Baxter Springs


Early visitors who journeyed to Baxter Springs in Southeast Kansas were enchanted by the beauty of the surroundings. Baxter Springs was once a rest stop for the Osage Indians who were traveling toward their summer hunting grounds. The Osage believed that the mineral springs that once flowed just south of what is now East Seventh Street in Baxter Springs had miraculous healing powers. They weren’t the only ones who frequented Baxter Springs. Known as the First Cowtown in Kansas, Baxter Springs served as a welcoming stopping point for cattlemen and stock raisers who drove large herds to northern markets. Dubbed Baxter’s Place after founder John J. Baxter, the town later became known as Baxter Springs. On historic US 66 highway, Baxter Springs continues to be a hot spot of activity. Fishing and camping on Spring River, upland hunting, a motor cross track, and nine-hole golf course are a few of the vibrant activities available in Baxter Springs. Other near-by area attractions include the 2nd largest electric mining shovel called Big Brutus, the Carona Train Depot, and the Mined Wildlife Area. Visitors and residents give the Little League Museum, showcasing memorabilia of local sports heroes, and the Heritage Museum, detailing the city’s vast history, glowing reviews. Parents rave about the superior education students receive at the Baxter Springs school district. Many respectable community colleges and up-standing four-year universities are within driving distance of Baxter Springs. Accentuated with an authentic history, entertaining activities, hospitable residents, and endless opportunities, the greatest journey you’ll ever make begins and ends in Baxter Springs, Kansas!

  • John J. Baxter – moved his family to the area and set up an inn and general store in 1848. It became “Baxter’s Place.”
  • Incorporated in 1868 and renamed Baxter Springs after John J. Baxter
  • Known for the Baxter Springs Massacre where on October 6, 1863, the guerrilla band of Quantrill’s Raiders unsuccessfully attacked Ft. Blair.
  • In 1868 a demand for beef in the north brought Texas cattlemen and stock raisers to drive large herds on the southern plains, using Baxter Springs as a stopping point.
  • A cable-ferry boat was instituted in 1867 on the Spring River until the early 1880’s when the first bridge was built.
  • In the latter part of the 19th Century, the Baxter Springs Flouring Mill was built using a threestory frame structure, two turbine water wheels and had a grinding capacity of 50 barrels of flour a day.

Fun Facts

  • Baxter Springs was the first cowtown in Kansas.
  • Jesse James robbed the bank.
  • Baxter Springs is located directly on Route 66.

Famous or Noteworthy People

  • Hale Irwin – Professional Golfer
  • Mickey Mantle – Played with the Baxter Springs Whiz Kids before signing with the Yankees


