Background: Scranton Kansas - Little Town
Author Guy Wets

Living in Kansas

Kansas - as big as you think

History, Geography, Homes, and State Resources of Kansas

Kansas USA Map
Kansas USA Map

Kansas is a top agricultural state located in the middle of the nation.. Often noted for its flat plain, Kansas actually features wide-open prairies, rolling hills, along with bustling, metropolitan centers. Although the chief economy source is from wheat farming and other crops, the state is also well knows for its regions that produce cattle . Kansas City, Kansas a metropolitan city is called home by major business centers like Sprint and also features outstanding restaurants, major sporting events, and school districts of the highest quality.

Kansas is a word from the Sioux meaning "people from the south wind". Kansas experiences obvious season changes during the year. Kansas winters record average temperatures of 30 degrees and the typical summer can have 79 degree averages although often rise into the 100's adjusted for humidity.

Initially called a "Great American Desert", now Kansas is called "Sunflower State", and experiences seasons with varied rainfall, typically occurring between April thru September. The Indian summers deliver magnificent changes in foliage during October while the springs in Kansas explodes during March as the browns of winter turn to beautiful flowers and bright greens Although Kansas is situated in a portion of "Tornado Alley" a sophisticated technology for weather affords the residents advanced safety warnings

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.

Climate

Kansas has a temperate but continental climate, with immense extremes from summer to winter temperatures but with few long periods of extreme hot or cold. The annual average temperature is 55 °F. The growing season ranges from mid-April to mid-September.

Demography

  • Kansas Geography, Facts and History
  • Kansas Facts & Trivia
  • Kansas Flags
  • Famous People from Kansas
  • Kansas Timeline
  • Kansas Official Song
  • Education

    Kansas Colleges. The Kansas Board of Regents governs or oversees thirty-seven public institutions. It also empowers numerous private and non-governmental institutions to operate in the state. In the fall of 2009, the state's six public universities reported a total of 93,307 students, more than a quarter of whom were non-resident students and over one-seventh off-campus students.

    Among the state-funded universities, the University of Kansas (KU), with 26,826 at the Lawrence campus, the KU Edwards campus at Overland Park, and the Public Management Center (formerly Capitol Complex) at Topeka, is the largest study site. The total number of university enrollments, including the KU Medical Center, was 30,004. About 31% were non-resident students.

    Economy

    Almost 90% of Kansas' land is devoted to agriculture. The state's agricultural outputs are cattle, sheep, wheat, sorghum, soybeans, cotton, hogs, corn, and salt. As of 2018, there were 59,600 farms in Kansas, 86 of which are certified organic farms. The typical farm in the state is about 770 acres (over a square mile), and in 2016, the average cost of running the farm was $300,000.

    Industrial outputs are transportation equipment, commercial and private aircraft, food processing, publishing, chemical products, machinery, apparel, petroleum, and mining.

    Flora and Fauna

    Kansas State Flower - Sunflower
    Kansas State Flower - Sunflower

    Kansas State Tree - Eastern Cottonwood
    Kansas State Tree - Eastern Cottonwood

    Native grasses, made up of 60 different groups and further subdivided into 194 species, cover one-third of Kansas, which is much overgrazed. Bluestem—both big and little—which grows in most parts of the state, has the greatest forage value. Other grasses include buffalo grass, blue and hairy gramas, and alkali sacaton. One native conifer, eastern red cedar, is found generally throughout the state. Hackberry, black walnut, and sycamore grow in the east while box elder and cottonwood predominate in western Kansas. There are no native pines. The wild native sunflower, the state flower, is found throughout the state. Other characteristic wildflowers include wild daisy, ivy-leaved morning glory, and smallflower verbena.

    Kansas's indigenous mammals include the common cottontail, black-tailed jackrabbit, black-tailed prairie dog, muskrat, opossum, and raccoon; the white-tailed deer is the state's only big-game animal. There are 12 native species of bat, 2 varieties of shrew and mole, and 3 types of pocket gopher.

    The western meadowlark is the state bird. Kansas has the largest flock of prairie chickens remaining on the North American continent.

