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The first European to reach Kansas was Coronado, who explored it in 1541. In 1800, it reverted to Spain, who included it in the 1803 Louisiana Purchase. It was at first included in the territory of Louisiana. When the territory of Missouri was established in 1812, Kansas was left without any organized government.In 1854, the territories of Nebraska and Kansas were established, with the issue of slavery left to the local settlers. A constitution was finally adopted in 1859 that prohibited slavery, but Kansas could not overcome Southern opposition in Congress until the secession of the Southern states removed them from influence in Washington.Kansas became a state in 1861. During the war, Kansas continued to be plagued by border raids, such as the raid on Lawrence in 1863 that claimed 150 lives.After the war, peace permitted greater settlement in Kansas. Kansas was an early adopter of Prohibition, and maintained it even after national repeal, remaining dry until 1949. During the Great Depression, Kansas suffered from drought and became part of the Dust Bowl. Kansas Governor Alfred M. Landon was the unsuccessful Republican candidate for President in 1936.An example of local history follows:Lecompton, Kansas, is in Douglas County. The city was a major player in the American Civil War. They caused Horace Greeley to publish an eight-page specialedition in the New York Tribune on the Lecompton Constitution.The name Lecompton was used 51 times during America's most famous Lincoln-Douglas Debate. Lecompton touched the lives of five presidents: Pierce, Buchanan, Lincoln, Arthur, and Eisenhower. The city was home to nine territorial governors.It is little wonder that E.H. Butler & Co. of Philadelpha in 1884, wrote that the name of no city in the world was ever such a "party cry," and that from 1855 to 1859, "Lecompton" was spoken in as many languages as the names of London, Paris, and Berlin. The history of Lecompton ranks in importance with Gettysburg, Fort Sumpter, Lincoln-Douglas Debates and any other major Civil War event.Lecompton is home to Constitution Hall, National Landmark and Kansas Historic Site; Territorial Capital Museum, National Register Site; Kansas Territorial Democratic Headquarters, and much more. It is truly one of America's most historic cities and best-kept secrets.

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Kansas, constituent state of the United States of America. It is bounded by Nebraska to the north, Missouri to the east, Oklahoma to the south, and Colorado to the west. Lying amid the westward-rising landscape of the Great Plains of the North American continent, Kansas became the 34th state on January 29, 1861. In that year the capital was located in Topeka by popular election, outpolling nearby Lawrence by some 2,700 votes. The state’s name is derived from that of the Kansa, or Kaw, whose name comes from a Siouan-language phrase meaning “people of the south wind.”

The geographic centre of the 48 coterminous United States is marked by a limestone shaft and a flag located in a pasture near Lebanon, Kansas, close to the Nebraska border. Some 40 miles (65 km) to the south is the magnetic, or geodetic, centre of the terrestrial mass of North America this is the reference point for all land survey in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

Kansas was once seen as the country’s agricultural heartland some nine-tenths of the state’s land area is still used for agricultural purposes. Wichita, the state’s largest city, is known locally as the Air Capital of the World because of its longtime status as a major centre of production for general-aviation aircraft. Tourism, financial services, and government are also major sectors of employment. Area 82,278 square miles (213,100 square km). Population (2010) 2,853,118 (2019 est.) 2,913,314.


Fusing the complexity of British prog-rock with an American heartland sound representative of their name, multi-platinum-selling Kansas is among the most popular bands of the late '70s. Their singles during the period -- "Dust in the Wind," "Carry on Wayward Son," and their cover of J.J. Cale's "Bringing It Back" became staples of AOR radio and still receive airplay at classic rock radio. During the '70s, the band sold tens of millions of records, and the commercial success of Leftoverture (1976), Point of Know Return (1977), and Monolith (1979) propelled them to superstar status and sold-out concerts across the U.S., Europe, South America, and Asia. While their popular fortunes diminished in the '90s, they continued to record and tour. Despite key personnel changes -- the departure of founding guitarist Kerry Livgren and the eventual retirement of lead vocalist Steve Walsh among them -- the band continued to work across the globe and record regularly. The latter stopped for 15 years after 2000's Somewhere to Elsewhere, a release that featured all the original members of Kansas, with all songs composed by Livgren. Kansas resumed recording with The Prelude Implicit in 2016, featuring new lead vocalist and keyboardist Ronnie Platt. It registered commanding spots on the charts of 14 countries, including the Billboard 200 and Top Rock Albums charts at home.

Formed in Topeka in 1970, the founding members of the group -- guitarist Kerry Livgren, bassist Dave Hope, and drummer Phil Ehart -- first played together while in high school with the 1971 addition of classically trained violinist Robbie Steinhardt, they changed their name to White Clover, reverting back to the Kansas moniker for good upon the 1972 arrivals of vocalist/keyboardist Steve Walsh and guitarist Richard Williams. The group spent the early part of the decade touring relentlessly and struggling to gain recognition initially, their mix of boogie and prog rock baffled club patrons, but in due time they established a strong enough following to win a record deal with the Kirshner label.

Kansas' self-titled debut LP appeared in 1974 while only mildly successful, the group toured behind it tirelessly, and their fan base grew to the point that their third effort, 1975's Masque, sold a quarter of a million copies. In 1976, Leftoverture truly catapulted Kansas to stardom. On the strength of the smash hit "Carry on Wayward Son," the album reached the Top Five and sold over three million copies. Released in 1977, Point of Know Return was even more successful, spawning the monster hit "Dust in the Wind." While the 1978 live LP Two for the Show struggled to break the Top 40, its studio follow-up, Monolith, the band's first self-produced effort, reached the Top Ten. That same year, Walsh issued a solo record, Schemer-Dreamer.

In the wake of 1980's Audio-Visions, Kansas began to splinter both Hope and Livgren became born-again Christians, the latter issued the solo venture Seeds of Change, and their newfound spirituality caused divisions within the band's ranks. Walsh soon quit to form a new band, Streets, and the remaining members forged on without him, tapping vocalist John Elefante as his replacement. The first Kansas LP without Walsh, 1982's Vinyl Confessions, launched the hit "Play the Game Tonight," but after only one more album, 1983's Drastic Measures, they disbanded.