  • Bas Relief – mural depicts the history of Baxter Springs on the exterior of the American Bank
  • Big Brutus – world’s second largest electric mining shovel; “West Mineral, Kansas”, 620-827-6177
  • Bilke’s Western Museum – traces the roots of the first Cowtown in Kansas with a full-size mural of the longhorn cattle drive on the side of the building. Jim Bilke’s personal western collection is located upstairs and features antique bits, spurs, saddles, and more. Located on Route 66 at 11th.
  • Black Dog Trail – on the grounds of the Historical Museum, it commemorates the trail opened in 1803 by Chief Black Dog and his band of Osage Indians who lived in a nearby village.
  • Carona Train Depot – Heartland Railroad Club, formed in 1991, established a museum to preserve and display railroad memorabilia.
  • Civil War Tour – self-guided Civil War tour of Baxter Springs with 12 points of interest relating to the attack on Ft. Blair and the Battle of Baxter Springs. Maps are available at the Historical Museum, Chamber of Commerce, or downtown restaurants.
  • DAR Marker – dedicated in memory of General James G. Blunt and his escorts who were brutally attacked by guerrillas led by Quantrill in the Baxter Springs Massacre on October 6, 1863. Located one block west of Route 66 at 10th & Park at the Johnston Public Library.
  • Ft. Blair Site – site of the Ft. Blair fort which was attacked on October 6, 1863 by Quantrill and Confederate guerillas. This attack was known as the Baxter Springs Massacre.
  • Heritage Center & Museum – Exhibits depict the various stages of the city’s vast history from the days of the Osage Indians through the Civil War and the lead and zinc mining era. Exhibits include: an authentic Victorian Parlor, a reconstructed pre-Civil War Cabin, a full-scale replica of a Tri-State lead and zinc mine, Wedding Finery through the years, wooden sidewalks lining historical Military Road, and the Blacksmith Shop. Located one block east of Route 66 at 8th & East Ave., 620-856-2385
  • Heritage Museum Log Cabin – Built by R. A. Hibbard east of the Lowell Cemetery in the 1870s. Purchased by Kent Lynch who donated the cabin to the Historical Society in memory of Marsah Moncrief Lynch. Cabin was rebuilt on this site in 1987. Located on the grounds of the Historical Museum.
  • Historic Walking Tour – Store fronts on either side of Military Avenue display framed accounts of the original occupants of each store and significant historical events.
  • Johnston Public Library – Built in 1872, it was initially built as the County Courthouse but was never used for that purpose. Through the years, the building has been a city hall, theater, and a college. In 1905, Peter Nils Johnston, a Swedish immigrant, provided a bequest for the city to establish a permanent library in the building. Located one block west of Route 66 at 10th & Park Ave.
  • Little League Museum – Displays awards and memorabilia of local sports heroes such as Mickey Mantle and Hale Irwin. Located at 14th and Grant.
  • Longhorn Cattle Drive – 1991 painting on the exterior wall of Bilke’s Western Museum – Artist John Gibbons
  • Mined Wildlife Area – 13,000 acres of land and 1,500 acres of water provides some of the best hunting and fishing in the area
  • National Cemetery – soldier’s plot designated by the federal government after the Civil War. Soldier’s monument erected in the spring of 1870. Bodies of massacre victims were reinterred in a common grave. Monument is engraved with the names of the 88 victims.
  • Rainbow Bridge – the only remaining Marsh Arch bridge – located 1.5 miles north of Baxter Springs
  • Route 66 Museum – 940 Military Ave., 620-856-2066
  • Tri-State Marker – meeting point of Kansas, Oklahoma, and Missouri.
  • Veterans’ Memorial – Honoring local Veteran’s who have served or who are currently serving our country both at home and abroad. This awe-inspiring memorial was awarded the Best Civic Memorial recognition by the Monument Builders of North America. Located at 13th and Park Ave.

Founded: 1858

Population: 4,200

County: Cherokee

Zip Code: 66713

Elevation: 843 ft

Average Temperature:
Summer: 80°
Fall: 60°
Winter: 36°
Spring: 58°

Average Annual Rainfall: 42.3″

Days of Sunshine: 223 days

On historic US Route 66 highway
Connects with US-166 and Alt. Hwy 69
15 miles to Joplin, MO
17 miles to Miami, OK
100 miles to Tulsa, OK
85 miles to Springfield, MO

Recycling Available: No

City Council Members:
Tim Shallenburger
City Clerk: Sharon Clark

City Council Members:
Jack Couch, Ward 1
Rick Christenson, Ward 1
Jimmy Younger, Ward 2
Steve Dardenne, Ward 2
Randy Debeeld, Ward 3
Gary Sisco, Ward 3
William Nott, Ward 4
Sherry Brown, Ward 4
View the Ward Maps


