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Lane County's History

The first inhabitants of Lane County were the buffalo and the Indian.  The land was a great grazing ground for the buffalo, and the Indians used its meat for food and its hide for clothing and shelter.  Later, when cash was scarce, the buffalo bones furnished the white settler with cash.

The Indians were hostile to the white man as the railroads and the buffalo hunters advanced.  In 1872, the Jordan Massacre occurred along the Middle West Walnut.  The Jordan's were buffalo hunters traveling from Fort Park to Dodge City.  Jordan's wife was carried off by the Indians and at the same time her husband, Richard Jordan, and two other men were killed.  Troops and citizens of Fort Hays searched for her, but she was never found.

The first houses in Lane County were generally dugouts or sod houses twelve by fourteen feet, with one window and the roof was covered with willows and sod.

The Texas Cattle Trail (Western Trail) was an important event in the history of Lane County.  Large herds of Texas Longhorns were driven through the county every season.  Wild Horse Johnson of Alamota was noted for bringing horses into Lane County from the West.  He would bring horses in, partially broke and sell them to settlers and cowboys.  The breaking and training of these wild horses gave both amusement and entertainment to the west.  The cowboy riding the wild bronco, roping calves, bull-dogging steers and riding steers gave both the settlers and the cowboys enjoyment.
Lane County was created by an act of legislature in 1873, organized in 1886 and named in honor of Senator James H. Lane, a Free State partisan from Kansas.  The City of Dighton was founded and the Post Office was established in 1879. Later on January 4, 1887, it became an incorporated city named after Dick Dighton, a surveyor.  Dighton was established as the county seat of Lane County in 1886 and today is a city of the Third Class with a population of about 1038 people.

Lane County also hosts an unincorporated community, Healy, which was established by post office in 1887.  Healy was best known for a station and shipping point on the Missouri Pacific Railroad.  Other unincorporated communities include Alamota, Amy, Pendennis and Shields.  The total population of Lane County is 1720.