Woodson County was organized in 1855 and named in honor of Daniel Woodson, who was secretary of the Territory, and for some time, acting Governor after the resignation of Governor Shannon in 1856. Woodson County encompasses 504 square miles of the most awe-inspiring beauty, for nature lovers, photographers and artists, alike. Our county is located in the southeastern portion of Kansas and is the gateway to the crossed-timbered area of the Chautauqua Hills and to the grasslands of the Flint Hills, located to the west.
Woodson County offers approximately 3,380 acres of water recreation between four lakes. Two of these are the Yates Center Reservoirs with 200 acres of surface water at each location. The 180 acre Woodson State Fishing Lake is surrounded by 2,705 acres of wildlife area and Toronto Lake is a 2,800 acre lake that is located in a 1,075 acre preserve known as Cross Timbers State Park. Swimming, fishing, hunting, water skiing, camping, boating, hiking, picnicking, bird watching, and wildlife viewing all make Woodson County a very beautiful and entertaining place to visit.
Agricultural interests dominated the early development of Woodson County and remain an important influence today. Our county is known as the "Prairie Hay Capital of the World," the rich grasslands need no irrigation and provide excellent grazing for the abundant livestock. Wheat, soybeans, and sorghum are prominent grain crops, giving area farmers diversity uncommon in many areas. Long a leading oil-producing county in southeast Kansas, an active and progressive oil industry continues in the county.
If the beautiful sites and recreational opportunities aren't enough to peak your interest in visiting our county, then come to some of our numerous festivals and visit with some of the friendliest people you will ever meet. We will make you feel right at home as you enjoy parades, fireworks, booths, and many other festivities. If you are just passing through, stop at one of the many hometown family restaurants in Toronto, Yates Center, or Piqua and again enjoy the hospitality of our hometown folks.
We welcome you to come visit us soon.
Woodson County also hosts numerous festivals throughout the county during the summer and fall months.
So come join the fun!