Bethel Community Church
2046 Military
Baxter Springs, KS 66713

Cana Tabernacle
533 W. 9th St
Baxter Springs, KS 66713

Crossroads Christian Church
8448 SE Hwy Alt. 69
Baxter Springs, KS 66713

Fellowship Baptist Church
1124 Kansas Ave.
Baxter Springs, KS 66713

First Assembly of God
1245 Park Ave.
Baxter Springs, KS 66713

First Baptist Church
1005 East Ave.
Baxter Springs, KS 66713

First Christian Church
3020 Roberts Rd.
Baxter Springs, KS 66713

First Presbyterian Church
133 E. 12th St.
Baxter Springs, KS 66713

First United Methodist Church
1310 East Ave.
Baxter Springs, KS 66713

Mt. Olive Baptist Church
211 W. 11th St.
Baxter Springs, KS 66713

St. Joseph’s Catholic Church
328 E. 12th St
Baxter Springs, KS 66713

Trinity Worship Center
225 E 16th Street
Baxter Springs, KS 66713


Kiwanis Park – pavilion
E 12th St
Baxter Springs, KS 66713

Riverside East – camping
E 12th St
Baxter Springs, KS 66713

Clubs & Organizations

American Legion
1321 Military
Baxter Springs, KS 66713

Kiwanis Club
Baxter Springs, KS 66713

Lion’s Club
137 W. 14th St
Baxter Springs, KS 66713

Masonic Lodge
1509 Military Ave.
Baxter Springs, KS 66713

140 W. 10th Ave.
Baxter Springs, KS 66713

VFW Post 408
930 W. 9th St.
Baxter Springs, KS 66713

Community Resources

Utility Hookups:
Water, sewer, and trash pickup
City of Baxter Springs
1445 Military Avenue
Baxter Springs, KS 66713
P: 620-856-2114
F: 620-856-2460
The following are the steps required to turn on your city utilities:  Please stop by City Hall in person to complete necessary paperwork.  Bring a valid pictur4 ID and your Social Security Identification number. A $50.00 non-refundable service fee is required at time you sign up for service.  Please be prepared to show the utility billing office your lease/rental agreement or proof of ownership.

Liberty Utilities
939 W. 5th St.
Baxter Springs KS 66713

Gas Company
Kansas Gas Service

Customer Support Hours:
Residential Support
Mon-Fri: 8am-7pm Local
Sat: 9am-2pm Local

Tag Agent – (car tag, license renewal)
Cherokee County Courthouse
110 West Maple Street, Room 109
Columbus, KS
Mon-Fri: 8am-4:30pm

Department of Motor Vehicles – (driver’s license examiner)
Baxter Springs Community Bldg
1101 East Ave
Baxter Springs, KS 66713
Thurs & Fri: 8:15am-4:30pm

Community Services

Ambulance Emergency:
Cherokee County Ambulance
311 Military Ave
Baxter Springs, KS 66713

City Office:
City Hall
1011 Military Ave.
Baxter Springs, KS 66713
P: 620-856-2114
F. 620-856-2460

Chamber of Commerce:
1004 Military Ave.
Baxter Springs, KS 66713
12-4pm Every Wed & Fri

Community Centers:
Old Community Building
506 W. 4th St.
Baxter Springs, KS 66713

New Community Building
1101 East Ave.
Baxter Springs, KS 66713

Fire Department:
Baxter Springs Fire Department
121 W. 11th St
Baxter Springs, KS 66713

Post Office:
Baxter Springs Post Office
1115 Park Ave.
Baxter Springs, KS 66713

Sheriff Emergency:
Cherokee County Sheriff Department
915 E. Country Rd
Baxter Springs, KS 66713

Police Department:
121 W. 11th St
Baxter Springs, KS 66713

Johnston Public Library
210 W. 10th Ave
Baxter Springs, KS 66713

Freeman Health System
1102 W. 32nd St.
Joplin, MO 64804

Mercy Hospital
100 Mercy Way
Joplin, MO 64804

Senior Centers:
Autumn Home Care Facility
120 Aaron Ln.
Baxter Springs, KS 66713

Meals on Wheels
506 W. 4th St.
Baxter Springs, KS 66713

Baxter Cemetery

US – 166, west of Baxter


American Legion Baseball
Baxter Spring, KS 66713

Baxter Springs Golf & Country Club
501 Hale Irwin
Baxter Springs, KS 6671

Baxter Swimming Pool
16th & Park
Baxter Springs, KS 66713

Field of Dreams
8933 SE 50th St.
Baxter Springs, KS 66713

Girls’ Softball
1600 Lions Road
Baxter Springs, KS 66713

Little League
1700 Lions Rd.
Baxter Springs, KS 66713

Skate Ramp at Kiwanis Park
E 12th St.
Baxter Springs, KS 66713


Boy Scouts
3022 Roberts Rd.
Baxter Springs, KS 66713

Girl Scouts
640 E. 10th St
Baxter Springs, KS 66713

Johnston Public Library – Book Club
210 W 10th St
Baxter Springs, KS 66713

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Grainfield, KS 67737
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