Ottawa serves as the seat of Franklin County and boasts a charming downtown full of unique stores and restaurants. The city hosts a number of major events throughout the year, drawing thousands of visitors.
City Hall: (785) 869-2600
Lane is the southeast corner of the county and was named in 1863 for Sen. James Henry Lane, a leader of the Jayhawker abolitionist movement and one of the first senators from Kansas. The town's history is most associated with the night of May 24, 1856, when John Brown and his men murdered 5 pro-slavery men near Dutch Henry's Crossing, known today as the Pottawatomie Creek Massacre.
City Hall: (785) 937-4103
Princeton is south of Ottawa on U.S. 59 and was established in 1869 as a siding of the Lawrence, Leavenworth, and Galveston Railroad. A business district has developed along U.S. 59.
City Hall: (785) 873-3475
Rantoul is southeast of Ottawa. The post office was given the name "Rantoul" in 1859 in honor of Robert Rantoul, a Massachusetts legislator and active abolitionist. Much "Bleeding Kansas" history can be found in this area.
City Hall: (785) 835-6425
Richmond is 16 miles south of Ottawa on U.S. 59. John Richmond, an agent for the railroad, donated 40 acres for the building of a town site in 1870.
City Hall: (785) 746-5578
Williamsburg is in the southwest part of the county along Old Highway 50 and I-35 and was established as a railroad town in 1868. William Schofield and James F. Dane platted the town, and Schofield promoted a railroad, the Kansas City, Burlington, and Santa Fe, which ran from Ottawa to Williamsburg. The city is home to Guy & Mae's Tavern, a well recognized barbecue restaurant.
Wellsville, located in the northeast corner of Franklin County, was once known as the "English Blue Grass Capital" of the world for its production of grass seed. The community was once part of the land ceded to and then reacquired from the Shawnee Indians/ The town is famous for such people as Elizabeth "Grandma" Layton and county singer Chely Wright.