In 1986, however, Kansas re-formed around Ehart, Williams, and Walsh adding the famed guitarist Steve Morse as well as bassist Billy Greer, the refurbished band debuted with the album Power, scoring a Top 20 hit with "All I Wanted." When the follow-up, 1988's In the Spirit of Things, failed to hit, seven years passed before the release of their next effort, Freaks of Nature. The London Symphony-assisted Always Never the Same followed in 1998, and in 2000 Kansas issued Somewhere to Elsewhere, their 14th studio album, which saw the return of founder singer/songwriter Kerry Livgren. The next decade found Kansas continuing to tour heavily and release compilations and live albums, culminating in their 2014 induction into the Kansas Hall of Fame and the Georgia Music Hall of Fame, which coincided with the group's 40th anniversary. Miracles Out of Nowhere, a DVD/CD career retrospective, followed in early 2015. After signing with Century Media's InsideOut label, Kansas released The Prelude Implicit in 2016. Their 15th studio effort overall, the prog-heavy LP also marked the band's first new album in 16 years. The following year saw the release of Leftoverture Live & Beyond, a collection of concert performances culled from their 40th anniversary tour.

In March of 2020, Kansas released a three-and-a-half-minute video trailer hosted by Platt to announce the June release of Absence of Presence. Co-produced by drummer Phil Ehart, guitarist Rich Williams, and guitarist Zak Rizvi, it marked the studio debut of keyboardist Tom Brislin (Yes, Camel, Debbie Harry) who had come aboard in late 2018. After releasing three advance cuts -- "Throwing Mountains", "Memories Down the Line, and "Jets Overhead" -- the album was delayed until July due to production delays.

History of Kansas

The history of Kansas has documented beginnings similar to some of its neighbors, including Oklahoma and Arkansas. First discovered and explored by Spain's Francisco de Coronado during the year of 1541, there were many land claims for entitlement to the region following initial discovery. The first successful claim on what was to be known as Kansas was in the later seventeenth century when France took over many vast areas of land. Eventually these land parcels were given back to the Spain more than eighty years later.

Among the facts about Kansas is that less than forty years after the land re-acquirement by Spain, France once again took over the territory in the nineteenth century through the Treaty of Madrid. It was then sold it to the United States in 1809 as a component of the famous Louisiana Purchase. These were the major events concerning land ownership in Kansas history but there are many other happenings that helped to shape the state into what it is today.

Preceding the discovery of Kansas by Francisco de Coronado in 1541, originally Kansas land was settled by major Native Indian tribes, a common occurrence in this area of the United States during this period. The Osage, Pawnee and Kansas tribes were mainstays of the eight tribes that first settled the land. In the written history of Kansas, the tribes lived peacefully among each other, hunting buffalo, raising simple crops and living in small villages. Once the French arrived, they traded with the tribes and erected Fort Orleans near the head of the Osage River. The United States had amassed the land through the Louisiana Purchase, but it wasn't until 1850 that the southwestern corner of Kansas was procured from Texas.

Kansas Map

There are many intriguing facts about Kansas between 1812 and 1854. Neighboring Missouri became an official state and in 1825 Kansas was officially made Indian Territory. Between 1825 and 1840 more than thirty Indian tribes relinquished land and relocated to the allotted Indian Territory in Kansas. Some of these tribes include Iowa, Chippewa, Shawnee, Kickapoo and Delaware. Kansas history reveals the state was right on main trail to California and Utah during the settlers rush which brought even more pioneers to Kansas because of the agricultural benefits. With treaties continuously made and broken in the history of Kansas, there were numerous uprisings and raids initiated by enraged tribes. This unrest lasted up until 1878.

The official Kansas Territory was created when the Kansas-Nebraska Act was signed by President Pierce in 1854. One of the surprising facts about Kansas during this period is that regional colonists, not the government, were given the ability to determine if the immediate area would be slave or free. This brought about many acrimonious battles between the dueling groups. The slaves were sided with in 1855 after an election beneficial to their cause. In Topeka the "Free Staters" tried to rival the government with one of their own creation but failed in their attempt at reclaiming rights. In 1859 in Kansas history, slavery was officially abolished.

January of 1861 was a momentous date that saw Kansas became the 34th state. The next hundred years in the history of Kansas saw many important changes. Much of Lawrence was devastated by fragments of Civil War strife, farmers experienced one of the worst droughts ever, prohibition was initiated in 1890 and women received the right to vote in 1912. The economy experienced a massive boom in the 1930s and 1940s which then receded to difficult times with the severe droughts in the 1950s and 1960s. Eisenhower, born and raised in Abilene, was president from 1953 to 1961, a proud time in Kansas history.

Propelling forward from long-ago history of Kansas, modern day Kansas is a major player in wheat crops and distribution and also raises potatoes, corn and soybeans. A leader in aircraft manufacturing and petroleum production, Kansas also mines lead, zinc, coal and salt. Some of the major attractions featuring important parts of Kansas history include the Presidential Library at Abilene and Eisenhower Memorial Museum, the Front Street recreation in Dodge City, historical Fort Riley and Fort Leavenworth.

Kansas - History

Mandi Barnard defends her dissertation via Zoom and earns her Ph.D. in May 2020

History majors, including Adena Leon, advised by Professor Elizabeth MacGonagle, created online research posters to showcase their projects in the Undergraduate Research Symposium

Mika Schrader defended her honors thesis on the development of relic veneration in early Christianity with a committee comprised of Professors Eve Levin, Luis Corteguera, and Areli Marina

Austin Armstrong defended his honors thesis, "Between Rock Chalk and a Hard Place: When the Vietnam Era Divided Jayhawks," with a committee comprised of Professors Jonathan Hagel, Sheyda Jahanbani, and Kim Warren

Sophia Southard presented her poster on "Interracial Adoption and Questions of Social and Cultural Identities" on the Blackboard Poster Day Wiki for Pofessor Greene's History 604, Contemporary Greater China.

