History from Kansas State Historical
Rawlins County is of
the most northwestern counties in the
state of Kansas. Containing the cities of
Atwood, McDonald and
Herndon, the county was founded by
W. R. Shirley; G. P. Winter; S. B Hunter;
Joseph Hewes; C. M. Egelston; J. D.
E. J. Fullmer; James M. Matheny; and
John A. Bliss. The county was organized on
May 25, 1881.
The county gets its
name from General John Rawlins, Secretary
of War under President Ulysses S. Grant.
An old county
legend states that Belle Starr,
while fleeing from the law, is supposed to
have lived with her gang in one of the
caves in the
eastern part of Rawlins County.