Portal:Kansas

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The Kansas Portal

Flag of Kansas.svg
Map of USA KS.svg

Kansas /ˈkænzəs/ is a Midwestern state in the central region of the United States of America, an area often referred to as the American "Heartland". It is named after the Kansas River which flows through it, which in turn was named after the Kansa people, who inhabited the area. The tribe's name (natively kką:ze) is often said to mean "people of the wind" or "people of the south wind", although this was probably not the term's original meaning.

Historically, the area was home to large numbers of nomadic Native Americans that hunted bison. It was first settled by European Americans in the 1830s, but the pace of settlement accelerated in the 1850s, in the midst of political wars over the slavery issue. When officially opened to settlement by the U.S. government in 1854, abolitionist Free-Staters from New England and pro-slavery settlers from neighboring Missouri rushed to the territory to determine if Kansas would become a free state or a slave state. Thus, the area was a hotbed of violence and chaos in its early days as these forces collided, and was known as Bleeding Kansas. The abolitionists eventually prevailed and on January 29, 1861, Kansas entered the Union as a free state. After the Civil War, the population of Kansas exploded when waves of immigrants turned the prairie into productive farmland. Today, Kansas is one of the most productive agricultural states, producing many crops, and leading the nation in wheat and sunflower production most years.

Selected article

NazarethConvent2007.jpg

The Nazareth Convent and Academy in Concordia, Kansas is the official Motherhouse and Home for the 260 Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia. It was built in 1903 and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The beautiful Lourdes-Park, restored in 1990, offers a place for walking and enjoying nature and the large stained glass window is known as "the beacon light of Concordia" as it looks over the community from the convent.

In 1884, the Rev. Joseph Perrier invited the Sisters of St. Joseph to come to Concordia to open a school in the Catholic Parish. Mother Stanislaus Leary, superior, and five sisters answered the invitation. They came to Concordia and established the Nazareth Motherhouse and Academy in a new building located next to the church. (Read more...)

Spotlight city

Downtown Manhattan Kansas.jpg

Manhattan is a city located in the northeastern part of the U.S. state of Kansas at the junction of the Kansas River and Big Blue River. As of the July 2005 census estimate, its population was 49,462, making it the eighth-largest city in Kansas. Manhattan is the county seat of Riley County. A small part of the town extends into Pottawatomie County. It is the principal town within the Manhattan, Kansas Micropolitan Statistical Area.

Nicknamed The Little Apple in 1977 as a play on New York City's "Big Apple," it is most well known for being the home of Kansas State University. Eight miles (13 km) west of the town is Fort Riley, a United States Army post. In 2007, CNN and Money magazine rated Manhattan as one of the ten best places in America to retire young.

Selected picture

Brutus 2006-07-02 2244.jpg
Credit: Michael Overton
Big Brutus Note people standing near the bottom "treads" to gain perspective of this 160 feet (49 m) machine.

Important dates in Kansas' history

July–August 1541 
Coronado explores Kansas
April 30, 1803 
Louisiana Purchase Treaty signed
May 30, 1854 
Kansas Territory organized
July 29, 1859 
Constitution adopted by convention
January 29, 1861
Kansas becomes 34th state
August 21, 1863
Quantrill's Raid on Lawrence
Spring 1879
Exodusters
February 19, 1881 
First state to Constitutionally prohibit alcohol
1890s
Populist Revolt
July 1951
Great Flood of 1951
May 17, 1954 
Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka

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State facts


State symbols:

The American Bison, Kansas' state mammal.

Selected biography

James Manney Hagaman, founder of Concordia, Kansas

James Manney Hagaman 1830 - January 18, 1904 was a lawyer, land agent, newspaper editor, and the founder of Concordia, Kansas. He and his wife settled in what is now Cloud County in 1860. In addition to founding the town of Concordia, he is credited with leading the movement to separate what was then Shirley Township from Washington County in 1866.

In 1866, the people of Shirley Township sent Hagaman to Kansas Governor Samuel J. Crawford with the petition requesting the right to organize as a county. The governor granted permission and Shirley Township became Shirley County (later "Cloud" County).

Hagaman was elected county clerk and promptly became a candidate to be the first to represent Shirley County in the Kansas House of Representatives, losing to John B. Rupe. In 1868, he ran again for the Kansas House and this time won, barely defeating a man named Donoho. He later served two terms as Mayor of Concordia from 1878-1880 and also served five terms on the city council.

As Hagaman rose to political power in the state of Kansas, he faced political opposition in the town of Clyde, Kansas from several sources. In her book on the history of Concordia, Janet Pease Emery wrote:

"Jim Hagaman was done with Clyde. He swore it would never be the county seat. If it took every ox, cow, and horse he owned, he'd see that the courthouse went elsewhere -- even if he had to build a town himself.
Madder than hops, Hagaman took out a claim in Lincoln Township and founded Concordia."

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