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Title: Wichita
Author: Harvey, Frederick L. (Frederick Loviad)
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Wichita" ***

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    [Illustration: WICHITA]


                              PUBLISHED BY
                              FRED HARVEY
                            WICHITA, KANSAS

                         © 1914, BY FRED HARVEY

                          “Watch Wichita Win”

“Watch Wichita Win” is the city motto that has been adopted by Wichita
and there is every proof that the community is justifying it. In 1900
Wichita had a population of 25,000; today its population exceeds 63,000,
and there are good grounds to believe it will soon be a city of 100,000.

The location of Wichita was not an accident. Long before the white man
came the Indians chose the junction of the Arkansas and Little Arkansas
Rivers as a meeting place from which to conduct their campaigns and
hunting expeditions into the Southwest territory. Before the railways
reached Wichita, it was a center for the cattle trade of Oklahoma and
Texas. In 1872 the first railway train entered Wichita over the Wichita
Southwestern, a branch of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe, and the city
became at once a distributing point for the Southwestern country.

Today Wichita is served by six trunk lines, reaching into Western
Kansas, Eastern Colorado, Oklahoma, Texas, and Mexico.

The development of Wichita in the last ten years has been many-sided.
Perhaps its most important growth has been in the live stock and grain
markets. In 1912, 14,465 cars of grain came to the Wichita market and
10,759 cars of live stock were received at the Wichita Union Stockyards.
Wichita is the largest broom corn market in the United States, parts of
Oklahoma and Western Kansas being peculiarly adapted for the growth of
broom corn. The city’s standing as a distributing center is evidenced by
its large number of jobbing houses, with business covering Southern
Kansas, Oklahoma and parts of Texas and New Mexico. There are more than
a hundred jobbing houses located here. Among these, ten firms deal in
agricultural implements, six wholesale grocery firms, three dry goods
jobbers, three wholesale drug houses.

Surrounding Wichita is one of the great wheat districts of the world and
this fact, with the city’s superior transportation facilities, is
largely responsible for the milling industry. The city’s flouring mills
have a capacity of 7,000 barrels a day and their product is shipped to
California and to New York, to Oregon and to European ports. This branch
of Wichita’s manufacturing and commercial industry is growing steadily.
Eight hundred men are employed in sash and door factories. In foundries
250 men are employed.

The faith of Wichita’s builders is shown in its wide streets. In the
residence district a large portion of the street has been converted into
parking and at many points branches of the trees meet in the middle,
forming arches.

In public improvements the city is remarkably progressive. It has eleven
parks with an area of 416 acres, and a public gathering place, known as
the Forum, with a seating capacity of 5,500. In 1911 it ranked eighth
among all cities in the United States in the area of new paving. Its
office buildings—among them 10-story structures—are built on most modern
lines; building permits in one year reached seven and one-half million

The water supply of Wichita comes from cylinders sunk forty feet beneath
the bed of the Big Arkansas river. The water flows through a deep body
of gravel before entering the cylinders, providing a supply of unusual
purity. Air pumps syphon the water from the cylinders to cement
reservoirs, where it is aerated before passing into the city mains.

The educational facilities of Wichita are complete. A new high school,
the building costing $200,000, is at the head of the public school
system. Friends University, Fairmount College and Mt. Carmel Academy
cover the field of higher education. The main building of Friends
University cost $265,000.

In its physical appearance, in the class of retail and wholesale
business buildings and public structures, such as the city hall,
government building and schools, Wichita gives the impression of a city
twice the population. The completion of the New Union Passenger Terminal
Station, with the elevation of railway tracks, adds greatly to this
feeling. This terminal work cost two and one-half million dollars and
was completed early in 1914.

In this book are illustrations of the new Passenger Terminal, of the
business and residence sections of the city and of some of the more
important public buildings—the whole a true picture of one of the most
aggressive cities in all the Southwest.

                   The Wichita Union Terminal Station

The Wichita Union Terminal Station, opened in 1914, is used by the Santa
Fe, the Frisco, the Rock Island, and the Orient lines. The building, 600
feet in length, has a frontage of 103 feet on Douglass Avenue, Wichita’s
main thoroughfare. It is constructed of concrete, Colorado limestone and
terra cotta, and is fireproof throughout. Trains enter by means of
elevated tracks, connected with the waiting rooms by inclined planes.

