Kansas City, Wyandotte County, Kansas History

1831-1843 The Delaware Indians occupied the present site of Kansas City.

1834 Westport, Missouri was established. This inland town's access to the Missouri was at present Kansas City, Missouri.

1838 Westport, Missouri lots were sold in 1838 and was better known as "Westport Landing."

1843 The foundation for Kansas City, Kansas was laid by the Wyandotte Indians. These well educated and highly cultured people purchased the area from the Delaware Indians. The leaders of the Wyandot laid out the town, and on December 10, 1843, the first log cabin was completed and occupied. Despite many hardships the Wyandots opened the first free school in Kansas, a church, a general store and an assembly hall within the next twelve months. Wagon trains heading westward began to converge on the Wyandot settlement and a boom in real estate attracted white settlers.

1846 Kansas (City), Missouri began to develop and soon lost the old town appellation "Westport Landing."

1856 The Grinter House was built by Moses R. Grinter at the site of the first ferry crossing of the Kansas River. The two-story house is the oldest unaltered building in Wyandotte County.

January 29, 1859 the City of Wyandot was incorporated.

July 1859 The fourth and last convention assembled at Wyandotte, now part of Kansas City. This time freestate advocates were solidly in control, and the document they drafted barred slavery and fixed the present boundaries of the state. It was accepted by a vote of the people in October, and in December a provisional state government was elected.

By 1857 a post office and two banks were established. The quiet Indian village had turned into a boom town called "Wyandot."

1866 The railroad connecting Wyandot with Topeka was completed. By 1868 a slaughter house was handling 4,000 animals annually. New communities sprang up around the railroad and packing house, but they were all eventually combined to form the metropolis of Kansas City, Kansas. The Kansas Pacific Railroad headed westward and to Chicago from Kansas City.

1910 The John Brown Statue was the first full memorial to the martyred abolitionist. It was erected in 1910 on the campus of Western University, the first all-black university west of the Mississippi River.

February 1938 The Rock Island Railroad 'Rocket' made its inaugural trip, operating between Kansas City and Oklahoma City with one round trip each day.

1971 The first Electronic Switching System was installed at Kansas City, Kansas.

11 Jul 1993-- The first one is dated Sunday, July 11, 1993. It was the beginning of the flood in Kansas City. It includes information from both the Missouri side and the Kansas side of the stateline. The focus, however, is probably more on the Missouri side as that is where the flood was most severe in Kansas City. It does, however, have sections on Johnson County, Wyandotte County, Lawrence, Leavenworth, and the Southwest Blvd. area which covers both states. The same days paper has another article about Barges breaking loose on the Kansas River. There are several pictures associated with the articles, including one of I-635 under water near the Missouri river where it crosses from Riverside, MO to Kansas City, KS. [Source: Kansas City Star; contributor: Linda S. Lipp]

22 Oct 1996-- Another natural disaster that was not statewide as was the floods, but was devastating in itself for the Kansas City area was the Surprise Snowstorm of Oct. 22, 1996. We got 8 inches of snow in Overland Park. This was the largest snowfall ever in the month of October. The bad part of it all was that most of the trees still had their leaves and therefore, the branches could not handle the weight of the very wet snow. There were downed trees and power lines everywhere. Over 170,000 homes in the Kansas City area were without power. It took close to a week before power was restored to everyone. The clean-up of limbs took much longer. Overland Park finished the end of December. This was actually 2 months ahead of schedule thanks to help from volunteer efforts. Kansas City, MO (where volunteer efforts don't happen) didn't finish until March or so. [contributor: Linda Lipp]

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