Columbus is the second largest city and county seat of Cherokee County, Kansas, United States, 15 miles south-southwest of Pittsburg, Kansas. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 3,312.
Columbus was a railroad junction for the Saint Louis and San Francisco, and the Missouri, Kansas, and Texas railroads. It was named Columbus by A.L. Peters, one of the European-American founders, for his hometown of Columbus, Ohio; the name thus indirectly honors Christopher Columbus, the explorer. Coal, lead and zinc were mined in the region. Columbus had a considerable trade in agricultural products, and its businesses included machine shops, grain elevators, flour mills, a cigar factory, bottle works (soft drinks), a canning factory, and an extensive brick-making plant.
In 1875, Robert A. Long and Victor Bell formed the Long-Bell Lumber Company in Columbus. From one lumberyard, Long-Bell expanded operations and holdings to become one of the largest vertically integrated lumber companies in the United States. In 1956 it was purchased by International Paper.