Including the approaches and track elevations, the station cost
approximately two and one-half million dollars.

    [Illustration: Wichita Union Terminal Station]

 The Concourse and Ticket Offices of the Wichita Union Terminal Station

The main concourse of Wichita’s new Union Terminal Station is 100 feet
long and 55 feet wide. The floors are of marble, the walls of glazed
terra cotta, and it is aglow with natural light. The station building,
constructed of concrete, limestone and terra cotta, is fireproof and
cost, including approaches, approximately two and one-half million

    [Illustration: Concourse and Ticket Offices]

           Main Waiting Room, Wichita Union Terminal Station

The main waiting room of Wichita’s new Union Terminal Station is 165
feet long, 125 feet wide and 25 feet high, and is open to sunlight on
three sides, making it unusually cheerful and attractive. The floors are
of marble; glazed terra cotta is used on the walls. Inclined planes lead
to the elevated tracks over which all passenger trains run.

Wichita is among the most important railroad centers in the Southwest,
and has large live stock packing and jobbing interests, while some of
its manufactured products are sent to all the civilized world.

    [Illustration: Main Waiting Room]

              Dining Room of the Wichita Terminal Station

The dining room in the new Union Terminal Station in Wichita immediately
adjoins the main waiting room and concourse. Across the hall are the
men’s smoking room, telegraph offices and parcel rooms. One end of the
dining room is occupied by the lunch counter, while the other end is
given over to tables. The floors and walls are finished in terra cotta,
glazed tile or marble.

About a hundred persons may be served at a sitting. The management is
under the direction of Fred Harvey.

Wichita is one of the most important commercial centers of the
Southwest. Its wholesale interests and packing and live stock industries
are growing steadily. The new Union Station with terminals cost
approximately two and one-half million dollars and was completed in

    [Illustration: Dining Room]

               Concourse, Wichita Union Terminal Station

Opposite the main waiting room of the Union Terminal Station, Wichita is
the concourse which leads to the train platforms. Here are the news and
fruit stand and the soda fountain, all constructed of marble or white
terra cotta tile, as is the main portion of the Concourse. A side
sky-light gives the Concourse sunshine most of the day.

    [Illustration: Concourse]

         Ladies’ Retiring Room, Wichita Union Terminal Station

Adjoining the Main Waiting room of the Wichita Union Terminal Passenger
Station is the Ladies’ Retiring Room. Here are provided all the comforts
and conveniences required by women and children on a journey. A ladies’
maid is at the service of the traveler, and there are wash and toilet
rooms, easy chairs and couches where one may recline. It is decorated in
cheerful tones and is a good example of the consideration that has come
to be expected by the traveling public in these days.

    [Illustration: Ladies’ Retiring Room]

   A Twilight View of the New Union Terminal Station, Wichita, Kansas

Wichita’s new Union Terminal Station, constructed of Colorado limestone
and concrete, with terra cotta facing, is architecturally on strong,
dignified lines, with the pleasing gracefulness of the Renaissance. The
main building fronts a plaza on Douglass Avenue, the city’s main
thoroughfare, giving the traveler an attractive entrance to the heart of
the city. The interior is of concrete, tile and marble. It is fireproof

    [Illustration: Union Terminal Station, Twilight]

        “Watch Wichita Win”—The Motto of an Aggressive Community

Spanning the intersection of two of the principal streets in the retail
section of Wichita is the motto that best expresses the spirit of the
community—“Watch Wichita Win.” At night this motto stands out, brilliant
in lights, where it may be seen from the trains entering and leaving the
city. And that Wichita is living up to its watchword is proved by its
record of growth in population. In 1890 it had 15,620 inhabitants; in
1895, 20,839; in 1900, 24,691; in 1905, 34,520, and today it has reached
the 65,000 mark. “Wichita Is Winning.” The large building in the
illustration is the Hotel Eaton.

