As we enter our 2nd 50 years...

We are working to bring the citizens of Atchison County quality exhibits, educational programming and more.

We are currently running exhibits, print materials and online offerings Commorating the Centennial of World War I - in the museum now and on Facebook.

We always have a variety of exhibits telling the story of Atchison County, Kansas in the Museum you don't want to miss including the extended Walter Yost exhibition into 2019.

A past exhibit highlight was Hometown Teams, a Smithsonian traveling exhibit that was in Atchison County's Museum June 27 - Aug. 9, 2015. And the life-size banner/photo and original team bench of the Lincoln Kittens Basketball State Championship Team is still in the Museum.

Consider becoming a member of YOUR county historical society today - Click here to JOIN or find out how you can SUPPORT our efforts to preserve and share Atchison County's history & heritage.

We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation as determined by the IRS established in the State of Kansas. Want to know more? Here is a link to our Bylaws and Policies our governing documents. And here is a link to our most current IRS-990 filing (the non-profit version of an income tax form).

Society Board of Directors & Staff

The Board of Directors is the policy making body governing the Historical Society. The nine board members serve 3 year terms with rotating starting points. The Current Board: Julia Clem - President, Steve Caplinger - VP, Galen Pruett - Treasurer, Harold Scheopner- past president, Gail Fox, Jan Falk, Dea Yanke, Pat Brox, and Matt Ramsey.

Society Staff: Chris W. Taylor - Executive Director / Corporate Secretary; Darlene Mason-Taylor - Education Coordinator & Collections Assistant.

The Atchison County Historical Society, Inc.

“The mission of the Atchison County Historical Society is to preserve, promote, record and share the history and historical artifacts of Atchison County, Kansas and increase public appreciation of our heritage and culture.”

The Atchison County Historical Society is committed to the principle that a citizenry must possess knowledge of their past to make informed decisions in shaping the future of our community. We believe the thoughtful and proactive preservation of our rich heritage is the best building block of the future.

As we “proceed on” into the 21st Century we will strive to achieve the highest standards for research, educational programming and care of the collections we hold in the public trust. We will pursue regional recognition as a center to advance the understanding of the pre-history and history of Atchison County, Kansas, the Midwest and the era of Westward Migration. We will pursue quality publications, programs and outreach to serve the needs of our membership and expand our membership to secure the future of the Society.

We will concentrate our efforts on building the collection of the Atchison County Historical Society; seeking out partnerships to expand the capacity of our offerings; and securing sufficient funding and staffing to support our operations, maintain our infrastructure, and ensure the long-term financial health of the Society as we strive to fulfill our Mission.

The paths to achieving our Vision can best be expressed in the following general goals:

  1. To serve as a hub to bring exhibitions and programming to the people of Atchison County.
  2. To serve as a resource for other entities (other museums, city, county, etc.) on matters of preservation, care of collections, and application of appropriate historical information to current actions.
  3. Work with other groups and agencies with common goals for preservation of historic sites across Atchison County & working to expand the tourism base of our community to further our Mission and secure funding for future efforts to preserve and share important sites.
  4. Work with other groups and agencies with common goals for gathering and sharing the history and heritage of Atchison County to find creative ways to reach the next generation of learners by making positive contributions to the gathering and teaching of history.
  5. Position the Atchison County Historical Society to serve as a lead partner or collaborator in local, state-wide and regional celebrations marking significant historical events.


Historical Society slideshow

How we began...

The genesis of the Atchison County Historical Society came from a conversation between two of the leaders of the two Atchison Kiwanis Clubs in January 1966, when local insurance businessman Ralph Martin was visiting John Gerardy's Coin and Antique Shop at 120 N. Seventh Street.
Looking over some of the treasures in Gerardy's store the two thought it was a shame so much of the county's history was leaving the community. The pair went back to their respective Kiwanis Clubs where they were greeted by encouragement to organize to preserve the history and artifacts of the community. Martin, president of the Kiwanis Club and Wilbur Stocks, president of the Sunflower Kiwanis, then sent out letters inviting local citizens to come to an organizational meeting.

click here to read more

Roll of Honor

The Historical Society bestows this special honor to those members, volunteers and supporters without whom the Society and Museum would not be what they are today. The Roll of Honor thanks those who came before us and those still with us for their passion to Share Our History.

Roll of Honor through 2017 inductees: Father Peter Beckman, Mayor Joe Carrigan, Cloud L. “Bud” Cray, Jr., Evah Cray,
Jim Ewbanks, Frank Fogler, John Gerardy, Harry Hixson,
Blanche Houston, Robert Jacobson, Emogene Kautz,
Atchison Kiwanis Club, Edgar Lansdorf,
Father Angelus Lingenfelser, Vivian Crawford Lutz,
Robert Lykins, Ralph Martin, John May, Mrs. O.P. May, Denise Morrison, Anne Grego Nagel, Glenn Nichols, Helen Ostertag, Bob Peterson,
Rev. Roger Rumery, Harold Scheopner, Connie Scholz, Pricilla Scholz, Ladd Seaberg,
James Search, Eugene Shufflebarger, Charles Spencer,
Bob Staley, Elaine Tittsworth, Vearl Tyler, Charles Wagner, Luella Wagner,
Claude Warner, Walter Yost.

click here for photos of some Roll of Honor inductees

About the Atchison County Historical Society

Established in 1967, the first museum was opened in 1968. The Society moved into the current museum, the 1880 Santa Fe Depot, in 1989. We host quarterly evening adult education programs and sponsor K-12 programming, including the monthly Pioneer Club for 4th-7th grade students.

The Atchison County Historical Society, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation established in the State of Kansas.

More About Us
Join / Donate

About Independence Creek: Lewis & Clark Historic Site

Open Sunrise to Sunset year round. Located 5 miles north of Atchison's Main Street this site may be reached by car or by hiking/biking trail. The 13.5 acre site has reestablished the prairie as seen by the Corps of Discovery and encompasses a stretch of Independence Creek referred to by Captain William Clark in his July 4, 1804 journal entry. A pedestrian bridge completes the 5-mile trail link to the Atchison Riverfront. A re-creation of a 1724-1804 era Kanza Indian Earthlodge interprets the Kanza habitation of this location.

Physical location:

19917 314th Road, Atchison, KS

Explore more about Independence Creek

Museum Hours & Admission

Summer Hours:

9 am to 5 pm Monday through Saturday

noon to 5 pm Sundays

Winter Hours: (November - March)

9 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday

10 am to 4 pm Saturdays

noon to 4 pm Sundays (closed Jan & Feb)

Open to the public 350 days a year - closed: New Years, Sundays in January and February, Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas & New Year's Eve.

Museum admission is by donation - requested donations $2-adults, $1-children, $1.50-seniors, $5-family.

Contact us for Group Tours booking, rates and details.

Get in Touch

  • Phone:
    (913) 367 6238
  • Email:
  • Address:
    Atchison County Historical Society
  • P.O. Box 201
  • 200 S. 10th Street, Santa Fe Depot
    Atchison, KS 66002