The town of Shannon was located one mile south of Garnett and the most zealous competitor of Garnett for the county seat. Preston Bowen, a merchant in Garnett, visualized a city on the prairie a mile or two south of Garnett. In 1857 he laid out a townsite there and named it Shannon after the second governor of the Kansas Territory, Wilson Shannon.
The following summer of 1858 there was much talk about a county seat and the county board of supervisors approached Dr. Bowen with a contract to build a jail and a courthouse at Shannon to be ready for occupancy by June of 1859. The jail was completed by the fall of 1858 and the courthouse started on Dr. Bowen's land. He was erecting these buildings at his own expense.
In the spring of 1859 there was much discontent of the selection of Shannon and the territorial legislature ruled the town receiving the most votes would be the county seat. Garnett won the election and became the permanent county seat of Anderson County.
Shannon did have the distinction of being the first county seat from 1856 to April 5, 1859 when Garnett was named the official county seat.