Myah Coberly presented her research poster on the role of the SARS epidemic and the mobilization of the Post-Maoist State for Professor Greene's 604 class.

As the History Department went virtual this spring, our students completed a range of amazing research initiatives despite difficult circumstances.


Fort Mann was the first settlement of nonindigenous people in the area that became Dodge City, built by civilians in 1847 (the territory then being part of Mexico) to provide protection for travelers on the Santa Fe Trail. Fort Mann collapsed in 1848 after an Indian attack. In 1850, the U.S. Army arrived to provide protection in the region and constructed Fort Atkinson on the old Fort Mann site. The army abandoned Fort Atkinson in 1853. Military forces on the Santa Fe Trail were re-established farther north and east at Fort Larned in 1859, but the area remained vacant around what would become Dodge City until the end of the Civil War. In April 1865, the Indian Wars in the West began heating up, and the army constructed Fort Dodge to assist Fort Larned in providing protection on the Santa Fe Trail. Fort Dodge remained in operation until 1882.

The town of Dodge City can trace its origins to 1871, when rancher Henry J. Sitler built a sod house west of Fort Dodge to oversee his cattle operations in the region, conveniently located near the Santa Fe Trail and Arkansas River, and Sitler's house quickly became a stopping point for travelers. Others saw the commercial potential of the region with the Santa Fe Railroad rapidly approaching from the east. In 1872, Dodge City was staked out on the 100th meridian and the legal western boundary of the Fort Dodge reservation. The town site was platted and George M. Hoover established the first bar in a tent to serve thirsty soldiers from Fort Dodge. The railroad arrived in September to find a town ready and waiting for business. The early settlers in Dodge City traded in buffalo bones and hides and provided a civilian community for Fort Dodge. However, with the arrival of the railroad, Dodge City soon became involved in the cattle trade.

The idea of driving Texas Longhorn cattle from Texas to railheads in Kansas originated in the late 1850s, [11] but was cut short by the Civil War. In 1866, the first Texas cattle started arriving in Baxter Springs in southeastern Kansas by way of the Shawnee Trail. However, Texas Longhorn cattle carried a tick that spread Texas cattle fever, among other breeds of cattle. Alarmed Kansas farmers persuaded the Kansas State Legislature to establish a quarantine line in central Kansas. The quarantine prohibited Texas Longhorns from the heavily settled, eastern portion of the state.

With the cattle trade forced west, Texas Longhorns began moving north along the Chisholm Trail. In 1867, the main cowtown was Abilene, Kansas. Profits were high, and other towns quickly joined in the cattle boom: Newton in 1871, Ellsworth in 1872, and Wichita in 1872. However, in 1876, the Kansas State Legislature responded to pressure from farmers settling in central Kansas and once again shifted the quarantine line westward, which essentially eliminated Abilene and the other cowtowns from the cattle trade. With no place else to go, Dodge City suddenly became the "queen of the cow towns."

A new route known as the Great Western Cattle Trail or Western Trail branched off from the Chisholm Trail to lead cattle into Dodge City. Dodge City became a boomtown, with thousands of cattle passing annually through its stockyards. The peak years of the cattle trade in Dodge City were from 1883 to 1884, and during that time the town grew tremendously. In 1880, Dodge City got a new competitor for the cattle trade from the border town of Caldwell. For a few years, the competition between the towns was fierce, but enough cattle were available for both towns to prosper.

Nevertheless, Dodge City became famous, and no town could match its reputation as a true frontier settlement of the Old West. Dodge City had more famous (and infamous) gunfighters working at one time or another than any other town in the West, many of whom participated in the Dodge City War of 1883. It boasted also the usual array of saloons, gambling halls, and brothels, including the famous Long Branch Saloon and China Doll brothel. [12] For a time in 1884, Dodge City even had a bullfighting ring where Mexican bullfighters would put on a show with specially chosen Longhorn bulls.

As more agricultural settlers moved into western Kansas, pressure increased on the Kansas State Legislature to do something about splenic fever, known today as anthrax. Consequently, in 1885, the quarantine line was extended across the state and the Western Trail was all but shut down. By 1886, the cowboys, saloon keepers, gamblers, and brothel owners moved west to greener pastures, and Dodge City became a sleepy little town much like other communities in western Kansas.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 14.55 square miles (37.68 km 2 ), of which 14.44 square miles (37.40 km 2 ) is land and 0.11 square miles (0.28 km 2 ) is water. [17]

Climate Edit

Dodge City lies at the intersection of North America's semi-arid (Köppen BSk) and humid subtropical climate (Köppen Cfa) zones, [18] with hot summers, highly variable winters, both warm and very cold periods, and low to moderate humidity and precipitation throughout the year it is part of USDA Hardiness zone 6b. [19] Areas to the west are drier and more strongly semi-arid. Severe weather, including tornadoes, is common in the area, especially in the spring months. Dodge City is often cited as the windiest city in the United States with an average speed of 13.9 mph (22.4 km/h), which results in occasional blizzards in the winter, even when snowfall does not accumulate much. [20] On average, January is the coldest month, July is the hottest month, and June is the wettest month. [21]

The normal annual mean temperature in Dodge City is 55.4 °F (13.0 °C), while the normal monthly daily average temperature ranges from 32.2 °F (0.1 °C) in January to 79.6 °F (26.4 °C) in July. [22] The high temperature reaches or exceeds 90 °F (32 °C) an average of 67 days a year and reaches or exceeds 100 °F (38 °C) an average of 13 days a year the last year that failed to reach 100 °F was 1958. [23] The minimum temperature falls to or below 0 °F (−18 °C) an average of 3.0 days a year. [24] The highest officially recorded temperature was 111 °F (44 °C) on June 27, 2012, while the lowest temperature officially recorded was −26 °F (−32 °C) on February 12, 1899. [21] The record cold daily maximum is −13 °F (−25 °C) on January 13, 1875, and conversely, the record warm daily minimum is 81 °F (27 °C) last set July 12, 1978. [24]

Dodge City receives an annual average of 21.6 inches (550 mm) in precipitation, with the largest share being received from May through August [21] annual precipitation has historically ranged from 9.97 in (253 mm) in 1956 to 34.29 in (871 mm) in 1944. [24] There are, on average, 77 days of measurable precipitation each year. Snowfall averages 21.1 inches (54 cm) per season, although snowfall has historically ranged from 0.2 in (0.51 cm) in 1903–04 to 61.3 in (156 cm) in 1992–93. Measurable snowfall occurs an average of 14 days a year with at least an inch of snow being received on six of those days. Snow depth of at least an inch occurs an average of 19 days a year. The average window for overnight freezes is October 17 through April 21, [23] allowing a growing season of 178 days.