  • Kansas State Bird (Western Meadowlark)
  • Kansas Official State Flower (Sunflower)
  • Kansas Official State Tree (Eastern Cottonwood)
  • Government

    Kansas State Capitol
    Kansas State Capitol
    The Kansas State Capitol, known also as the Kansas Statehouse, is the building housing the executive and legislative branches of government for the state of Kansas. It is located in the city of Topeka, which has served as the capital of Kansas since it became a state in 1861. It is the second building to serve as the Kansas Capitol. The dome, at 304 feet , is taller than the 288 foot United States Capitol dome, although its diameter (50 feet) is approximately half that of the national capitol (96 feet)). It is one of the few capitols in the United States that continue to offer tours that go to the top of the dome. Visitors enter the dome by climbing 296 steps leading from the fifth floor to the top.

    Officials elected statewide are the governor and lieutenant governor (elected jointly), secretary of state, attorney general, treasurer, and commissioner of insurance. Members of the state Board of Education are elected by districts. All elected state officials serve four-year terms. The governor cannot serve more than two consecutive terms. Every office in the executive branch is controlled by either the governor or another elected official. There are no formal age, citizenship, or residency provisions for a gubernatorial candidate's qualifications for office. To vote in the state, a person must be a US citizen, 18 years old at the time of the election, a resident of Kansas, and not able to claim the right to vote elsewhere. Restrictions apply to those convicted of certain crimes and to those judged by the court as mentally incompetent to vote.

  • State of Kansas official Government Website
  • Attractions

    Kansas is a slice of classic America, with its rugged cowboy culture and sweeping prairies. “Home, home on the range” are words from the state’s official song, and visitors can stay on authentic cattle ranches from rustic to farm chic. The state is rich in American Indian history, with museums devoted to the tribes that once lived here (four still do). In the Flint Hills, you can tour the vast tallgrass prairie to learn the significance of this delicate and beautiful ecosystem. See bison and attend a rodeo. Make time to eat: Kansans are proud of their smoked barbecue, Kansas City steaks and comfort foods like fried chicken and homemade pie.
  • Kansas Travel and Tourism Division
  • Amusement Parks

    All Star Adventures, Wichita
    Kiddieland, Pittsburg - The park closed on September 27, 2009, and was demolished in 2010 to make way for a new Costco store

    National Parks

    California National Historic Trail, Various States CA, CO, ID, KS, MO, NE, NV, OR, UT, WY
      Follow in the footsteps of over 250,000 emigrants who traveled to the gold fields and rich farmlands of California during the 1840s and 1850s: the greatest mass migration in American history. The California National Historic Trail is over 5,000 miles long and covers portions of 10 states. Step into history along more than 1,000 miles of ruts and traces from travelers and their overland wagons.
    Fort Larned National Historic Site, Larned, KS
      Discover a complete and authentic army post from the 1860s -1870s! This well-preserved fort on the Santa Fe Trail shares a tumultuous history of the Indian Wars era. The sandstone constructed buildings sheltered troops who were known as the Guardians of the Santa Fe Trail.
    Fort Scott National Historic Site, Fort Scott, KS
      Promises made and broken! A town attacked at dawn! Thousands made homeless by war! Soldiers fighting settlers! Each of these stories is a link in the chain of events that encircled Fort Scott from 1842-1873. All of the site's structures, its parade ground, and its tallgrass prairie bear witness to this era when the country was forged from a young republic into a united transcontinental nation.
    Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail, Eleven States: ID,IL,IA,KS,MO,MT,NE,ND,OR,SD,WA
      Between May 1804 and September 1806, 31 men, one woman, and a baby traveled from the plains of the Midwest to the shores of the Pacific Ocean. They called themselves the Corps of Discovery. In their search for a water route to the Pacific Ocean, they opened a window into the west for the young United States. Read the Lewis and Clark Pups blog, the Newfie News!
    Oregon National Historic Trail, Various States ID,KS,MO,NE,OR,WA,WY
      Imagine yourself an emigrant headed for Oregon: would promises of lush farmlands and a new beginning lure you to leave home and walk for weeks? More than 2,000 miles of trail ruts and traces can still be seen along the Oregon National Historic Trail in six states and serve as reminders of the sacrifices, struggles, and triumphs of early American settlers.
    Pony Express National Historic Trail, Various States CA,CO,KS,MO,NE,NV,UT,WY
      It is hard to believe that young men once rode horses to carry mail from Missouri to California in the unprecedented time of only 10 days. This relay system along the Pony Express National Historic Trail in eight states was the most direct and practical means of east-west communications before the telegraph.
    Santa Fe National Historic Trail, CO,KS,MO,NM,OK
      You can almost hear the whoops and cries of "All's set!" as trail hands hitched their oxen to freight wagons carrying cargo between western Missouri and Santa Fe, New Mexico. Follow the Santa Fe National Historic Trail through five states and you'll find adventure and evidence of past travelers who made this remarkable trip before you!
    Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, Strong City, KS
      Where's the tall grass? Tallgrass prairie once covered 170 million acres of North America. Within a generation the vast majority was developed and plowed under. Today less than 4% remains, mostly here in the Kansas Flint Hills. The preserve protects a nationally significant remnant of the once vast tallgrass prairie and its cultural resources. Here the tallgrass prairie makes its last stand.