    [Illustration: “Watch Wichita Win” Sign]

                 Looking North on Main Street, Wichita

In its business and office buildings Wichita surpasses any city in
Kansas. In the illustrations are shown some of the more important
commercial structures of Wichita, among them the Beacon building, ten
stories; the Boston department store and the Schweiter building, ten
stories. The founders of Wichita, with foresight based on their faith in
the city’s greatness, made the streets wide and their wisdom is
appreciated by the men who are building the city today.

    [Illustration: Main Street]

                    The Live Stock Exchange, Wichita

Wichita’s real development as a live stock market has come within the
last seven or eight years and since then its progress has been truly
remarkable. In three years, 1906 to 1909, the cattle receipts increased
400 per cent and hog receipts 150 per cent. In order to keep pace with
this growth the Union Stock Yards Company has been forced to add acres
of pens to its equipments almost every year. The pens are brick-paved
and each contains watering and feeding troughs. The exchange building,
erected by the Stock Yards Company, contains a national bank, the
offices of commission firms, of the stock yards company, of the Terminal
Railroad and branch offices of the packing companies.

    [Illustration: Live Stock Exchange]

                       Union Stock Yards, Wichita

Wichita has two large packing houses with a capacity of 6,000 animals a
day. The annual receipts at the Union Stock Yards reach one million a
year. Wichita is looked upon as a logical point for a packing house and
stockyards center, first, because it is located at the very entrance of
the great Southwestern cattle district, and, secondly, because it has
the transportation lines reaching into the great stock-growing country.
Twelve hundred men are employed in the packing houses and about 500 in
the stockyards. It is estimated that 4,000 persons are dependent upon
this branch of Wichita’s commercial activity.

    [Illustration: Union Stock Yards]

                      Wichita as a Milling Center

Kansas has soil and climate peculiarly adapted to the growing of Red
Turkey Hard Wheat. An area of more than 8 million acres is devoted to
the raising of Red Turkey Wheat in Kansas and there are perhaps four
million acres more suitable for the purpose and now given over to
grazing. From Wichita railway lines spread like spokes from a hub into
these wheat fields. The milling capacity of Wichita is now 7,000 barrels
daily; millers say it should have 10,000 barrels output, with a
possibility of 20,000 within a few years. The illustration shows one of
the modern flouring plants in Wichita.

    [Illustration: A Modern Flouring Plant]

                In the Retail Business District, Wichita

With its 10-story buildings and extensive retail establishments,
Wichita’s business district suggests a city of twice its size. This
development is largely due to the wide commercial influence of Wichita,
shoppers coming from all the surrounding territory. The retail stores of
Wichita are of unusual attractiveness, both in equipment as well as

    [Illustration: Retail Business District]

         The Forum, A Gathering Place for the People of Wichita

The city of Wichita built a structure 260 feet long and 160 feet wide as
a meeting place for the people of the city and surrounding territory. It
is designed so that it may be used for a horse show or a concert, for a
political convention or a lecture. Steel, brick and cement were used in
its construction at a cost of $170,000 and it has a seating capacity of
5,500. This capacity can be enlarged about 1,000 when seats are placed
on the stage.

    [Illustration: The Forum]

                     Y. M. C. A. Building, Wichita

The home of the Y. M. C. A., Wichita, was built in 1907 at a cost of
$110,000. With three stories and basement it contains forty-five
sleeping rooms and suites. The auditorium seats 700 and the gymnasium,
42 by 78 feet, contains a 32-lap running track. In addition to the usual
tub and shower baths, the building has a swimming pool, 60 by 20 feet,
lined with tile and graduating in depth from three to eight feet. The
roof is designed so that it may be used as a roof garden on warm
evenings. The first meeting to organize a Y. M. C. A. in Wichita was
held in 1885. The money for the present building was subscribed in a
three weeks’ campaign.

In 1913 the Y. W. C. A. of Wichita acquired a home costing $100,000, the
funds coming from public subscriptions.