Climate data for Dodge City Regional Airport, Kansas (1981–2010 normals, [a] extremes 1874–present) [b]
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 80
Mean maximum °F (°C) 68.2
Average high °F (°C) 44.2
Daily mean °F (°C) 32.3
Average low °F (°C) 20.1
Mean minimum °F (°C) 2.9
Record low °F (°C) −20
Average precipitation inches (mm) 0.58
Average snowfall inches (cm) 4.9
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in) 3.5 4.8 6.5 7.1 8.9 8.9 8.2 8.0 5.7 6.1 4.5 4.6 76.8
Average snowy days (≥ 0.1 in) 3.4 2.8 2.3 0.6 0 0 0 0 0 0.2 1.2 3.2 13.7
Average relative humidity (%) 65.9 64.5 60.5 57.5 62.5 59.9 55.2 58.4 61.9 58.2 64.3 66.6 61.3
Mean monthly sunshine hours 207.2 201.6 241.1 270.0 297.6 332.9 357.8 319.0 267.6 248.8 192.9 189.2 3,125.7
Percent possible sunshine 67 67 65 68 68 75 80 76 72 71 63 63 70
Source: National Weather Service (relative humidity and sun 1961–1990) [24] [22] [26]
Historical population
Census Pop.
18901,763 77.0%
19001,942 10.2%
19103,214 65.5%
19205,061 57.5%
193010,059 98.8%
19408,487 −15.6%
195011,262 32.7%
196013,520 20.0%
197014,127 4.5%
198018,001 27.4%
199021,129 17.4%
200025,176 19.2%
201027,340 8.6%
2019 (est.)27,104 [4] −0.9%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census Edit

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 27,340 people, 8,777 households, and 6,241 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,893.6 people per square mile (731.1/km 2 ). There were 9,378 housing units at an average density of 649.5 per square mile (250.8/km 2 ). The racial makeup of the city was 72.5% White, 2.5% African American, 1.1% American Indian, 1.6% Asian, 0.2% Pacific Islander, 19.3% from other races, and 2.9% from two or more races. Hispanics and Latinos of any race were 57.5% of the population. [9]

There were 8,777 households, of which 40.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.5% were married couples living together, 13.0% had a female householder with no husband present, 6.6% had a male householder with no wife present, and 28.9% were non-families. 22.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.05, and the average family size was 3.60. [9]

The median age in the city was 28.9 years. 31.8% of residents were under the age of 18 11.8% were between the ages of 18 and 24 27.8% were from 25 to 44 19.6% were from 45 to 64 and 8.9% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 51.4% male and 48.6% female. [9]

The median income for a household was $43,994, and the median income for a family was $49,957. Males had a median income of $31,400 versus $27,884 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,350. About 16.7% of families and 19.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 28.7% of those under age 18 and 8.1% of those age 65 or over. [9]

Meat packing is the primary industry in Dodge City. Cargill Meat Solutions and National Beef both operate large facilities in the city. [27] The city also hosts farm implement manufacturing and serves as a supply center for area agriculture. Livestock-raising is a major activity while wheat and sorghum are the area's main crops. [8] In addition, a local tourism industry, including a casino resort, has developed to capitalize on Dodge City's history as an Old West cowtown. [28] The service sector accounts for much of the rest of the local economy. [27]

As of 2010, 70.9% of the population over the age of 16 was in the labor force. 0.3% was in the armed forces, and 70.5% was in the civilian labor force with 66.9% being employed and 3.6% unemployed. The composition, by occupation, of the employed civilian labor force was: 23.3% in management, business, science, and arts 16.4% in sales and office occupations 10.9% in service occupations 15.2% in natural resources, construction, and maintenance 34.2% in production, transportation, and material moving. The three industries employing the largest percentages of the working civilian labor force were: manufacturing (33.0%) educational services, health care, and social assistance (18.1%) and retail trade (9.4%). [9]

The cost of living in Dodge City is relatively low compared to a U.S. average of 100, the cost of living index for the city is 79.3. [29] As of 2010, the median home value in the city was $83,300, the median selected monthly owner cost was $1,013 for housing units with a mortgage and $450 for those without, and the median gross rent was $571. [9]

In late 2023, Hilmar Cheese is scheduled to open a new $550 Million cheese and whey protein processing plant in Dodge City. [30]

Top employers Edit

Cargill Meat Solutions and National Beef are the two largest employers. Other major employers include local government, schools, retail stores, and health care providers. [27]

Largest employers (100+ Employees) [31]
Employer Employees
National Beef Packing Company 2,950
Cargill Meat Solutions 2,700
Unified School District #443 1,292
Wal-Mart Super Center 400
Western Plains Medical Complex 295
Boot Hill Casino & Resort 288
Dodge City Community College 284
Ford County Government 263
City of Dodge City 238
CrustBuster/Speed King, Inc. 150
Dillon's Super Store 140
Dodge City Medical Center 125
Kansas Soldiers' Home 115
Arrowhead West, Inc. 101

Dodge City has a commission-manager form of government. [32] The city commission consists of five members who serve either two-year or four-year terms, depending on the number of votes they receive. Every year, the commission selects one commissioner to serve as mayor and another to serve as vice-mayor. [33] The commission meets on the first and third Mondays of each month. [32] Appointed by the commission, the city manager leads the city administration, executes the commission's policies, and develops operational programs to meet the city's needs. [34]

