Harvey County is located in south central Kansas, along the Little Arkansas River. Harvey County is approximately ten miles north of the City of Wichita, and is within the northern portion of the Wichita Metropolitan Statistical Area. The County encompasses 540 square miles, is 18 miles wide in its north-south dimension and 30 miles long in its east-west dimension. Harvey County is an excellent location for both highway and railroad travel. Interstate I-135 lies north to south in the middle of the County, Highway 50 lies east to west through the County, and the Amtrak-mainline of the Burlington-Santa Fe Railroad lies east to west through the County.
The City of Newton is the County Seat. Harvey County contains seven cities; the cities of Newton, North Newton, Hesston, Halstead, Sedgwick, Burrton, and Walton. The elevation of Harvey County averages 1,450 feet above sea level. Elevation at the Newton City-County Airport, located two miles east of Newton, is 1,533 feet above sea level. The population of the County is 33,643 persons.
Harvey County began as a railroad center, with the City of Newton located on the Chisholm Trail. Cattle travelled along the Chisholm Trail from Texas, and were loaded on railroad cars in Newton for shipment to eastern cities. The railroad continues to be an important industry in the County. Later, Mennonites from Russia settled in Harvey County, and brought with them red winter wheat seeds that thrived in Harvey County and the Kansas plains. The Mennonites also established Bethel College located in North Newton.