Jefferson County (county code JF) is a county located in the U.S. state of Kansas. At the 2010 census, the county population was 19,126. Its county seat is Oskaloosa, and its most populous city is Valley Falls.
In 1802, Spain returned most of the land to France, but keeping title to about 7,500 square miles. In 1803, most of the land for modern day Kansas was acquired by the United States from France as part of the 828,000 square mile Louisiana Purchase for 2.83 cents per acre.
In 1854, the Kansas Territory was organized, then in 1861 Kansas became the 34th U.S. state. In 1855, Jefferson County was established, and was named for President Thomas Jefferson. Settlement of the county was slowed by events prior to and during the Civil War, but the present day unincorporated community of Thompsonville (3 miles northwest of Perry on the Delaware River) was the first established in 1851 by Mormon settlers who initially refused to accompany the main group led by Brigham Young to the Salt Lake Valley. The settlement was first abandoned due to the violence resulting from the border wars, but was re-established when the Civil War ended.
At the 2000 Census, there were 18,426 people, 6,830 households and 5,190 families residing in the county. The population density was 34 per square mile (13/km²). There were 7,491 housing units at an average density of 14 per square mile (5/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 96.70% White, 0.92% Native American, 0.37% Black or African American, 0.17% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.42% from other races, and 1.41% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.28% of the population.
There were 6,830 households of which 35.70% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 65.20% were married couples living together, 7.00% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.00% were non-families. 20.10% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.30% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.66 and the average family size was 3.07.
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