graphicLabette County has always been a hub of community spirit. Parsons, named for Levi Parsons, president of the Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railroad when it was incorporated in 1871, enjoyed rapid expansion from transportation and agricultural income. Such prosperity helped Parsons weather economic trends in the 1930s that damaged other towns in the area. In fact, citizens continued to build homes of the grandest design and detail, many of which survive today and contribute to the city’s beauty. Throughout its history, Parsons has continued to identify progressive goals and has worked to meet them. The Kansas Ordnance Plant was located here in 1941 to back the war effort. When the need for physicians and medical facilities became apparent in the late 1960s, Parsons began a construction and recruiting program that resulted in the most complete medical services in the surrounding area. Today, the start of a new comprehensive development program in the downtown district and throughout the community has made Parsons the showcase of Southeast Kansas.

Oswego, our county seat, rests high on a bluff overlooking the Neosho River. Civic pride reigns high here - the very name honors the Indian heritage present here when the first fur trader and blacksmith, John Mathews, put down his stakes. Throughout much of the 1800s, Native Americans and settlers lived together in a peaceful and prosperous climate. Tales of the two cultures protecting each other’s interests are scattered liberally throughout the pages of our history.

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