Visitors   /   Visit Cowley County   /   Dexter


Population: 226 (2021 Census)

Source: United States Census Bureau

FUN FACT: In Dexter on May of 1903 drillers for the Gas Oil and Developing Company struck helium gas at a depth of 500 feet. Conservative estimates placed the flow at 9,000,000 feet daily and called it the strongest one ever discovered in Kansas. (Source: At the time, uses for helium gas was not completely understood until 1917 when helium was used in military balloons. 

Community service, tourism, and academics are proudly promoted by the Dexter-area community residents, it is an amazing place to live and visit! Dexter, located in the rolling Flint Hills in the southeast Cowley County, was named after a famous winning trotter horse owned by Robert Bonner of New York. Established on the banks of Grouse Creek, which was officially labeled a "pristine" waterway by the State of Kansas, the Dexter town plat was surveyed in November, 1875, and the seal of the Dexter Town Association was filed in July, 1876. 


Public Education: USD 471

620-867-5415 –

  • Classes with hands on activities and small class sizes.
  • Teacher stability — More than 50 percent with at least five years at district
  • Distinguished industrial arts classes that have designed and built projects sold locally, statewide, and nationally

Dexter Community School is a hidden gem in Kansas! The small class size is as huge benefit to the children. The teachers truly want to see each child succeed not just in academics, but in life! Both the teachers and administration are very approachable and quick to address any concerns parents or students have!

— Holly Zimmerman

USD 471  Dexter holds high expectations for their students and will help them succeed in any manner they choose to succeed. A student really has to try hard not to become successful due to the care and work of the teachers and staff. USD 471 have combined most of the sports teams with Cedar Vale to give the students an opportunity for league, regional, state championships. While maintaining the red, white, and black Dexter Cardinals identity a unique and tight bond with our friends and neighbors to the east was formed to become the gold and black Spartans.


Grouse Valley Grill & Catering 

501 N. Hwy K-15, Dexter, KS
Sunday- Monday Closed
Tuesday- Saturday 7am-2pm & 4pm-7pm
Awesome spot for a great burger or to get some amazing catering! Be sure to follow them on Facebook to keep up with this rural restaurant! 

Henry’s Candy Company
21172 K-15 Highway, Dexter
Monday-Friday 9am-3pm
Saturday-Sunday 9am-4pm
Another claim to fame is Henry’s Candy Co., and the O’Henry candy bar. Bring your sweet tooth to Dexter and stop at the world famous Henry’s Candy Company. Operated by the same family for 60 years, the factory is a must stop for the young and young at heart. Shop from the huge variety of sugary treats made both on site and prepackaged name brand sweets! 

Fun and Entertainment 

Dexter Barbecue and Fun Run

An all-day community celebration with activities for all ages.  Kicks off with a 2Mile Walk/5K Fun Run. Come back for the delicious pit roasted BBQ served at 5pm followed by music.
When: Second Saturday in July
Where: Downtown Dexter
What: Pit-barbecue, music, activities
Contact: (620) 876-5681

Stone Barn Farm
20438 K-15 Highway, Dexter
Rock was quarried locally for this historic barn with unique arch doorways. The small windows on the south are a mystery. Kansas’ 150 birthday mural is displayed on the roof.  Fall activities include a Vintage Camper Show and Market.  Log cabins and a hunting lodge are available for nightly or weekly rent.

Stone Barn Farm Vintage Camper Show and Market

When: October
Where: North of City of Dexter
What: Vintage Camper Show and Vintage Market
Contact: (620) 876-3467

Helium Memorial Park
109 N. Main Street, Dexter
A beautiful park commemorating the United State’s discovery of helium in Dexter, an event that marked the town’s spot in the history books. Be sure to check out the historical marker at the intersection of K15 and Hwy 166 commemorating the discovery of the helium well and helium plant.

Barn Quilt Trail
Barn Quilts dot the county and also throughout the town of Dexter.
See all of the barn quilts on the Cowley County Quilt Trail or all of the barn quilts across the 22 counties in the Kansas Flint Hills Quilt Trail.

