Marysville, the county seat of Marshall County, is a beautiful and prosperous town located near the Big Blue River of northern Kansas.
Marysville began in the 1850’s as a small settlement near a good crossing point on the river. The Historic Trails Park west of town celebrates the many historic trails that met at the river here. The park has a full-sized replica of a rope ferry built by local craftsmen.
Marysville was the first home station on the Pony Express route west of St. Joseph, Missouri. The barn where the ponies were stabled is still standing and is now a museum. A large bronze statue of a Pony Express horse and rider can be seen in the Pony Express Plaza which is located between Broadway and Highway 36 on 7th Street. Visitors to Marysville can enjoy several other museums and an art center.
The City Park at the south edge of town has a sod house, a rural schoolhouse, a steam locomotive, and a 1901 Union Pacific Depot. A new theme playground was built in the park in 2001. The park is also a good place to look for the famous black squirrels—they really are coal black.
County Seat: Marysville
Area: 878 square miles
Standard Abbreviation: MS
- 10, 965 (2000)
- 11,705 (1990)
- 24,355 (1900)
The Kansas State Historical Society also has more historical data for Marshall County online including a rich bibliography and lists of cemeteries, post offices, and newspapers. Marshall County was located on the Oregon Trail, the Mormon Trail, and the route of the Pony Express. The Holladay stage line from Atchison to Salt Lake City also passed though here. Frank J. Marshall, a pioneer merchant, operated a tavern and a ferry across the Big Blue river and Marysville is named for his wife Mary. He was a proslavery candidate for governor in 1857. Blue Rapids was the site of the first gypsum mine in Kansas, which opened in 1862. Gypsum is still mined and Georgia Pacific is a major employer. A crowd of 3,000 watched the Chicago White Sox beat the New York Giants 8-5 in an exhibition game in Blue Rapids on October 24, 1913. The field is still in use; how many other cities have diamonds used by John McGraw, Jim Thorpe, and Christy Mathewson.William G. Cutler’s History of Kansas, first published in 1883, tells about early Marshall County.There is a section on Marshall County in the book Kansas: a Cyclopedia Of State History by Frank Blackmar (1912).The Special Collections of the Ablah Library at WSU contain historical images of Marshall County towns: Axtell, Beattie, Bigelo, Blue Rapids, Bremen, Frankfort, Herkimer, Home, Irving, Marysville, Summerfield, Vermillion, and Waterville.
Special Places in Marshall County
- The historic Marshall County Courthouse in Marysville, now owned by the Marshall County Historical Society, is on the National Register of Historic Places (1974) and houses a museum and genealogical research library. It is magnificent, especially when you round the corner and see it for the first time in the setting sun.
- The Lee Dam Center for Fine Arts at 201 South 9th Street in Marysville hosts a variety of fine art exhibits throughout the year, workshops for adults as well as children, a Christmas Arts and Crafts Bazaar and from time-to-time sponsors musical entertainment.
- The City Park in Marysville has a sod house, a little red schoolhouse, a steam locomotive, and the 1901 Union Pacific Depot.
- Marysville also has a large bronze statue of a Pony Express rider.
- Alcove Spring was a famous camping spot on the Oregon trail. It’s now a 200 acre park open to the public. You can see the names of pioneers carved into the rocks.
- The library in Blue Rapids is one of the oldest public libraries west of the Mississippi still operating in its original building.
- St. Bridget Church, begun in 1902 and completed in 1908, had its last Sunday Mass in 1967. It is one of the oldest gothic churches in northeast Kansas and was built by its parishioners. The town was founded by Irish immigrants in 1857.
- Marysville is home to the black squirrel.
Special Events in Marshall County
- Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend features the annual musical revue fundraiser performed by members of the Marshall County Arts Cooperative.
- On the fourth Thursday of every month, a jam session is held at the American Legion. Bring your instrument and join or come to sit and listen!
- The local Farmers Market will be open for business every Saturday in May from October from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. at 7th & Broadway in historic downtown Marysville. You’ll find a large selection of baked goods, locally grown foods, plants and handmade crafts at the market. Vendors must register with Marysville Sports & Recreation. For more information call 785-562-6818 or 785-562-2424.
- The Mother’s Day Flea Market is a long-standing tradition. It features many vendors set up in the Marysville City Park and a chicken BBQ on Sunday afternoon.
- Palette and Palate is an annual fundraiser for the Marshall County Arts Cooperative in May. Local artists donate pieces of art to be auctioned off, while tempting their palate with scrumptious appetizers and delectable drinks.
- The Big Blue Barbeque is held the first weekend in June. Over 30 vendors compete for the title for best barbeque amongst a wonderful showing of classic cars.
- The annual Footloose Dance Recital is held the first weekend in June at the Marysville High School Auditorium. Dancers range in age from 3 to 18 years old.
- The 36th Annual Jolly Jogathon Track Meet, sponsored by the City of Marysville, Marysville Sports & Recreation, and Marysville Health & Fitness is scheduled for June 8th at Homer Hanson Stadium in Marysville. Registration for Field events is from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon, with events starting at 12:00 noon. Registration for running events is from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., with events starting at 3:00 p.m. For a list of Jolly Jogathon Records and age brackets, click here. For more information, contact Cleve Walstrom at 785-562-3050 (home) or 785-562-3021 (work).
- Join us downtown Marysville the last weekend in July for the annual Sidewalk Sale, with lots of great bargains! Check out the many specials and all the bargains as area merchants make room for their new fall merchandise. Most store will open early!
Cities, Towns, & Villages of Marshall County
Marshall County School Systems
- USD 364 Marysville (785) 562-5308 Marysville USD 364
- USD 380 Frankfort, Vermillion (785) 382-6216 Vermillion USD 380
- USD 488 Axtell, Bern, Summerfield (785) 736-2304 Axtell USD 488
- USD 498 Valley Heights (785) 363-2398 Waterville USD 498
- Community Memorial Healthcare (785) 562-2311
708 N. 18th St., Marysville, KS 66508
- Axtell Public Library
401 Maple, Axtell, KS 66403
- Blue Rapids Public Library
Public Square, Blue Rapids, KS 66411
- Frankfort City Library
107 N. Kansas, Frankfort, KS 66427
- Marysville Public Library
1006 Elm / P. O. Box 389 / Marysville, KS 66508
- Summerfield Public Library
P. O. Box 146 / Summerfield, KS 66541
- Vermillion Public Library firstname.lastname@example.org
102 Main St., Box 95, Vermillion, KS 66544
- Doll Museum (785) 562-4077
912 Broadway, Marysville, KS 66508
- Koester House Museum
919 Broadway, Marysville, KS 66508
- Historic Courthouse Museum (785) 562-5012
1207 Broadway, Marysville, KS 66508
- Pony Express Station Museum (785) 562-3825
106 S. Eighth St, Marysville, KS 66508
- Frankfort Area News
- Marysville Advocate (785) 562-2317
107 S. Ninth / P. O. Box 271, Marysville, KS 66508
- Waterville Telegraph
More Data About Marshall County
- Marshall County Economic Development 785-562-9820
- University of Kansas’ County Profile Reports
Statistical data from The Institute for Public Policy and Business Research
- Marshall County KSGenWeb
Marshall County Offices
- Marshall County (785) 562-5361
1201 Broadway, Marysville, KS 66508
- Extension Service (785) 562-3531
1201 Broadway, Marysville, KS 66508-1844
For more about Marshall County
- Marysville Travel & Tourism (785) 562-3101
P. O. Box 16, Marysville, KS 66508