Baxter Springs, Kansas Facts:
- County: Cherokee
- Coverage Area (Total): 3.19 sq. miles
- Elevation: 843 ft.
- Population: 4,195
- Cities/Towns covered in local Names and Numbers Phone Book: Baxter Springs, Cherokee, Columbus, Crestline, Galena, Hallowell, Lawton, Riverton, Scammon, Treece, Weir, West Mineral
Baxter Springs History
Baxter Springs, known as "The First Cowtown in Kansas," was settled in 1849 by John J. Baxter and family. Baxter purchased land near Spring River where he established and operated an inn/general store known as "Baxter's Place." The town was incorporated under this name in 1868, but later renamed "Baxter Springs." Today, downtown main street is recognized as part of the historic U.S. Route 66.
The Battle of Fort Baxter occurred in 1863 as part of the American Civil War. This battle witnessed Confederate forces being turned back by Union troops at Fort Blair (Fort Baxter), with a second regimen of Confederates attacking a Union detachment heading from Fort Scott, Kansas to Fort Smith, Arkansas. The massacre led to 103 Union casualties.
Baxter Springs Attractions
Columbus maintains a variety of attractions including: