In order for an unorganized county to be recognized by the state of Kansas, a certain number of householders/legal electors had to petition the governor. The governor would appoint a census taker. Initially, unorganized counties were required to document that they had at least 600 inhabitants in order to be recognized as a county by the state legislature. Over time the number of residents needed to organize a county changed to 1500 and later to 2500 residents. The census was submitted to the governor who then issued a proclamation indicating that the requirements had been met, appointing county commissioners and a county clerk, and naming a county seat. Not all of these documents are available for each county.
Included in this file is the 1873 census of Ford County, the memorial to the governor, miscellaneous letters, and the proclamation appointing county officials and designating Dodge City as the temporary county seat.