then came a reaction and in 1910 the population was 993, a gain of 536 in ten years, or more than 120 per cent. The completion of the Garden City, Gulf & Northern railroad through the center of the county north and south gives the county better shipping and transportation facilities. The county is divided into three civil townships—Dudley, Haskell and Lockport. In 1910 the county reported 19 organized school districts, with a school population of 340. Agriculture is the principle occupation. The leading crops are wheat, milo maize, Kafir corn, sorghum and broom-corn. The value of farm products in 1810 was $214,337, and the assessed valuation of property was $2,321,605.
Law and government
Although the Kansas Constitution was amended in 1986 to allow the sale of alcoholic liquor by the individual drink with the approval of voters, Haskell County has remained a prohibition, or "dry", county.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,496 km² (578 mi²), of which 1,495 km² (577 mi²) is land and 1 km² (0 mi²), or 0.06%, is water.
Haskell County's population was estimated to be 4,171 in the year 2006, a decrease of 135, or -3.1%, over the previous six years.
As of the U.S. Census in 2000, there were 4,307 people, 1,481 households, and 1,153 families residing in the county. The population density was 3/km² (8/mi²). There were 1,639 housing units at an average density of 1/km² (3/mi²). The racial makeup of the county was 85.07% White, 0.63% Asian, 0.58% Native American, 0.19% Black or African American, 11.45% from other races, and 2.09% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 23.57% of the population.
There were 1,481 households out of which 43.60% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 69.40% were married couples living together, 5.90% had a female householder with no husband present, and 22.10% were non-families. 20.10% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.20% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.88 and the average family size was 3.35.
In the county the population was spread out with 32.90% under the age of 18, 9.10% from 18 to 24, 27.80% from 25 to 44, 19.50% from 45 to 64, and 10.60% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females there were 103.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 98.30 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $38,634, and the median income for a family was $43,354. Males had a median income of $31,296 versus $22,857 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,349. About 8.00% of families and 11.60% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.40% of those under age 18 and 9.40% of those age 65 or over.
Cities and towns
Name and population (2004 estimate):
Sublette, 1,592 (county seat)