As the county seat, Dodge City is the administrative center of Ford County. The county courthouse is located downtown, and all departments of the county government base their operations in the city. [35]

Dodge City lies within Kansas's 1st U.S. Congressional District. For the purposes of representation in the Kansas Legislature, the city is located in the 38th district of the Kansas Senate and the 115th and 119th districts of the Kansas House of Representatives. [32]

Dodge City was criticized by Johnny Dunlap, Ford County Democratic Party's chairman, for only having one polling place for 13,000 voters. For the 2018 election, it was moved outside the city limits one mile from the nearest bus stop. [36] While the county provided transportation, voters had to arrange for it in advance. [37] A lawsuit over the issue was dismissed after Debbie Cox, the county clerk, agreed to open two polling places in the next election. [38]

Primary and secondary education Edit

Dodge City USD 443 public school district serves over 6,000 students and operates 14 schools in the city, including one early childhood center, eight elementary schools, two middle schools, one high school, and one alternative school. [39]

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Dodge City oversees one Catholic school in the city: Sacred Heart Cathedral School (Pre-K-8). [40]

Colleges and universities Edit

Dodge City Community College (DCCC), a two-year public college with approximately 2,000 students, is located in the northwestern part of the city. [41] [42] From 1952 to 1993, Dodge City was also home to St. Mary of the Plains College, a private, four-year Catholic liberal arts college. [43] Newman University, a Catholic university based in Wichita, now operates a branch campus on St. Mary of the Plains' former grounds. [44]

Libraries Edit

Dodge City Public Library, located north of downtown, is the city's main library. A member of the Southwest Kansas Library System, it has a collection of approximately 123,000 volumes, and it circulates more than 189,000 items annually. [45] It was founded as a Carnegie library in 1905 and moved to its current facility in 1981. [46] The library offers several services to the public, including computer classes, public internet access, and programs for children and adults. [47] Other libraries in the city include the DCCC Library, which holds more than 30,000 volumes and serves as a federal depository library, and the Kansas Heritage Center, a non-profit resource center and research library operated by Dodge City Public Schools and dedicated to the history of Kansas, the Great Plains, and the Old West. [48] [49] [50]

Transportation Edit

Originally a stop on the Santa Fe Trail, Dodge City was later located on the National Old Trails Road, also known as the Ocean-to-Ocean Highway, which followed the trail's path in western Kansas upon its establishment in 1912. [51] Currently, four U.S. Highways meet in Dodge City: U.S. Route 50, U.S. Route 56, U.S. Route 283, and U.S. Route 400. U.S. 50, an east-west route, runs through the northern part of the city. U.S. 400, which also runs east-west, runs through the southern part of the city. U.S. 56, an east-west route, and U.S. 283, a north-south route, run concurrently around the city's southern and eastern fringe. The U.S. 50 business route runs concurrently with U.S. 56, U.S. 283, and U.S. 400 at different points through the southern part and around the eastern part of the city. [52]

Dodge City Regional Airport is located approximately 2 miles (3.2 km) east of the city. [53] Used primarily for general aviation, it hosts one commercial airline with daily flights to Denver, CO. [54] [55] [56]

Three railroads serve Dodge City: the La Junta Subdivision of the BNSF Railway which runs east-west, the main line of the Cimarron Valley Railroad of which Dodge City is the northeastern terminus, and the Boot Hill and Western Railway of which the city is the northwestern terminus. [52] [57] Using the BNSF trackage, Amtrak provides passenger rail service on its Southwest Chief line between Chicago and Los Angeles. [53] [58] Amtrak's Dodge City station is located downtown. [59]

Fixed-route bus service operates between 6am and 7pm Monday-Friday. [60]

Utilities Edit

The Utilities Division of the city government's Public Works Department operates and maintains the city's water and waste water distribution systems. [61] The department's Sanitation Division provides trash pickup. [62] Operations Management International, Inc. (OMI), a private contractor, provides waste water treatment, pumping the city's waste water to treatment holding ponds 12 miles south of the city. [63] The Victory Electric Cooperative Association, Inc., part of the Mid-Kansas Electric Company, delivers electricity to the city. [64] [65] Local residents primarily use natural gas as their heating fuel natural gas service is provided by Black Hills Energy. [29] [66]

Health care Edit

The Western Plains Medical Complex is the sole hospital in Dodge City. A 100-bed hospital accredited by the Joint Commission, it serves as a referral center for southwestern Kansas. [67]

The Dodge City Daily Globe is the city's daily newspaper with a circulation of approximately 7,000 copies. [68] In addition, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Dodge City publishes a weekly newspaper, The Southwest Kansas Catholic, formerly known as The Southwest Kansas Register. [69] The High Plains Journal, a weekly trade journal covering regional agricultural news, is also published in the city. [70]

Along with Garden City, Dodge City is a center of broadcast media for southwestern Kansas. [71] [72] Two AM radio stations, seven FM radio stations, and four television stations are licensed to and/or broadcast from the area. [71] [73] [74] Dodge City is located in the Wichita-Hutchinson, Kansas television market. [75] The four stations that broadcast from the city include: one CBS and one FOX network affiliate, both of which are satellite stations of their respective affiliates in Wichita [74] [76] a satellite station of Smoky Hills Public Television, the PBS member network covering western Kansas [77] and KDDC-LD a sister station of KDGL-LD in Sublette, Kansas. [73] [78]

The city's Parks and Recreation Department maintains 21 parks in the city. [79] The largest is Wright Park, located immediately south of downtown and home to the Dodge City Zoo. [79] [80] Legends Park, in the northern part of the city, is a four-diamond, tournament-level baseball and softball complex that hosts both youth and adult league games. [81] The city also maintains the St. Mary Soccer Complex, which includes six full-size game pads and three junior-sized fields, and the municipal pool. [82] [83]

There are two golf courses in the city, one public and one private. Mariah Hills Municipal Golf Course, the public course, is an 18-hole course built in 1974 and redesigned in 1990. It includes a full-service pro shop, driving range, and putting green. Dodge City Country Club, the private course, is an 18-hole course built in 1916 and expanded in 1982. [84]

