Southeastern Kansas is a region of Kansas. Geographically it is dominated by a broad rolling landscape located between the Flint Hills to the west and includes the Ozarks to the southeast. It was first inhabited by several Native American tribes. After settlement by European Americans, frontier towns largely dependent on cattle ranching, and mining, were wracked by violence over the issue of slavery both before and during the American Civil War. Coal mining was the most prevalent type of mining in Southeastern Kansas because of the amount of coal found, and because of the quality and thickness of its coal.
Cities and towns
One can enter southeast Kansas via the following US Highways:
- US 75, which runs north-south through Independence and Neodesha.
- US 166, which runs east-west through Independence and Coffeyville
- US 169, which runs north-south through Coffeyville and near Cherryvale and Chanute.
- Chanute Martin Johnson Airport (CNU) is a general aviation airport.
- Coffeyville Municipal Airport (CFV) is a general aviation airport.
- Independence Municipal Airport (IDP) is a general aviation airport.
- Tulsa International Airport (TUL) is approximately 90 miles south of the Oklahoma/Kansas border.
Driving is the best way to get around in this region.
- Brown Mansion (on US 169 in Coffeyville). An elegant early 1900s mansion with original furnishings, wall coverings, and floor coverings. Arrange a tour by calling the Coffeyville Chamber of Commerce, +1 620-251-2550. $5 adult, $2 age 13-18, $1 age 7-12, free for age 0-6.
- [formerly dead link] Chanute Art Gallery, 7 North Lincoln, Chanute, ☏ , fax: . Core art collection of 600 pieces and special monthly exhibits.
- 1 Dalton Defenders Museum, 113 East 8th St, Coffeyville. The notorious Dalton Gang met their end in Coffeyville in 1892. The Dalton Defenders Museum contains guns and saddles taken from the gang, pictures of the raid, and other memorabilia. For more information, contact the Coffeyville Chamber of Commerce, +1 620-251-2550. $3 for adults, $2 for children ages 13-18, and children under 13 get in free when accompanied by an adult.
- Elmwood Cemetery (near the intersection of Eldridge and US 169 in Coffeyville). Three members of the Dalton Gang are buried here.
- General Funston Boyhood Home and Museum. May 1-Sep 30: Tu-Sa 12:30-4:30PM; during the rest of the year: Tu-Sa 2-4PM. It's on the Iola square next to the Allen County Museum. Displays articles from Frederick Funston's youth as well as his career in the Spanish-American War and Philippine-American War.
- The Little House on the Prairie, ☏ . Mar 18-Oct 31: M-Sa 10AM-5PM, Su 1-5PM. 13 miles southwest of Independence, just off US 75. Follow the green and white historical markers. Replica of the house Laura Ingalls Wilder's family lived in during her book Little House on the Prairie. Believed to be on the site where the Ingalls family's house stood. Also the site of a restored one-room schoolhouse and turn of the century post office. By donation.
- Martin and Osa Johnson Safari Museum, 111 N. Lincoln Ave, Chanute, ☏ . M-Sa 10AM-5PM, Su 1-5PM, closed holidays. Named for Martin and Osa Johnson, a Chanute couple who spent years studying the wildlife and people in East and Central Africa, the South Pacific Islands and British North Borneo. The museum houses their photographs, films, letters, and other memorabilia. Additionally, it has a collection of Central and West African artifacts, a library, and a theater where visitors can watch the Johnsons' films. Adults $4; seniors & students aged 13 to college $3; students aged 6-12 $2; and children under age 6 free with an adult.
- Big Hill Lake. 5 miles east of Cherryvale on Road 19000. Big Hill is a trophy fishing lake and also has equestrian trails, campgrounds, swimming areas, and places to birdwatch.
- Cherry Blossom Festival, Logan Park, S Liberty St, Cherryvale. F 5-10PM, Sa 9AM-5PM. Held annually the first weekend in May. It features a custom car show, antique tractors, food and arts and crafts booths.
- Buster Keaton Celebration held annually in Iola. Keaton is a native of Piqua, seven miles west of Iola. On the last weekend of September, the community celebrates his life viewings of his films, talks from experts, and workshops. Admission is free.
- Farm City Days. Held on the third weekend of October in Iola. Four days of a carnival, plus a parade, crafts show, quilt show, car show, and entertainment for all ages.
- Dalton Defenders Days. Held annually in Coffeyville the first weekend in October. This is a celebration of Marshal C.T. Connelly, George Cubine, Charles Brown and Lucius Baldwin, the four men who lost their lives defending the town against the Dalton Gang. The town will hold a re-enactment of the gunfight and display artifacts from the raid. Other events include a car show, a guitar pickin' session, and arts and crafts booths. ]
- Katy Days, celebrating Parsons' railroad heritage, is held every Memorial Day weekend (fourth weekend in May) in Parsons.
- Prairie Days Festival. Held annually the second Saturday in June at the Little House on the Prairie (see website for directions). Includes 1870s crafts, a fishing derby, character contests, music, and food.
- The County Seat, 19 West Madison Iola, ☏ .
- Jack and Patti's Diner/Catering, 111 W 9th St, Coffeyville, ☏ .
- Pig Stand BBQ, 1301 E 8th St, Coffeyville, ☏ .
- Shirley's Sunshine Cafe, 324 West Garfield Iola, ☏ .
Kansas is part of Tornado Alley. Tornadoes are most common in late spring and early summer. If you plan to visit any part of Kansas, you should brush up on Tornado safety.