About Franklin County
There is so much you can take in and learn about Franklin County, Kan. A wonderful mixture of history and beauty await. The
area is blessed with historic architecture, great antique shopping, and fun-filled community events.
In this historic community you can learn about the tragedies in the battle over slavery and see how Kansas was the beginning of the Civil War. Franklin County is included in the Freedoms Frontier National Heritage Area which explores the pre-Civil War border wars between Missouri and Kansas, shaping of the frontier by early settlers and our enduring struggles for Freedom even to the present day.
You can see what an 1888 train depot was like at the Old Depot Museum or stroll down historic Main Street and learn about the buildings built in the late 1800s from an interactive kiosk system beginning at the Old Depot Museum and ending near the Carnegie Cultural Center. And don’t forget to stop by the beautiful Franklin County Courthouse, built in 1893 by famed Kansas architect George P. Washburn.
If outdoor activities are your game, hop on your bike for a ride or hike on the 51 mile-long trail called the Prairie Spirit Rail Trail State Park from Ottawa to Iola. If you like to ride horses the Flint Hills Trail crosses the Prairie Spirit Trail in Ottawa. This trail when completed will span over 117 miles from Osawatomie to Herington. In the fall, residents and visitors enthusiastically take part in annual day trips to Peckham’s Pumpkin Patch and Pome on the Range Orchards and Winery for fresh farm pickings from pumpkins to Christmas trees and more.
For a taste of small-town culture, plan to attend any of the festivals and events hosted by Ottawa, Lane, Richmond, Princeton, Rantoul, Wellsville, Williamsburg or Pomona. Each of these communities rolls out the red carpet and genuine hospitality to all who visit them.
Six hotels, an RV park, a bed and breakfast and more than 35 restaurants in Ottawa alone, not to mention great places to shop, so come for a few hours, an entire day or the weekend and enjoy discovering all that Franklin County Kansas has to offer.
Click on one of the tabs above to narrow your search for what you are looking for.
Franklin County Directions
Location and Directions:
These directions and maps show how Franklin County is conveniently located 40 miles southwest of Kansas City, Mo., right off Interstate 35 exits 198-170! Franklin County is surrounded by the counties of Douglas (to the north), Johnson County (to the northeast), Miami (to the east), Osage (to the west), Coffey (to the southwest), Anderson (to the south) and Linn (to the southeast).
- 170 — Williamsburg and Pomona
- 176 — Homewood
- 182 — Old Highway 50 and Eisenhower Road in Ottawa
- 183 — U.S. 59 (south to Garnett)
- 185 — 15th Street in Ottawa
- 187 — K-68 (Visitor Information Center exit)
- 188 — U.S. 59 (north to Lawrence)
- 193 — Tennessee Road (LeLoup)
- 198 — K-33 Highway (Wellsville)
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Franklin County has a total area of 577 square miles, of which 572 square miles is land and 5.4 square miles is water.
Incorporated cities in Franklin County include Lane, Ottawa, Pomona, Princeton, Rantoul, Richmond, Wellsville and Williamsburg. Unincorporated areas include Centropolis, Homewood, Imes, LeLoup, Norwood, Peoria, Ransomville and Richter. The county is divided into 16 townships.
Just passing through? Track your miles from Ottawa to:
- Chicago … 460
- Dallas … 412
- Denver … 589
- Kansas City … 40
- Minneapolis … 447
- Oklahoma City … 298
- St. Louis … 300
Map of Princeton, KS
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Franklin County was established in 1855 as District 5 in the State of Kansas for voting purposes and named in honor of the legendary Benjamin Franklin.
There is something for everyone in Ottawa and Franklin County. Conveniently located just 45 minutes southwest of Kansas City, 20 minutes south of Lawrence and less than an hour from Topeka and Emporia. Ottawa is a growing community of approximately 13,000 that has become a popular destination for day trips and for weary travelers looking for a convenient stop outside the metro area with less traffic and noise. Enjoy our county…below are some of the area facts.
County population in 2010: 25,906 (48% urban, 52% rural)
County population in 2000: 24,784
2010 cost of living index in Franklin County: 82.1 (low, U.S. average is 100)
Average household size: 2.0
Estimated median household income in 2009: $45,966 ($39,052 in 1999)
Franklin County Seat: Ottawa
577 Square Miles
$10,000 – $14,000 7.1%
$15,000 – $24,999 13.6%
$25,000 – $34,999 16.2%
$35,000 – $49,999 17.4%
$50,000 – $74,999 22.4%
$75,000 – $99,999 8.5%
$100,000 – $149,999 3.0%
1.0% Native American
Would you like to move here? Franklin County is a great place to live, work, play and retire. CNN Money Magazine named Ottawa as one of the “Top 5 Best Places to Retire” for small towns in 2012.
What We Offer:
We have everything from wonderful antique shops and great furniture stores to a fabulous quilt shop with everything you ever will need. We offer superb dining options, including one of the best places for barbecue ribs in the Heartland! People who visit and live in Franklin County continually marvel at our friendly nature, rural charm, rich history and late 19th and early 20th century Victorian architecture. Throughout the year, our communities host a number of exciting events, including the SWAN Arts Festival, Power of the Past Antique Engine and Tractor Show and Ol’ Marais River Run Car Show, just to name a few.
The following links are provided as a service to both current and potential residents and tourists. The Franklin County CVB makes no claim to the accuracy of the websites below and their information.
2141 Princeton Road
PO Box 336
Ottawa, KS 66067
Phone: 785-242-0021, Fax: 785-242-8087
336 S. Main St.
Ottawa, KS 66067
Phone: 785-242-7700, Fax: 785-242-7793
517 Main Street
Wellsville, KS 66092