    [Illustration: Y. M. C. A. Building]

                        The High School, Wichita

When Wichita opened its first High School, in 1868, there were eight
pupils and one teacher. One room afforded the necessary space. The
Wichita High School of today gives by contrast some impression of the
growth of the city. Now about 40 teachers are employed in training 800

The building cost $200,000 and has fifty rooms. Manual training and
domestic science are included in the courses of study. Credits from the
Wichita High School are accepted by the leading colleges and
universities, both for men and women, throughout the country.

    [Illustration: High School]

                   A Public School Building, Wichita

The public school system of Wichita is the largest business enterprise
in the city, and is growing so steadily that new buildings are almost
constantly under way. In design and construction the buildings are on
the latest lines of school architecture, with every provision for the
health and comfort of the pupils. The city has more than two million
dollars invested in school property. Approximately 10,000 pupils are
enrolled in the city’s schools.

    [Illustration: A Public School Building]

                  Boat House, Arkansas River, Wichita

The idea of boating is not usually associated with a Kansas community,
but this form of recreation is a popular one in Wichita and that under
most pleasant conditions. Through a large portion of the year the
Arkansas river at Wichita offers good rowing and in the evenings is
alive with boating parties. The illustration shows a boat house located
on the banks of the stream with the foliage of a public park forming a

    [Illustration: Boat House]

                       The Wichita Club, Wichita

The clubhouse of the Wichita Club is a five-story and basement structure
erected by the organization as its home in 1910. It occupies a space
150×140 and cost $100,000. On the first floor are the ladies’ reception
room, dining room, lounge, living room and offices. The second floor is
given over to dining rooms and kitchen. On the third floor are billiard
and meeting rooms. The fourth and fifth floors are given over to
sleeping apartments. The Wichita Club had its origin in the old Coronado
Club in 1897. It is one of the great factors in the development of the
community, both commercially and socially.

    [Illustration: The Wichita Club]

                   Glimpse of a Public Park, Wichita

The commission form of government has been adopted by Wichita, and one
of the five commissioners is in charge of parks and public works. The
park system is composed of nine parks, with shaded lawns, drives and
winding streams. Riverside Park is the largest, with an area of 140
acres, and contains a zoological collection with buffalo, lions, deer,
ostriches and other specimens.

    [Illustration: A Public Park]

             A Bridge Spanning the Arkansas River, Wichita

In the construction of its public works and buildings Wichita has placed
permanence first. A good example of this policy may be found in the
reinforced concrete bridge crossing the Arkansas River, of great beauty
in design, it is built to withstand the ages. The main roadway is 40
feet wide with two 8-foot walks. The seven spans have a total length of
550 feet.

    [Illustration: Arkansas River Bridge]

                      A Residence Street, Wichita

It has been said of Wichita that its homes make it a city of genuine
contentment. Its people are, as a rule, homeowners. The illustration is
one of the newer residence streets and shows the simple graceful lines
now most in vogue in the domestic architecture of the city. In some of
the older residence sections, where the trees have had time for growth,
the streets are arched by foliage—a cause of general comment from
visitors who think of Kansas as a treeless prairie land.

    [Illustration: A Residence Street]

                         The City Hall, Wichita

Almost twenty-five years ago the people of Wichita showed their
confidence in the certain growth of their city by the building of a City
Hall that would be a credit to any city of 200,000 population.
Architecturally it is one of the most impressive structures in the city,
and its size insures ample space for years to come. Until a few years
ago the city government was conducted on the old plan of mayor,
councilmen and other elective officials. Now a mayor commissioner and
four other commissioners constitute the city government.

    [Illustration: City Hall]

                Postoffice and Federal Building, Wichita

More than 200 persons are employed in the Wichita postoffice, including
the railway mail clerks who have their headquarters here. In ten years
the receipts of the Wichita postoffice have more than doubled. The
entire third floor of the building is equipped for the use of the United
States courts, which convene here twice a year. An addition was built
two years ago.

