Zip Code:


Latitude / Longitude:

37° 55′ 59.88″ N, 95° 24′ 53.28″ W



Time Zone:

Central (CST) (UTC-6)


Cofachique (pronounced ko-fa-chee) was an unincorporated community situated along the Neosho River near the present-day city of Iola in the western part of Allen County, located in southeast Kansas, in the central United States of America. Being the first town established in Allen County in 1855, it was the original county seat. However, within five years the greater part of the town was moved to the new town of Iola, while the old site of Cofachique became farm land. The town was named in honor of an Osage chief known as Cofachique, who is said to have been particularly helpful to early settlers, bringing aid to the distressed and homeless. The name “Cofachique” appears to have origins with the Cofachiqui (or Cofitachiqui) tribe in South Carolina, who were Siouan speakers, and the Osage who settled this  were closely affiliated with the Siouan.


In the spring of 1855 a party of pro-slavery men from Fort Scott formed a town company and laid out a town on the high land east of the Neosho River, south of the mouth of Elm Creek, and about on the north line of Section 10, Township 25 south, Range 18 east. The first Territorial Legislature in July, 1855, passed an act incorporating the Cofachique Town Association. The legislature empowered the Association to locate and hold a tract of land not to exceed nine hundred acres, around the proposed town site, and passed an act making Cofachique the permanent county seat of Allen County. The incorporators were Daniel Woodson, Charles Passmore, James S. Barbee, Samuel A. Williams, and Joseph C. Anderson; Mr. Barbee was elected the first president of the company. During the summer of 1855 the town was located and staked out with Mr. Barbee as the first to settle on the new town site. He was appointed the County Clerk at the first meeting of the county commissioners on May 7, 1856.





Current Status:

In 1857 other towns were started and Cofachique began to decline. The founders of Humboldt numbered among them some influential men who, unknown to the citizens of the county, appeared before the free-state Territorial Legislature early in the year 1858, and secured the passage of an act locating the county seat at Humboldt. The following year the greater part of Cofachique was removed about two miles (3 km) north to Iola, that town having just been started. The principal cause of the failure of Cofachique was that, being in a hilly region it was difficult of access, besides which it was almost impossible to obtain good well water. Another reason for its failure was that it was settled by pro-slavery men, generally, and during the early political troubles an armed company of pro-slavery men was stationed there, which caused some anxiety and created a feeling of enmity toward the town. When the towns of Iola and Humboldt were started on either side it was not long until Cofachique became entirely depopulated.