The city of Portis, Kansas is located in north central Kansas within Osborne County. The city has a population of only around 100 people and it covers an area of a quarter square mile. The town was established in 1871 when a trading post was built in the area. Later, in 1879, the town was given the name Bethany. Over time, the Central Branch Railroad came through the town and built a station before being sold to the Missouri Pacific Railroad. Because there was already a Bethany on the Missouri Pacific Railroad's route, the city was renamed Portis after the Vice-President of the Missouri Pacific, Thomas Jefferson Portis.
Portis and the greater Osborne County area is rich with Civil War history as well as Native American history, particularly for the Cheyenne tribe. Osborne County covers nearly 900 square miles and has a population nearing 4,000 individuals. Within the county you will find several locations listed on the National Register of Historic Places including the East Fork Wolf Creek Pratt Truss Bridge in Dehli, the Geodetic Center of the United States in Osborne, and the Osborne County Courthouse.