Kansas' first settlement was established in 1827 in Jefferson County by Maj. Daniel M. Boone, son of the famous frontiersman. The county was named in honor of President Thomas Jefferson. Its citizens were heavily involved in the struggle over slavery that brought the state the name “Bleeding Kansas.” The battles of Hickory Point and Slough Creek were both fought here.
The city of Oskaloosa was founded in 1856 and officially became the county seat in 1864. The name Oskaloosa has commonly been accepted to mean “last of the beautiful,” though its true origin and meaning are questionable. Some believe the name was borne by one of the wives of Mahaska; others think that Oskaloosa was a wife of Osceola.
Oskaloosa gets roughly 38 inches of rain per year and 18 inches of snowfall. The number of days with any measurable precipitation is approximately 84. On average, there are 215 sunny days per year in our community. The July high is around 90 degrees and January low is 18.
Our students are served by Unified School District 341, and our town is home to elementary, junior and high schools. We are located less than an hour from seven different institutes of higher learning, including University of Kansas in Lawrence, only 19 miles away.
We have our own public library and single-runway airport. There are three hospitals within a 20-minute drive of our town, as well as an Amtrak station in Lawrence.
The rolling wood hills that surround our community provide beautiful scenery and superb hunting. Perry Lake, a few miles west of town, offers camping, fishing and boating on one of Kansas' prettiest bodies of water.
Old Jefferson Town contains historic buildings relocated from around the county and gives a fascinating look into the lives of early settlers. Parker Pharmacy has a real “old time” soda fountain for anyone seeking out an authentic malted milkshake.
Nearby Lawrence has everything one would expect from a thriving college town. Visitors will find a wide array of exciting cultural, educational and entertainment experiences everywhere they look.
Oskaloosa offers a fine mix of history, culture, recreation and history, all in one location. Stop by our United Country office, and let us show you around our small piece of paradise.