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SomePlace Fascinating- Historic Sites

History in El Dorado abounds, from its very beginnings, through the discovery of oil in 1915, to more recent happenings.

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Ever since Captain J. Cracklin exclaimed "El Dorado!" as he took in the golden reflection of the setting sun on the Walnut River in 1857, El Dorado's history has marched in step right along with that of our country.


The discovery of oil at the Stapleton#1 oil well on October 6, 1915 brought big changes to El Dorado and changed its history forever. At the Butler County History Center/Kansas Oil Museum, 383 E. Central, one may step back in time and relive this extraordinary period of oil exploration in Butler County.

Here a visitor can tour an actual pump house and two styles of operational drilling rigs, an actual shotgun style house from company town Oil Hill, and view a wealth of artifacts and equipment from the early days of oil discovery. The museum boasts of housing the best collection of vintage operational oilfield equipment in the nation. Walking the street of a 1920's historic oil boom town, recreated on the museum's 10 acre grounds, will export the visitor back to that formative time.

Visit the original site of the Stapleton #1 Oil Well by traveling north of Sixth Street on Oil Hill Road, approximately 2.5 miles, following the signs.

Sentinels of Time

El Dorado has its share of those brick and mortar markers of history, each telling their story to those patient enough to listen.

  • Butler County Courthouse, 205 W. Central. Designed by George P. Washburn, one of the best known 19th century Kansas architects, the structure was built in 1909 at a cost of $100,000, and ended the feud between towns competing for the county seat once and for all.
  • Freedom Memorial, on Butler County Courthouse grounds. This majectic memorial was built through the efforts of community volunteers. The brick path linking the 6.5 foot bronze sculpture Soverign Wings to the Statue of Liberty replica, honors over 900 U.S. military veterans.
  • Missouri Pacific Railroad Depot, 430 N. Main. Built in 1918 by the chief engineer for MoPac, this depot has hosted President Theodore Roosevelt on a visit to El Dorado. The building was renovated through the efforts of community volunteers, and placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1994.
  • 1958 Tornado Victim's Memorial, 1600 Edgemoor Drive in Graham Park. Members of the El Dorado Rotary Club raised the funds, built and dedicated this memorial to the thirteen victims of the tornado which tore through El Dorado in 1958.
  • McDonald Stadium, Baseball Hall of Fame, 210 N. Griffith. Baseball enthusiasts can travel through recent history at this stadium, a 1940 WPA project. The Baseball Hall of Fame is an onsite museum featuring memorabilia of our local "boys of summer" heroes.
  • Carnegie Library, 101 S. Star. The first public library in El Dorado, built in 1912 through a grant from Andrew Carnegie. One of 63 Carnegie libraries in Kansas. Now a private business.

Obama's Ties to El Dorado

Did you know that the 44th President of the United States has strong ties to El Dorado? Learn about his grandparents, who lived in El Dorado, and more by visiting the link in the left hand column.

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El Dorado Theater