Date of this Version
Great Plains Quarterly 32:1 (Winter 2012).
Go west on Interstate 70, past Salina and Highway 81, the unofficial line of demarcation between eastern and western Kansas. Beyond Bob Dole's childhood home of Russell and the regional center of Hays you will come to Gove County. Though the highway is littered with advertisements for Colby and Goodland, towns that lie farther west, nothing signals the unsuspecting driver that Gove County is approaching. Nothing sings the praises of Gove County's industries, historic figures, or the local quality of life. You simply pass from Trego County into Gove County, your arrival marked by a single sign reading "Gove County Line." If you continue on, your view of the High Plains from 1-70 is disturbed only occasionally by the exit signs for the county's five communities: Quinter, Park, Gove City, Grainfield, and Grinnell (Fig. 1).