About Wellington/Sumner County

Wellington was first surveyed on April 4, 1871 and named for the Duke of Wellington. It was designated as the permanent seat of Sumner County in 1872, winning over competitor Sumner City. Trading with cattlemen moving their herds up the Chisholm Trail was an important factor in the early economy of the town.

Today, Wellington is still fortunate in its access to transportation facilities; it is served by Interstate 35, Highways US 81 & US 160, the UP and BN & SF railroads and an excellent airport. This area produces vast quantities of winter wheat, with wheat still the driving force behind the local economy. The Railroads and petroleum are also significant, while manufacturing, especially aircraft parts, is continually growing.

There's never been a better time than now to make rural Kansas your new home. If you're looking for lower cost 
of living and better quality of life, Kansas is your best choice. Sumner County is a Rural Opportunity Zone.

Wellington Public Schools - USD  353 

Wellington Christian Academy 

Doing business in Wellington: sales tax rate is 9%.

Learn more about the City of Wellington.

Interested in the history of Wellington? Watch this fun video done by Jim Bales of the Chisolm Trail Muesum about the History of Wellington.

Wellington Compost Site

March - November, click here for hours

Wellington Recycling Center

Wednesday: 1 - 4 p.m.

Saturday: 9 a.m. - Noon

Electronic Recycling

E-waste collection day at the City of Wellington Recycling Center on Saturday, August 8, 2015 between 9:00 AM and 12:00 PM. Future collection dates are scheduled for September 12th, October 10th and November 14th. For more information about the operating hours please contact Jeremy Jones, Public Works Director, at 620-326-7831. For questions concerning specific items to be collected or information destruction please contact Pete at 316-305-6896 (evenings) or Julian at 316-305-6895 (evenings).

Kansas Historical Society Markers

You know when you're  from Wellington, KS - Facebook History Group.

Sumner County


A mile southeast of this marker the Chisholm Trail entered Kansas. It took its name from Jesse Chisholm, Indian trader, whose route lay between the North Canadian river and present Wichita. In 1867 it was extended from the Red river to Abilene when the building of the Union Pacific gave Texas cattle an Eastern market. Over this long trail more than a million head were driven before the Santa Fe built south and brought the drives to Newton, 1871, and the next year to Wichita. Incoming setters in Kansas soon fenced off the land and by 1876, drovers had abandoned the trail. In 1880, however, the railroad built to Caldwell, one mile north, and drives were resumed. It is estimated that two million longhorns were driven across the prairie here on a road that in many places was a quarter of a mile wide and as bare as a modern highway.

US-81, Sumner County

Roadside turnout, 1 mile south of Caldwell


The Chisholm Trail probably began as a buffalo migration route, linking summer pastures in the Central Plains to winter pastures in Texas. American Indians followed the buffalo and shared the route with U.S. explorers, who mapped it in the 1850s. In 1865 Jesse Chisholm, for whom the trail was eventually named, drove 250 cattle over the trail to what is today Wichita. An estimated 5 million head followed the route into Kansas over the next 20 years.

Traffic became thick after 1867 when Joseph McCoy built a large stockyard on the Kansas Pacific Railroad at Abilene (140 miles north of here) --- the nearest shipping point to Texas. It took about three months to drive a herd from Texas to Abilene and cost roughly 75 cents a head. The same animals sold for 10 to 20 times that amount in Kansas City. In 1885 Kansas imposed quarantine on Texas cattle, which carried a deadly tick, and the cattle trails closed. By then Kansas had become a leader in the nation’s livestock industry.

Note: This sign was replaced in 2012.

I-35 (Kansas Turnpike), Sumner County
Milepost 26, Belle Plaine service area