Arts and music Edit

Two galleries support an arts community in the city. Located in the original public library building, The Carnegie Center for the Arts provides gallery space to local artists and houses the Dodge City Arts Council. [85] [86] The second gallery, the Second Avenue Art Guild, exhibits the work of regional artists in ceramics, photography, and other media. [87]

The Depot Theater Company, based in the former Santa Fe Railroad Depot, puts on theatrical productions throughout the year. Founded in 1984, the group performs in both the old depot and the Occident Theater. [88]

Events Edit

Each summer, the Dodge City Chamber of Commerce holds Dodge City Days, the city's annual community festival. [89] Lasting ten days, it includes the Dodge City Roundup Rodeo, a parade, a beauty pageant, music concerts, a golf tournament, arts and craft shows, and other activities. [90] Several other community events are held throughout the year. [91] In early May, the city's sizable Mexican community celebrates Cinco de Mayo in Wright Park with live music, folk dance performances, and traditional Mexican cuisine. [92] To celebrate Independence Day, the city holds its Old-Fashioned Fourth of July which includes a fireworks display and children's activities at Boot Hill. [93] Christmas in Old Dodge City, the city's winter holiday festival, starts in late November and lasts until Christmas. [91] It begins with a formal Christmas tree lighting downtown, a chili cook-off, and the Parade of Lights, a parade of floats decorated with Christmas lights. [94]

Two other annual events reflect the central role of agriculture in the local economy. The Ford County Fair is held in July and includes 4-H and FFA exhibits, competitions, and shows, as well as other activities. [95] Also in July, the Western Kansas Manufacturers Association (WKMA) holds the 3i Show, an agri-business expo of agricultural products, technology, and services. [96]

Points of interest Edit

Located in and around the city are a number of historical sites, museums, and landmarks dedicated to Dodge City's Old West heritage. The Boot Hill Museum, located downtown, contains thousands of artifacts and a variety of exhibits portraying the culture of the city's early years. The museum's larger exhibits include: Front Street, a partial reconstruction of downtown Dodge City as it existed in 1876 the Long Branch Saloon and the Long Branch Variety Show the Saratoga Saloon the Hardesty House, a period-typical home built in 1879 the city's original Boot Hill Cemetery and the Kansas Cowboy Hall of Fame. [97] [98] The Santa Fe Trail Remains, located 9 miles (14 km) west of the city, are preserved wagon tracks from a section of the Santa Fe Trail. [98] The Ford County Historical Society maintains the Mueller-Schmidt House, called the "Home of Stone." Built from area limestone in 1881, it is the oldest building in the city still standing at its original site. [99] Other historical landmarks include: El Capitan, a life-sized bronze sculpture of a Texas Longhorn steer built to commemorate the cattle drives that once ended in the city a bronze statue of famous Dodge City lawman Wyatt Earp and the Santa Fe Depot, the largest extant train depot in Kansas. [100] [101]

To capitalize on this heritage, the city promotes its downtown business district as historic Old Dodge City complete with Western-themed tourist attractions, shops, and restaurants. [102] Visitors can tour the district by trolley or by taking the Dodge City Trail of Fame walking tour. [103] [104] The state of Kansas operates the similarly themed Boot Hill Casino & Resort on the west side of the city – when it opened for business in December 2009, Boot Hill became the first state-owned casino in the United States. [105] [106]

Dodge City Civic Center and United Wireless Arena are the city's two main indoor event venues. The Civic Center, built in 1954, is a 2,800-seat multipurpose facility that has hosted a variety of events, including concerts and sporting events. [107] [108] United Wireless Arena, opened in 2011, is a 5,500-seat multipurpose arena located next to the Boot Hill Casino on the west side of the city. Owned by the City of Dodge City and Ford County, the arena complex includes the 10,000-square-foot (930 m 2 ) Magouirk Conference Center. [109]

Other sites of interest in the city include the Dodge City Zoo and the Kansas Teachers' Hall of Fame. The Zoo is located in Wright Park and is home to more than 45 animals. [110] Located downtown, the Kansas Teachers' Hall of Fame hosts exhibits on education in Kansas and claims to be the first of its kind in the United States. [111]

Religion Edit

There are 33 Christian churches in and around Dodge City. [112] The Roman Catholic Diocese of Dodge City is based in the city. Established in 1951, it comprises 28 Kansas counties, roughly the southwestern quarter of the state. [113] The city is home to the diocese's current cathedral as well as its former cathedral, the Cathedral of Our Lady of Guadalupe and Sacred Heart Cathedral, respectively. [114] Also headquartered in the city is the Dodge City District of the United Methodist Church which consists of 22 counties in southwestern Kansas. [115]

Sports Edit

Dodge City Community College's athletic teams, the Dodge City Conquistadors (or "Conqs" for short), compete in several sports in the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference (KJCCC). [116]

Beyond DCCC sports, Dodge City also hosts amateur baseball and professional motorsports. The Dodge City Athletics, nicknamed the "A's", are a collegiate summer baseball team in the Jayhawk Collegiate League of the National Baseball Congress. [117] Both the A's and the DCCC Conquistadors baseball team use Cavalier Field, located on the former St. Mary of the Plains College campus, as their home field. [118] Dodge City Raceway Park, located immediately south of the city, is a 3/8-mile dirt track that hosts midget and sprint car racing from April through October. Past events at the park have included National Sprint Tour and World of Outlaws races. [119] The Western Kansas Dirt Riders, a motocross team, race at Tumbleweed Raceway adjacent to the Raceway Park. [120]

In the past, Dodge City hosted college football and professional basketball as well. From 1970 to 1980, the annual Boot Hill Bowl post-season college football game was played in Dodge City. The bowl was sanctioned by the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics and featured schools such as Washburn University and Emporia State University. The last game was played on November 21, 1980. [121] From 2000 to 2007, the city was home to a minor league professional basketball team, the Dodge City Legend of the United States Basketball League. [122]

