Founded on April 18, 1857, Chetopa was originally an Osage Nation village named after Chief Chetopah, and later the site of the "Golden Spike" of the South, where the MK&T ("Katy") railroad won the exclusive right to cross the Indian Territories (later, Oklahoma).
Our city is now home to a close-knit community sharing true Midwestern values. Welcome to Chetopa!
Effective immediately, when a payment is made using a credit or debit card, there will be a 3% fee added to the payment amount.
In case of a storm you will seek shelter at:
Community Storm Shelter
529 Locust St
Chetopa KS 67336
Newly-added to the Transparency Portal:
We would love to include your pictures on the Chetopa website. We need pictures for the scrolling banner, contextual pictures for the column headings (like on this page) and pictures for the city photo gallery. Pictures must be taken in a public place so that releases are not required.
You can now reach many city employees through their "chetopa.org" e-mail addresses. Be sure to check the Your Government page for more information.
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The City of Chetopa has a population of approximately 1,200 people. Chetopa is technically a “city” but to the people that live here it is considered a community. The people living outside the city limits contribute just as much to the community as the people living within the city. The outlying area thrives with farming activity, whether it is from agriculture, pecan harvesting, or livestock farming which includes cattle, sheep, hog, and turkey farms. Due to the large number of pecan trees being harvested in this area the State of Kansas designated Chetopa as the “Pecan Capital.”
The community may be small but it has the ability to support eight churches of various denominations.
The school system provides education to children from preschool age all the way thru high school. The teachers do an outstanding job of inspiring their students to exceed the standard. The teachers are willing to spend a lot of their extra time (and often their own money) to see that those students that go the extra mile are given the recognition and rewards they deserve. The school has been fortunate enough to have several students selected to participate in some very exciting adventures because of their talents. During the summer of 2001 two young ladies had the opportunity to go to Hawaii play softball in the King Kamehameha Softball Classic. Another young man & woman performed throughout Europe during the summer because of their exceptional band/musical abilities. Not to be left out of the fun the high school science teacher and several students went to Costa Rica that summer to tag turtles. During the summer of 2002 another young man and woman from the community again got to participate in the King Kamehameha Softball Classic.
In June of 2005 four of the students in the gifted program qualified for National competition with their history projects and traveled to Washington, D. C. to compete. In June of 2006 three of those same students once again went to Washington, D. C. to the National History Day competition.
The school offers a wide range of extra curricular activities such as: FFA, FCLA, Debate, Scholar Bowl, Band, Music, Baseball, Softball, Volleyball, Basketball, Football, and Track.
The community also sponsors numerous activities for the young and old alike, such as: 4-H; Brownies; Girl Scouts; Twirling; Community Choir; Masonic Lodge; VFW; Women’s VFW Auxiliary; Chamber of Commerce; Community Task Force; PTO; Youth Friends; Senior Citizens Center; Volunteer Fire Department; Volunteer 1st Responder Unit; Little League Basketball, Baseball/Softball & Football.
The community unites 2 times a year to celebrate 4th of July, and in the fall, the Pecan Festival. Everyone from the surrounding areas join in the fun.
Chetopa is centrally located between several larger cities within a 3 state area. Within 45 minutes, or less, you can be in Joplin, MO; Vinita, OK; Miami, OK; Parsons, KS; or Coffeyville, KS. Within an hour and half you can be in even larger cities such as Tulsa, OK or Springfield, MO. If you are looking for entertainment, this region offers numerous Indian as well as commercial gambling casinos. Just south of Miami is Grand Lake, which is great for boating, fishing, and jet skiing. In less than 3 hours you can be in Branson, MO, where there is a wide variety of entertainment for people of all ages.
The Neosho River flowing along the east border of the city limits offers something no other Kansas town can. During the annual paddlefish (locally known as “spoonbill”) season this unusual fish swims upstream from Oklahoma to spawn. They give the most daring angler the opportunity to try to snag one of these large fish that weigh anywhere from 20 lbs. to the record weight of 87 ¾ lbs. The season for this fish is a short one that is regulated by the Kansas Fish and Game. It usually starts in Mid-March, when the game warden posts that the season is open, lasting until Mid-May or until the game warden officially closes the season. The river’s water level has a big impact on the paddlefish’s spawning pattern, therefore the season varies to some degree. Once the paddlefish season is over the regular fishing season resumes, where the challenge is to see if a record channel catfish can be caught. The large number of catfish which are taken from the Neosho River contributes to Chetopa being named “The Catfish Capital.”
If hunting is more your bag, then Southeast Kansas offers up the white tail deer, wild turkey, quail, and dove. Of course all must only be hunted within the state-designated seasons and with the proper permits and licenses.
In a small community your neighbors are your friends and family, they are there when you need them. Chetopa is a small community with a lot to offer. We hope you will consider becoming part of our community.