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"Shirley" you must be joking - June 13, 2014

Q: This Kansas county was originally named “Shirley County” but local leaders were afraid “Shirley” sounded too much like the name of a prostitute, so the county was renamed. What do we call this county today? 


Cloud County




A: Cloud County


Col.-Cloud-UPLAOD(Photo Courtesy of Kansas Historical Society /

Cloud County, Kan., was originally named Shirley County, but civic leaders thought “Shirley” sounded too much like the name of a prostitute and were afraid such a name would attract the wrong kind of people. So, the county was renamed "Cloud," in honor of Colonel William F. Cloud, an officer in the Union Army.


A veteran of many Civil War battles, Colonel Cloud served in both the 2nd Kansas Infantry and the 10th Kansas Infantry. Cloud also organized the 2nd Kansas Cavalry, which he commanded.


Before the war, he lived in both Lawrence and Emporia. Soon after the war, he moved to Carthage, Mo., and became a noted speaker and author. Later, he moved to Kansas City, where he lived until his death in 1905.

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