The county seat (1887, 4,213 feet) was founded with the arrival of the Missouri Pacific Railroad and named for James B. Eads, a noted Civil War army engineer who built the Eads Bridge, the first bridge across the Mississippi River, at St. Louis. Although not incorporated until 1916, Eads became the county seat in 1902, replacing Sheridan Lake, where the courthouse mysteriously burned in 1900. Eads's current population hovers at around 800, and its dominating structures are the towering grain elevators near the railroad. The old Eads State Bank, 1300 Maine Street, is now the home of the Kiowa County Historical Society, and the Missouri Pacific depot, 100 East 15th Street, survives as another of the well-maintained downtown buildings. The WPA-built former city hall (c. 1937), now a Masonic lodge, is stone with a later brick addition.
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