    Sports

    Historically, Kansans have supported the major league sports teams of Kansas City, Missouri, including the Kansas City Royals (MLB), the Kansas City Chiefs (NFL) and the Kansas City Brigade (AFL) – in part because the home stadiums for these teams are a few miles from the Kansas border.

    The Chiefs and the Royals play at the Truman Sports Complex, located about 10 miles from the Kansas–Missouri state line.

    The Kansas City Brigade play in the newly opened Sprint Center, which is even closer to the state line at 1.5 miles (2.4 km). FC Kansas City, a charter member of the National Women's Soccer League, played the 2013 season, the first for both the team and the league, on the Kansas side of the metropolitan area, but played on the Missouri side until folding after the 2017 season. From 1973 to 1997 the flagship radio station for the Royals was WIBW in Topeka

  • Kansas Sports
  • Taxes

    Kansas Tax Facts
    • Income tax: 2.9% - 5.2%
    • Sales tax: 6.50% - 11.50%
    • Property tax: 1.40% average effective rate
    • Gas tax: 24.03 cents per gallon of regular gasoline, 26.03 cents per gallon of diesel

    Transportation

    Wichita Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport
    Wichita Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport
    Kansas Airports. There are 143 public airports in Kansas. Kansas airports are well connected to other states in the US. Kansas airports are state-of-the-art technology

    Wichita Mid-Continent Airport is the largest airport in Kansas. It has all the amenities to make traveling comfortable for the passengers. There are ATMs, game rooms, snack bars, souvenir shops and car rentals. Restaurants and retail stores are located throughout the terminal. The airport also has a business and conference center, free Wi-Fi, a shoe shine machine and sky-cap service.

    Rail

    Passenger Rail
    The Southwest Chief Amtrak route runs through the state on its route from Chicago to Los Angeles. Stops in Kansas include Lawrence, Topeka, Newton, Hutchinson, Dodge City, and Garden City. An Amtrak Thruway Motorcoach connects Newton and Wichita to the Heartland Flyer in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

    Freight Rail
    Kansas is served by four Class I railroads, Amtrak, BNSF, Kansas City Southern, and Union Pacific, as well as numerous short line railroads.

    Roads

    Kansas is served by two Interstate highways with one beltway, two spur routes, and three bypasses, with more than 874 miles  in all.

    I-70 is a major east–west route connecting to Denver, Colorado and Kansas City, Missouri. Cities along this route (from west to east) include Colby, Hays, Salina, Junction City, Topeka, Lawrence, Bonner Springs, and Kansas City.

    I-35 is a major north–south route connecting to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and Des Moines, Iowa. Cities along this route (from south to north) include Wichita, El Dorado, Emporia, Ottawa, and Kansas City (and suburbs).

    Kansas Cities

    Kansas is divided into 105 counties and contains 627 incorporated municipalities consisting of cities. All incorporated communities in Kansas are called cities, unlike in some states where some are called towns or villages. Wichita is the largest city in the state and is also the county seat of Sedgwick County. As of 2017, the estimated population of the city was 390,591

    Concordia the county seat of Cloud County, Kansas, also has the smallest city population with 5,395 people.

  • Kansas Cities and Towns
  • Kansas Housing

    The median home value in Kansas is $136,800. Kansas home values have gone up 5.2% over the past year and predictions are they will rise 2.9% within the next year. The median list price per square foot in Kansas is $118. The median price of homes currently listed in Kansas is $184,825. The median rent price in Kansas is $1,075.
  • Kansas Association of Realtors
  • Kansas Real Estate Commission
  • Kansas Real Estate Listings
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