Jefferson County is located in the northeastern part of Kansas, and is bordered on the north and east by Atchison and Leavenworth counties; Douglas and Shawnee counties to the south and southwest; and by Jackson county to the northwest. The county seat is Oskaloosa, the largest city is Valley Falls. One of the original counties of Kansas Territory, Jefferson County was established in 1855. Although there had been some visits and settlements earlier than 1855, notably that of Daniel Morgan Boone, son of Daniel Boone in 1827, and a small settlement of Mormon pioneers enroute from Missouri to the Salt Lake valley in 1851, the first permanent settlement was established in 1854. Lands had not been opened up for sale, but these settlers staked off their claims anyway, under the "Squatter's Rights" provision, expecting to be able to bid for their sites when this land became available for sale. Like most of Kansas, Jefferson county also suffered from the Pro-Slavery movement. One of the first elections to be held in Jefferson county was disrupted by these Pro-Slavery folks, and those who would have voted for States' rights went home without voting.
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