In popular culture Edit

Starting in the 1870s, the violent episodes of early Dodge City history, particularly the exploits of Wyatt Earp, attracted national media attention. National news coverage of the 1883 Dodge City War civil strife fueled public perceptions of frontier turmoil and established Dodge City as the "Sodom of the West" in the public consciousness. Gunfighters and lawmen such as Earp and his brothers and partners became celebrities, and sensationalized versions of their activities entered period popular culture as the subject of dime novels. Over time, the level and scale of the violence in early Dodge City were significantly embellished, becoming the stuff of legend. This trend continued into the 20th century, particularly after the 1931 publication of Stuart N. Lake's book Wyatt Earp: Frontier Marshal. Regarded in American folklore as the quintessential rough and rowdy Old West frontier town, Dodge City served as the setting for numerous works of Western-themed media, including later popular films and television series. [123]

Dodge City was the setting of the long-running radio and television series Gunsmoke. The series followed the adventures of fictional U.S. Marshal Matt Dillon portrayed on radio by William Conrad and then on television by James Arness, as he dealt with gunfighters, cattle rustlers, gamblers and other criminals while enforcing the law in the frontier town. [124] The radio lasted from 1952 to 1961 while the television series ran from 1955 to 1975, on the CBS television network, and was one of the longest-running prime-time TV dramas in American history. [125] The show proved to be culturally influential and promoted the legend of Dodge City's Old West era. It also served as the source of the idiom "get [the hell] out of Dodge" which means to leave a dangerous area quickly. [126] In honor of the series, the city government changed the name of Walnut Street, one of its downtown streets, to Gunsmoke Street, in 1959. [127]

The city has also been a setting for a number of films and television series dramatizing the career of Wyatt Earp. These include several seasons of the series The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp starring Hugh O'Brian on the ABC television network from 1955 to 1961, [128] and the films Winchester '73 (1950), with James Stewart [129] Masterson of Kansas (1954), with George Montgomery, [130] Cheyenne Autumn (1964), featuring Richard Widmark, James Stewart and Edward G. Robinson and directed by John Ford [131] and Wyatt Earp (1994) with Kevin Costner and Gene Hackman. [132] In the 1939 film Dodge City the fictional lawman Wade Hatton, played by Errol Flynn, was modeled on Earp. [133]

In the television series Smallville, Metropolis is said to be southwest of Dodge City with Smallville, "Superman" / Clark Kent's childhood and adolescent residence, located 200 miles (320 km) west of Wichita. [134]

More recently, Dodge City served as a setting for the 2005 multi-platform video game Gun. [135]

The Bruce Springsteen song “If I Was The Priest,” on his 2020 album Letter to You, refers to the main character being “needed tonight up in Dodge City.”

Numerous figures of the American Old West lived in Dodge City during its period as a frontier cowtown. These included, most notably, lawmen Wyatt Earp and Bat Masterson as well as gunfighter Doc Holliday. [136] Other notable natives and residents have included Vaudeville actor and comedian Eddie Foy Sr., [137] wrestler Sputnik Monroe, [138] and actor Dennis Hopper. [139]

Legislation in Progress

When researhing legislative history it is also important to know if there are current bills being considered in the legislature that may change the statute.

The cumulative and weekly Senate and House Actions Report and Subject Index Report (KFK 10.S36) The current issue is on reserve. A few recent yearly issues are at reference on the second floor. Older issues for each session, since 1982, are kept on the third floor in the Kansas Statute section. The most recent edition of the Senate and House Actions Report and Subject Index is available from the Kansas Legislature. 

Final issues for earlier years are available at the Kansas State Library (3rd floor of the Capitol) from 1976. The Kansas State Library also has bill locators for 1965-1975 that perform the same function as the final action reports.

The State Library provides up-to-the-minute bill status information each legislative session and can be contacted at 296-3296 in Topeka and at 1-800-432-3919 statewide.


Origin of name: From a Sioux word meaning ??people of the south wind?

10 largest cities (2014): Wichita, 385,577 Overland Park, 178,919 Kansas City, 147,268 Olathe, 130,045 Topeka, 127,939 Lawrence, 89,512 Shawnee, 63,622 Manhattan, 56,069 Lenexa, 49,398 Salina, 48,045

Geographic center: In Barton Co., 15 mi. NE of Great Bend

Number of counties: 105

Largest county by population and area: Johnson, 559,836 (2012) Butler, 1,428 sq mi.

2010 resident census population (rank): 2,853,118 (33). Male: 1,415,408 (49.6%) Female: 1,437,710 (50.4%). White: 2,391,044 (83.8%) Black: 167,864 (5.9%) American Indian: 28,150 (1.0%) Asian: 67,762 (2.4%) Other race: 110,127 (3.4%) Two or more races: 85,933 (3.0%) Hispanic/Latino: 300,042 (10.5%). 2000 population 18 and over: 2,126,179 65 and over: 376,116 (13.2%) median age: 35.9.

Spanish explorer Francisco de Coronado, in 1541, is considered the first European to have traveled this region. Sieur de la Salle's extensive land claims for France (1682) included present-day Kansas. Ceded to Spain by France in 1763, the territory reverted to France in 1800 and was sold to the U.S. as part of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803.

Lewis and Clark, Zebulon Pike, and Stephen H. Long explored the region between 1803 and 1819. The first permanent white settlements in Kansas were outposts??Fort Leavenworth (1827), Fort Scott (1842), and Fort Riley (1853)??established to protect travelers along the Santa Fe and Oregon Trails.

Just before the Civil War, the conflict between the pro- and anti-slavery forces earned the region the grim title of Bleeding Kansas.

Today, wheat fields, oil-well derricks, herds of cattle, and grain-storage elevators are chief features of the Kansas landscape. A leading wheat-growing state, Kansas also raises corn, sorghum, oats, barley, soybeans, and potatoes. Kansas stands high in petroleum production and mines zinc, coal, salt, and lead. It is also the nation's leading producer of helium.

Wichita is one of the nation's leading aircraft-manufacturing centers, ranking first in production of private aircraft. Kansas City is an important transportation, milling, and meat-packing center.