Stone Bridges of Cowley County
Enjoy a self-guided tour of the 18 stone arch bridges that are located throughout Cowley County, the Stone Bridge Capital of Kansas, including rural Dexter.

Beaver Creek Farm
26882 271st Road, Dexter
At Beaver Creek, they strive to provide you with the best grass fed beef raised locally in the beautiful Kansas Flint Hills.  Raised on native grass with no hormones or antibiotics.

Cowley County Fishing Lake and Waterfall

20467 US Hwy 166
Named #12 most beautiful waterfall in the U.S. by Yahoo travel and most recently named The Most Gorgeous Waterfall in Every State by Reader’s Digest. Located 16 miles east of Arkansas City, this unique fishing, hunting and camping destination is the perfect family venue. During the wet season, check out the waterfall on the west end of the lake.

Dexter Swimming Pool
110 W. School Street

Dexter Businesses

Beaver Creek Farm
26882 271st Road, Dexter
At Beaver Creek, they strive to provide you with the best grass fed beef raised locally in the beautiful Kansas Flint Hills.  Raised on native grass with no hormones or antibiotics.

Blue Diamond Liquor
21286 K-15 Highway
Monday – Thursday 2-7pm; Friday -Saturday 12 pm-9 pm; Sun 12-6 pm.
Local wines and spirits.

Brian’s Woodworking
21172 K-15 Highway
Intriguing wood crafts and award winning scroll work for sale at Henry’s Candy.

Grouse Valley Equipment (formerly Dave’s Enterprises)
 115 N. Main Street, Dexter
 Recipient of the 2013 Outstanding Cowley County Business. Largest authorized Hustler mower dealer in Kansas.  Wide selection of mowers and parts.


Grouse Creek Outfitters
16849 251st Rd., Cambridge
Located 6 miles north east of Dexter, this 5 bedroom lodge is perfect for any country getaway.  Great for hunters, family vacation, weddings or any other escape from reality! Guided deer hunts available.

Grouse Valley Lodge
107 S. Main, Po Box 40, Dexter
The ocean-themed lodge, complete with a lighthouse on the property, has a kitchenette  with a microwave, dishwasher, refrigerator, cook stove, bathroom with shower, queen sized bed, pull-out couch (twin) & upstairs loft for the kids. Enjoy the sunset on the deck or a cookout in the yard. Relax in warm weather in the Jacuzzi set in a beautiful private outdoor setting. Rent by the week or night.

Honeysuckle Lodge
107 S. Main, Suite B, Dexter
Proceeds from Honeysuckle Lodge help fund Lighthouse Library, a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit with a mission to improve reading & computer skills for families & promote fun, safe community events.  It is great for a fall retreat or for your hunting trip. Set in a rural village in the middle of the Kansas Heartland. Lots of historical festivals & places to see in the area. Scenic highways that lead to area lakes and back-country. Book your rural adventure! Cottage is complete with full kitchen, lots of sleeping possibilities including a full bed, comfy futon, etc. Fun, safe, & peaceful setting.

The Log Cabins at the Stone Barn and Gathering Place Lodge

20438 k-15 Highway, Dexter
Despite the primitive name, you will only find high quality lodging at the Log Cabins.  Open year round for nightly rentals, the cabins are equipped with refrigerator, microwave, heating and air conditioning and private bathroom.  Experience cozy accommodations in the Home on the Range Cabin, which features a Jacuzzi tub and king size bed; or enjoy the unique décor in the Hunting Lodge, Fishing Camp or Cowboy Bunk cabins.  Most cabins sleep up to eight, including beds in the lofts.  RV hook up also available.  The Gathering Place Lodge sleeps 10 and features a full kitchen, fire pit and BBQ grill.

Dexter City Council

Mayor Steve Joyce
Council Rocky Randall
Jim Bradley
George Reimer
Ryan Ware
Brian Kuntz
City Clerk Monica Wise
City Attorney Tom Herlocker
Meeting are the 1st Wednesday at 7:00 pm

PO Box 6
Dexter, KS 67038
Phone: (620) 876-5569
Fax: (620) 876-3216
Office Hours: M-W-F 8:30-12:30