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Kansas Description

Kansas was once occupied by legions of Native American Indians; they raised their children and crops; hunted the tens-of-thousands of buffalo that roamed the vast plains, and for the most part, lived in peace.

la salleSearching for gold and other treasures, the Spanish explorer Francisco Vasquez de Coronado arrived here in 1540. He was followed in 1682 by the explorer La Salle, who promptly claimed the land for France.

Regardless of the claims of other nations, in the mid-1700s and very early 1800s, Kansas was still a wide-open Indian territory, and a land of great potential. When the U.S. Purchased Kansas from France in 1803, as part of the Louisiana Purchase, thousands of settlers from the east began flowing across this land.

Traveling the Santa Fe and Oregon Trails west to the Pacific Ocean, many pioneers, in search of a new life, found the wide-open spaces and farmable land here the perfect place to settle.

In this land of opportunity life was tough; Indians were being pushed into a corner as settlers grabbed their long-held land; fights broke out, and eventually forts (I.E. Fort Hays, Fort Leavenworth, and Fort Dodge) were built to provide protection from the now (understandably) hostile Indians.

The Kansas Territory was formed in 1854, and soon serious disagreements over slavery erupted; pro and con forces clashed across the territory, ending in 1859 when a non-slavery constitution was finally approved.

Kansas Statehood

On January 29, 1861, U.S. President James Buchanan signed a bill making Kansas the 34th state with the city of Topeka as its capital. America's Civil War soon began and this new state of Kansas sent thousands of its male population to help the Union defeat the southern Confederacy, and slavery.

james buchananThe Civil War finally ended in 1865, and across America the rebuilding process began. In Kansas, and in some other western states, the Native American Indians were now pressured to the point that violence was their only option; their historic lands were taken, and sadly they were no match for the country's military, and they faded into a tragic footnote of American history.

In 1867 the railroad arrived in Abilene, and the first cattle drives along the Chisholm Trail began with cowboys and herds converging on growing towns like Dodge City; soon towns were established and family farms spread across the state; the cattle industry prospered, and the miles and miles of wheat fields put Kansas on the map.

Kansas Today

In the early 1900s, Kansas developed into the most significant airplane manufacturing center on the planet. Aeronautic pioneers like Cessna, Lear, and Beach made Wichita the 'Air Capital of the World'. Cessna and Beechcraft were founded here in the 1920's and today Learjet, Airbus, and Boeing all have a strong presence in Wichita, Kansas.

learjetIn the 20th century, the state's prolific farms helped feed the nation and the world, and Kansas became the largest exporter of wheat on the planet. This is a true Heartland U.S.A. state located in the central American prairies with Nebraska to the North, Missouri to the East, Oklahoma to the south, and Colorado to the west.

This is a Bible Belt state and Topeka is often mentioned as the home of the Pentecostal Christian movement and a large segment of the Kansas population are active church goers. While a great deal of the state is devoted to agriculture, Kansas cities are centers of culture, commerce, and rich old west history.

Kansas Cities

The capital of Topeka is home to art and natural history museums, theater and green parks, the excellent Topeka Zoo and elegant State Capitol Building.

wild billLocated on the Arkansas River in the Red Hills, Dodge City is the epitome of Old West culture. Historic Boot Hill cemetery, old style saloons, a Gunslingers Wax Museum, and gunfight reenactments keep the Cowboy Legend alive. Dodge is not just a show-town, it's a thriving Kansas community and a great place to live.

Located at the crossroads of America's future and historic past, the State of Kansas is a fabled land of Indian lore, cattle drives and cowboys - replete with famous Kansas names and places like Abilene, Bat Masterson, Dodge City, Wild Bill Hickock and Wyatt Earp.

Kansas Cities, Counties & Area Codes

City County Area Code
Iola Allen 620
Garnett Anderson 785
Atchison Atchison 913
Medicine Lodge Barber 620
Great Bend Barton 620
Fort Scott Bourbon 620
Hiawatha Brown 785
El Dorado Butler 316
Cottonwood Falls Chase 620
Sedan Chautauqua 620
Baxter Springs Cherokee 620
Saint Francis Cheyenne 785
Ashland Clark 620
Clay Center Clay 785
Concordia Cloud 785
Burlington Coffey 620
Coldwater Comanche 620
Arkansas City Cowley 620
Pittsburg Crawford 620
Oberlin Decatur 785
Abilene Dickinson 785
Wathena Doniphan 785
Lawrence Douglas 785
Kinsley Edwards 620
Howard Elk 620
Hays Ellis 785
Ellsworth Ellsworth 785
Garden City Finney 620
Dodge City Ford 620
Ottawa Franklin 785
Junction City Geary 785
Quinter Gove 785
Hill City Graham 785
Ulysses Grant 620
Cimarron Gray 620
Tribune Greeley 620
Eureka Greenwood 620
Syracuse Hamilton 620
Anthony Harper 620
Newton Harvey 316
Sublette Haskell 620
Jetmore Hodgeman 620
Holton Jackson 785
Meriden Jefferson 785
Mankato Jewell 785
Overland Park Johnson 913
Olathe Johnson 913
Lakin Kearny 620
Kingman Kingman 620
Greensburg Kiowa 620
Parsons Labette 620
Dighton Lane 620
Leavenworth Leavenworth 913
Lincoln Lincoln 785
Lacygne Linn 913
Oakley Logan 785
Emporia Lyon 620
Hillsboro Marion 620
Marysville Marshall 785
McPherson McPherson 620
Meade Meade 620
Paola Miami 913
Beloit Mitchell 785
Independence Montgomery 620
Council Grove Morris 620
Elkhart Morton 620
Sabetha Nemaha 785
Chanute Neosho 620
Ness City Ness 785
Norton Norton 785
Osage City Osage 785
Osborne Osborne 785
Minneapolis Ottawa 785
Larned Pawnee 620
Phillipsburg Phillips 785
Wamego Pottawatomie 785
Pratt Pratt 620
Atwood Rawlins 785
Hutchinson Reno 620
Belleville Republic 785
Lyons Rice 620
Manhattan Riley 785
Plainville Rooks 785
La Crosse Rush 785
Russell Russell 785
Salina Saline 785
Scott City Scott 620
Wichita Sedgwick 316
Liberal Seward 620
Topeka Shawnee 785
Hoxie Sheridan 785
Goodland Sherman 785
Smith Center Smith 785
Saint John Stafford 620
Johnson Stanton 620
Hugoton Stevens 620
Wellington Sumner 620
Colby Thomas 785
WaKeeney Trego 785
Alma Wabaunsee 785
Sharon Springs Wallace 785
Washington Washington 785
Leoti Wichita 620
Fredonia Wilson 620
Yates Center Woodson 620
Kansas City Wyandotte 913

About the Author

John Moen is a cartographer who along with his wife are the orignal founders of worldatlas.com. He and his wife, Chris Woolwine-Moen, produced thousands of award-winning maps that are used all over the world and content that aids students, teachers, travelers and parents with their geography and map questions. Today, it's one of the most popular educational sites on the web.

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This page was last updated on July 10, 2020.