Organized July 1, 1887, Haskell County was named in honor of Dudley C. Haskell, of Lawrence, who died while serving the State as Congressman, December 16, 1883.
Born in Springfield, Vermont, Haskell moved to Lawrence, Kansas with his parents in 1855. He attended schools back in Springfield in 1857 and 1858, engaged in business as a shoe merchant and followed the Pike's Peak Gold Rush in 1859, residing in Pikes Peak, Colorado until 1861. During the Civil War, Haskell served as an assistant to the quartermaster of the Union Army in Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas and the Indian Territory in 1861 and 1862. He left the army and entered Williston’s Seminary in Easthampton, Massachusetts in 1863 and graduated from Yale College in 1865. Afterward, he returned to Lawrence, Kansas, engaged in the shoe business from 1865 to 1867 and was a member of the Kansas House of Representatives in 1872, 1875 and 1876, serving as Speaker of the House in 1876. Haskell was elected a Republican to the United States House of Representatives in 1876, serving from 1877 until his death in Washington, D.C. on December 16, 1883. There, he served as chairman of the Committee on Indian Affairs from 1881 to 1883. He was interred in Oak Hill Cemetery in Lawrence, Kansas.