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  Barton and Stafford County Geohydrology

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Table of Contents

Abstract

Introduction

Geography

Physiography

Geology

Geologic History

Ground Water

Records of Typical Wells

Logs of Test Holes

References

Plates

 

Geography

Climate

The climate of Barton and Stafford Counties is sub-humid and is marked by extremes of precipitation and temperature. The average growing season in Barton County is about 174 days and has ranged from about 143 to about 220 days. In Stafford County the average growing season is about 169 days and has ranged from about 117 to about 198 days.

The normal annual precipitation at Great Bend and Hudson, determined by the U.S. Weather Bureau, is 24.18 and 24.58 inches, respectively. However, deviations from the normal are frequent. At Great Bend the recorded annual precipitation for the period 1923-47 has ranged from a minimum of 14.72 inches in 1936 to a maximum of 38.35 inches in 1944, and at Hudson it has ranged from 14.17 inches in 1936 to 34.54 inches in 1944. The annual precipitation for the period of record and the cumulative departure from normal precipitation at Great Bend and Hudson are shown graphically in Figures 3 and 4.

Population

According to the 1945 census by the State Board of Agriculture the population of Barton County was 26,597 and the population of Stafford County was 9,288, a total of 35,885 for both counties. Great Bend, the largest city in the area and the county seat of Barton County, had a population of 10,065 in 1945. Other towns in Barton County and their 1945 populations are Hoisington, 3,875; Ellinwood, 2,141; Claflin, 708; Pawnee Rock, 339; Albert, 166; Galatia, 124; and Olmitz, 145.

The largest town in Stafford County is Stafford, which had a population of 1,969 in 1945. St. John, population 1,614, is the second largest town and the county seat. Other towns in Stafford County and their 1945 populations are Macksville, 540; Hudson, 235; Seward, 130; and Radium, 76.

Population figures are not available for the small towns of Beaver and Heizer in Barton County, or Zenith in Stafford County. Redwing, Dartmouth, and Farhman, in Barton County, and Neola, in Stafford County, serve as supply stations for farmers and as grain-shipping points.

Transportation

Barton and Stafford Counties have excellent transportation facilities. The main line of the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway traverses Stafford County from east to west through Zenith, Stafford, St. John, and Macksville. An alternate route of the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway between Hutchinson and Kinsley passes through Ellinwood, Great Bend, and Pawnee Rock in southern Barton County. The main line of the Missouri Pacific Railway traverses central Barton County from east to west through Claflin, Redwing, Hoisington, and Olmitz.

A branch line of the Missouri Pacific Railway running from Kingman to Lamed passes through Stafford, Hudson, Seward, and Radium in Stafford County. Another branch line of the Missouri Pacific runs between Great Bend and Hoisington. A branch line of the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway runs from Great Bend westward to Scott City, passing through Heizer and Albert in west-central Barton County. Another branch line of the Santa Fe runs from Galatia in northwestern Barton County through Susank, Beaver, and Fahrman to McPherson in McPherson County.

Several hard-surfaced Federal and State highways pass through Barton and Stafford Counties. U.S. Highway 281 crosses the central part of the area from north to south, passing through Hoisington, Great Bend, and St. John. U.S. Highway SON passes from east to west through Ellinwood, Great Bend, and Pawnee Rock in southern Barton County, and U.S. Highway 505 passes from east to west through Zenith, Stafford, St. John, and Macksville in southern Stafford County. State Highway 4 traverses central Barton County from east to west, passing through Claflin and Hoisington. State Highway 96 runs northwest from Great Bend through Heizer and Albert, and State Highway 19 passes from east to west through

Radium and Seward, joining U.S. Highway 281 at a point 2 miles east of Seward. Numerous improved county and township roads serve the remainder of the area (Pl. 1).

Agriculture

Agriculture is the dominant economic activity in Barton and Stafford Counties, wheat being by far the most important crop. Other crops include corn, grain sorghums, barley, oats, rye, and alfalfa. The acreage of the principal crops grown in Barton and Stafford Counties in 1948, as reported by the Kansas State Board of Agriculture, is given in Table 1.

Table 1--Acreage of principal crops grown in Barton and Stafford Counties, Kansas, in 1948

CropBarton CountyStafford County
Wheat262,000196,000
All hay exclusive of sorghums36,18040,510
Sorghums29,86040,940
Oats11,5603,970
Barley9,5204,560
Corn2,0003,100
Rye2901,080

Barton County has a total land area of about 570,880 acres. According to the 1940 census, 98.8 percent of the land was in farms. In 1948 there were 1,522 farms in Barton County, and the average farm comprised about 370 acres. Stafford County has a total land area of about 508,160 acres, 95.8 percent of which was in farms in 1939. In 1948 there were 1,163 farms in Stafford County, averaging about 420 acres in size.

Irrigation by pumping from wells is practiced to a limited extent in the Arkansas Valley and Walnut Creek Valley in Barton County and in parts of the sand-hills area in Stafford County. In 1944 there were 38 pumping plants in the two counties, capable of irrigating more than 1,500 acres of land. In most years a much smaller acreage than this is actually irrigated, however.

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  Kansas Geological Survey, Barton and Stafford County Geohydrology
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Web version Dec. 2001. Original publication date Dec. 1950.
URL=http://www.kgs.ku.edu/General/Geology/Barton/03_geog.html