    [Illustration: Postoffice and Federal Building]

                 Scottish Rite Masonic Temple, Wichita

The first lodge of Masons was established in Wichita in 1870 and the
first Scottish Rite body was instituted in 1887. The order now has about
3,000 members and occupies what is, perhaps, the finest Scottish Rite
Temple in the United States. The structure is of solid stone, four
stories in height and occupies one of the most important corners in the
city. It is owned and occupied solely by the Scottish Rite Masons of

    [Illustration: Scottish Rite Masonic Temple]

                   The New Travelers’ Hotel, Wichita

With the good hotel facilities now possessed by Wichita, a new
structure, to be known as the Travelers, is under way. It will be six
stories, fireproof, of steel, terra cotta, concrete and brick. The site
covers a space 125 by 140 feet in the business section. Travelers’ Hotel
is to cost $500,000.00 and will have 200 rooms. It was financed by
residents of Wichita.

    [Illustration: Travelers’ Hotel]

                Kansas Masonic Home and Chapel, Wichita

Set in fifteen acres of beautiful lawn and woodland is the Kansas
Masonic Home, Wichita. It is built of gray stone and was established by
the Grand Lodge of Kansas in 1896. The stone chapel was built by the
Order of the Eastern Star, and most of the furniture for the home was
supplied by this order. Aged Master Masons, their wives or widows and
children and members of the Eastern Star are eligible to the benefits of
the home. The home is maintained by a per capita tax on the members of
the Kansas Grand Lodge of Masons and of the Order of the Eastern Star.

    [Illustration: Kansas Masonic Home and Chapel]

          The Central Station Company, Wichita Fire Department

Five station houses comprise the Wichita Fire Department, all connected
by a signal system with the central station. The efficiency of Wichita’s
fire protection is best shown by the fact that the city has never
suffered what might be termed a disastrous fire loss. Under the
commission form of government the mayor has supervision of police and
fire departments and the prevailing policy is to supplant gradually the
horse drawn fire apparatus with motor vehicles.

    [Illustration: Central Station, Wichita Fire Department]

                         City Library, Wichita

The City Library building, Wichita, erected in 1914, is located on South
Main Street and Hamilton Park. The exterior is of dressed Bedford stone,
and the interior is fitted with the most modern library appliances. The
building cost $75,000. The library contains more than 10,000 volumes and
is under city control.

    [Illustration: City Library]

                     Mount Carmel Academy, Wichita

In institutions for higher education Wichita is unusually well equipped,
having several co-educational colleges and it is also the seat of Mt.
Carmel Academy, a high grade school for young ladies. In addition to the
usual academic courses, departments of music, art and elocution are
maintained. Students are drawn from Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and
Texas. The academy was opened in 1887 by five Sisters of Charity.
Additions were built in 1900 and again in 1906. The buildings are heated
with hot water and every room is so situated as to receive sunshine.

    [Illustration: Mount Carmel Academy]

           Friends’ University and Fairmount College, Wichita

It was in 1898 that the Friends’ church of Kansas established Friends’
University in Wichita and now Friends’ academies throughout the
Southwest send young men and women to the university. The main building,
shown in the lower corner, was the gift of James M. Davis, a St. Louis

Fairmount College is a Congregational institution that has reached a
firm foundation after years of struggle. Opened as an academy in 1892 it
has progressed steadily until it has an enrollment exceeding 300 pupils.
In addition to the main building, shown here, Fairmount has a library of
35,000 volumes, a gymnasium and a men’s dormitory.

St. John’s School for boys, a Catholic institution, is located in

    [Illustration: Fairmount College · Friends’ University]

                         Four Churches, Wichita

The illustrations show four of the more impressive church structures of
Wichita. In the upper left corner is the First Presbyterian; opposite,
the Roman Catholic Cathedral. In the lower left corner is St. Paul’s
Methodist Episcopal Church, and opposite the First Baptist Church.
Wichita has been the seat of the Catholic diocese of Wichita for more
than a quarter century. The Cathedral was dedicated in 1912.

    [Illustration: First Presbyterian Church · Roman Catholic Cathedral
    St. Paul’s Episcopal Methodist Church · First Baptist Church]

    [Illustration: Back Cover]

                          Transcriber’s Notes

—Retained publication information from the printed edition: this eBook
  is public-domain in the country of publication.

—Silently corrected a few palpable typos.

—In the text versions only, text in italics is delimited by

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