Dexter, Kansas

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Dexter is a city in Cowley County, Kansas, United States. The population was 364 at the 2000 census.



Early in the 20th century Dexter became the focus of research that would confirm the existence of an abundance of naturally occurring and readily available helium. In May 1903, a newly drilled natural gas well was found to contain a nonflammable gas. Researchers at the University of Kansas found the “Dexter gas” contained only 15 percent methane and 72 percent nitrogen, causing the gas to be nonflammable. In addition they discovered helium within an “inert residue” in the gas and, after expanding their research to other wells throughout Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma, published a paper in 1907 saying that helium could be extracted from natural gas. Helium did not have any practical applications at the time, but by 1917 the federal government was sponsoring extensive research into the possibility of using helium in airships.


Dexter is located at 37°10′46″N 96°42′58″W / 37.179373°N 96.715987°W / 37.179373; -96.715987 (37.179373, -96.715987).[3] According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.3 square miles (0.7 km2), all of it land.

Area events

Area attractions

  • The "Oh Henry!" Candy Bar was invented by a man named Tom Henry of Arkansas City, whose family now runs a candy factory on route K-15 in Dexter, Kansas called "Henry's Candies". The factory sells "Momma Henry" bars, which are near identical to the original "Oh Henry!" candy bar.
  • Cowley Lake Waterfall


According to the census[1] of 2000, there were 364 people, 119 households, and 81 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,309.4 people per square mile (501.9/km2). There were 133 housing units at an average density of 478.4/sq mi (183.4/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 92.03% White, 0.27% African American, 5.22% Native American, 0.82% from other races, and 1.65% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.10% of the population.

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