Cowskin Creek

Lazily meandering through the center of Haysville is the Cowskin Creek. The creek is said to have gotten it’s name from cattlemen who would herd their cattle along the Chisholm Trail northwest of Haysville. One winter a blizzard came through and killed the cows that were feeding on the grass along the creeks banks. The cattleman could do nothing with the cows but skin them. Thereafter it was referred to as the Cowskin Creek.
At one time the Cowskin was deeper with more twists and turns and would occasionally flood Haysville. Rerouting of the creek through town around 1926 and the later completion of the Wichita-Valley Center Floodway (big ditch) alleviated the high water problems. Part of the creeks original path can still be seen today in the backyards of houses at the south end of town.

In 1874 a grist mill was built on the bank of the Cowskin to process corn that was harvested in the area. The Cowskin was a source of entertainment for early Haysville residents who would swim in it during the summer, skate on it during the winter and hunt and trap it’s banks all year. Other activities on or around the Cowskin through the years have included craw-dad fishing, rafting, bicycling trails and the big swing.

Today the Cowskin makes a nice backdrop for Haysville’s bike and walking path and a nice subject for beautiful photos such as this one by Bob Rardin.

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