Points of interest include the Kansas History Center at Topeka, the Eisenhower boyhood home and the Eisenhower Memorial Museum and Presidential Library at Abilene, John Brown's cabin at Osawatomie, re-created Front Street in Dodge City, Fort Larned (an important military post on the Santa Fe Trail), Fort Leavenworth, and Fort Riley.


The first people settled in what’s now Kansas at least 12,200 years ago. Archaeologists know this because they’ve found the bones of mammoths and other animals with markings from human tools on them, a sign that humans had hunted the creatures.

Thousands of years later, Native American tribes including the Kansa, Osage, Pawnee, Kiowa, and Comanche lived on the land.

The first European to reach the area was Spanish explorer Francisco Vasquez de Coronado, who came in 1541 looking for cities made of gold that were rumored to exist. (He didn’t find any!) French explorers and fur traders arrived in the 1700s, and France took ownership of the area in 1800. It became a U.S. territory in 1803, when the United States bought this land—and much more—from France. This transaction was called the Louisiana Purchase.

In 1854 tension rose when the Kansas-Nebraska Act was passed, allowing residents of both Kansas and Nebraska territories to vote on whether or not to allow slavery. That tension helped lead to the Civil War in 1861, the same year that Kansas became a state.


Kansas’ name comes from the Kansa Native American tribe, which means "People of the South Wind."

Today some Kansans call themselves Jayhawkers. Before the Civil War, the term actually referred to Kansan bands of robbers. But once the war started, many Jayhawkers enlisted to fight in support of the Union in the North and the abolition of slavery.

Kansas' nickname, the Sunflower State, comes from the fields of sunflowers that bloom here. These flowers are grown for their seeds and oil.

Kansas - History

General Kansas State History

Kansas has had a dramatic history, even before it became the 34th state. Historians have reported that Native Americans were living in Kansas as early as 12,000 B.C. They were followed for centuries by many different tribes making the history of Kansas entwined with the first Americans.

Between 1541 and 1739 explorers from Spain and France came to the area in search of gold, knowledge and trade with the Indians. In 1803, Kansas became a part of the United States as part of the Louisiana Purchase. Fifty-one years later it was organized as a territory which included the eastern half of Colorado.

Conflict over slavery led to bloody battles between free-staters (anti-slavery) and pro-slavery forces. This led to the attack on Lawrence by pro-slavery forces and the widespread public outcry associated with "Bleeding Kansas." Kansas became part of the United States as a free state in 1861.

After the Civil War expansion of the rail system to Kansas and the increasing stream of immigrants lured to the state by offers of cheap land, Native Americans were forced into smaller and smaller reservations. Ultimately their removal to Indian Territory forced the final confrontation in the late 1870's that ended the independent life of the Native Americans.

The establishment of military posts to protect the railroads and trails used by immigrants led to the establishment of small towns which followed the posts. By 1870, the Kansas cow towns, following the westward expansion of the railroads, became well established. Such towns as Dodge City, Abilene, Caldwell, Newton and Wichita took their turns as the Queens of the Trail. To this day, the cattle industry remains an important part of the state's economy.

The introduction of Turkey Red Winter Wheat by Mennonites from Russia in 1874 was a milestone in Kansas agriculture. The wheat was ideally suited to the Kansas climate and has made Kansas one of the leading wheat-producing states in the nation.

The 20th century brought mining, oil production, the discovery of natural gas and helium, the meatpacking industry, automobile manufacturing and the aircraft industry. In this century Kansas has changed from being primarily a cattle and wheat state to a thriving industrial and agricultural state. As the center of the 48 contiguous states, Kansas has proven to be an attractive location for many companies serving national and international markets.

Early History of Native Americans in Kansas

The names of the Kansas tribes included the Arapaho, Cheyenne, Chippewa, Comanche, Delaware, Kansa, Kiowa, Missouria, Osage, Otoe, Pawnee, Illinois and Iroquois.

Archaeologists tell us that people have been living in the area now known as Kansas since 12,000 BC, during the end of the Ice Age. Huge animals such as mammoth and mastodon lived in the area until climate change made it too warm for them to survive. It is believed that the first people who migrated to Kansas were descendents of people from Asia who crossed into North America through Alaska. These people were known as Paleo-Indians and were nomadic hunter-gatherers. These people hunted the mammoth and mastodon as well as eating berries, seeds, roots, and other small animals. They used spears tipped with stone points for hunting.

The Archaic Period (7000 BC - 1 AD) began with continued warming of the climate and the ending of the Ice Age. Because the big game they had been hunting had died out, their diet changed to include more small game, and more plant foods. In order to grow enough food, they became less nomadic, and gradually established settlements. The people in these settlements began to grind seeds into meal. There is evidence that by about 3500 BC these people began to make ceramic objects.

The Woodland Period (1 AD - 1000) brought great change to the people living in the area. Use of pottery increased, and hunters began to use bows and arrows in place of the atlatl (a kind of spear thrower). Toward the end of the period, agriculture began in earnest and the people began to grow corn. Archaeologists have also found evidence of ceremonial burial and the building of burial mounds.

Between 1000 and the time of "first contact" with white explorers, the people of Kansas depended upon two main food sources: bison hunting and the cultivation of corn, squash and beans. They also practiced small-scale hunting and gathered wild foods. People lived in rectangular earth lodges in the northern part of the area in the south, they built houses covered with thatched grass. The population grew, and people lived in villages. We also know that the people began to trade more extensively with groups around them, particularly with the Puebloan Indians of the Southwest.

By the time European explorers arrived, we are able to identify the people living in Kansas with tribes such as the Pawnee, Kansa, Wichita, and Apache. There is evidence of contact between the Indians and Europeans, including fragments of Spanish chain mail armor found among the grass huts of the Wichita people.

After brief visits by the Spanish explorer, Coronado, in the area, the French arrived around 1750, and formed an alliance with the Kansa Indian tribe. Europeans were interested in the lucrative fur trade with the native people, and began to travel through the area with more frequency. However, widespread settlement did not happen until Kansas became a territory in 1854, because prior to that time the state was part of the large area known as "Indian Territory" where displaced tribes from further east were forced to relocate.

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