Downtown Wilson, 2008
|Motto: "Czech Capital of Kansas"|
Location within County (top) and Kansas (bottom)
|• Mayor||Eleanor Hunter|
|• City Clerk||Susan Kriley|
|• Total||0.60 sq mi (1.55 km2)|
|• Land||0.60 sq mi (1.55 km2)|
|• Water||0 sq mi (0 km2)|
|Elevation||1,683 ft (513 m)|
|• Estimate (2012)||781|
|• Density||1,300/sq mi (500/km2)|
|Time zone||Central (CST) (UTC-6)|
|• Summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
|FIPS code||20-79675 |
|GNIS feature ID||0475335 |
The Butterfield Overland Despatch built a stagecoach station one-half mile south of present-day Wilson in 1865. Three years later, the Kansas Pacific Railway built Wilson Station, named after the surrounding township, at the modern town site. In 1871, The National Land Company surveyed and planned the first town there, naming it Bosland in the hopes of attracting the cattle trade. Settlers from Pennsylvania, including some Pennsylvania Dutch, arrived over the following year. The settlement never became a center of the cattle trade, however, and continued to be known as Wilson, a name the U.S. Post Office officially codified in 1873. Beginning in 1874, Czech immigrants from Bohemia came to Wilson to work on the railroad, establishing the town as an area center of Czech culture. Wilson was incorporated as a city in 1883.
Wilson is located at  It lies in the Smoky Hills region of the Great Plains approximately 2 miles (3.2 km) north of the Smoky Hill River and 6 miles (9.7 km) south of Wilson Lake. Wilson Creek, a tributary of the Smoky Hill, flows south along the east side of the city. Located in north-central Kansas 1.5 miles (2.4 km) south of the intersection of Interstate 70 and Kansas Highway 232 (K-232), Wilson is 95 miles (153 km) northwest of Wichita, 205 miles (330 km) west of Kansas City, and 15 miles (24 km) northwest of Ellsworth, the county seat.(38.825619, -98.474748) at an elevation of 1,683 feet (513 m).
As of the census of 2010, there were 781 people, 331 households, and 203 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,301.7 inhabitants per square mile (502.6 /km2). There were 405 housing units at an average density of 675.0 per square mile (260.6 /km2). The racial makeup of the city was 94.9% White, 0.4% African American, 0.1% Native American, 0.3% Asian, 0.4% from other races, and 4.0% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.5% of the population.
There were 331 households of which 24.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.2% were married couples living together, 7.6% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.5% had a male householder with no wife present, and 38.7% were non-families. 32.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.24 and the average family size was 2.82.
The median age in the city was 47.6 years. 20.5% of residents were under the age of 18; 6.3% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 19% were from 25 to 44; 29.2% were from 45 to 64; and 24.8% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 47.9% male and 52.1% female.
As of the census of 2000, there were 799 people, 333 households, and 205 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,436.7 people per square mile (550.9/km²). There were 406 housing units at an average density of 730.0 per square mile (279.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 98.87% White, 0.13% from other races, and 1.00% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.13% of the population.
There were 333 households out of which 27.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.6% were married couples living together, 5.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.4% were non-families. 35.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 21.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.26 and the average family size was 2.89.
In the city the population was spread out with 22.5% under the age of 18, 5.4% from 18 to 24, 21.5% from 25 to 44, 22.3% from 45 to 64, and 28.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 46 years. For every 100 females there were 83.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 81.0 males.
As of 2000 the median income for a household in the city was $34,821, and the median income for a family was $47,768. Males had a median income of $28,173 versus $23,000 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,622. About 2.0% of families and 7.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.0% of those under age 18 and 12.9% of those age 65 or over.
Wilson is a city of the third class, according to state statute, with a mayor-council form of government. The city council consists of the mayor and five council members, and it meets on the first and third Monday of each month.
Wilson lies within Unified School District (USD) 328, based in Lorraine, Kansas, which operates two public schools in the city: Wilson Elementary School (Grades Pre-K-6) and Wilson High School (7-12).
Interstate 70 and U.S. Route 40 run concurrently east-west 1.5 miles (2.4 km) north of the city, intersecting K-232 which runs north-south along the eastern edge of the city. K-232 terminates at its intersection with the old alignment of U.S. 40 which runs northwest-southeast through Wilson.
Due to the number of Czech immigrants who settled the area in the 1870s, Wilson was nicknamed the "Czech Capital of Kansas" in 1974. As of 2009, 18% of the city population claimed Czech ancestry. To celebrate this heritage, the city holds an annual After Harvest Czech Festival on the last Saturday in July. The festival includes displays of Czech American culture, such as dancers and music, as well as a carnival, a parade, sports tournaments, and other activities.
In popular culture and the arts
Notable individuals who were born in and/or have lived in Wilson include:
- Neva Egan, First Lady of Alaska.
- Dennis D. Farney, journalist for The Wall Street Journal, nominated for 1993 Pulitzer Prize.
- John Kuck, Olympic shot putter, gold medal at 1928 Summer Olympics.
- Historic Images of Wilson, Special Photo Collections at Wichita State University Library
- Guide Map of the Best and Shortest Cattle Trail to the Kansas Pacific Railway; Kansas Pacific Railway Company; 1875. (Read Online)(Map)
- "Wilson". Directory of Kansas Public Officials. The League of Kansas Municipalities. Retrieved 2011-05-02.
- "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-07-06.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-07-06.
- "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-05-29.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "2010 City Population and Housing Occupancy Status". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-03-27.
- Brackman, Barbara (1997). Kansas Trivia. Thomas Nelson Inc. p. 9.
- Kriley, Susan (2009-05-13). "Wilson, KS". Wilson Chamber of Commerce. Retrieved 2011-04-03.
- Cutler, William G. (1883). "Ellsworth County, Part 7". History of the State of Kansas. Chicago: A. T. Andreas. Retrieved 2011-04-03.
- Blackmar, Frank W., ed. (1912). "Wilson". Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. 2. Chicago: Standard. p. 921.
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- "2003-2004 Official Transportation Map". Kansas Department of Transportation. 2003. Retrieved 2011-03-27.
- "General Highway Map - Ellsworth County, Kansas". Kansas Department of Transportation. 2002. Retrieved 2011-03-27.
- "City Distance Tool". Geobytes. Retrieved 2011-03-27.
- "Wilson Schools". USD 328. Retrieved 2011-04-03.
- "Wilson, Kansas". City-Data.com. Retrieved 2011-04-03.
- "Wilson, KS 67490". Google Maps. Retrieved 2011-04-03.
- "UPRR Common Line Names". Union Pacific Railroad. Retrieved 2011-04-03.
- "Annual Czech Festival in Wilson, Kansas". City of Wilson. Retrieved 2011-04-03.
- "Welcome to Wilson". Wilson Chamber of Commerce. Retrieved 2011-04-03.
- Dunham, Mike (2011-01-21). "Neva Egan, the first of Alaska's first ladies, dies at age 96". Anchorage Daily News. Retrieved 2011-02-26.
- Explanatory Journalism nomination for Dennis D. Farney; pulitzer.org
- Dennis Farney to Speak in Wilson; October 2, 2006.
- "Johnny Kuck Biography and Olympic Results". Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved 2011-02-26.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Wilson, Kansas.|
- USD 328, local school district
- Wilson City Map, KDOT