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City of Emporia
—  City  —
Business district of Emporia
Location of Emporia within Lyon County and Lyon County within Kansas
Coordinates: 38°24′29″N 96°11′13″W / 38.40806°N 96.18694°W / 38.40806; -96.18694
Country United States
State Kansas
County Lyon
 - Mayor Julia Johnson
 - Vice-Mayor Bobbie Agler
 - City Manager Matt Zimmerman
 - Total 10 sq mi (25.8 km2)
 - Land 9.9 sq mi (25.6 km2)
 - Water 0.1 sq mi (0.2 km2)  0.6%
Elevation 1,150 ft (348 m)
Population (2000)
 - Total 26,760
 - Density 2,703/sq mi (1,044/km2)
Time zone CST (UTC-6)
 - Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP Code 66801
Area code(s) 620
FIPS code 20-21275[1]
GNIS feature ID 0477524[2]

Emporia is a city in and the county seat of Lyon County, Kansas, United States.[3] The population was 26,760 at the 2000 census. Emporia lies between Topeka and Wichita at the intersection of U.S. Route 50 with Interstates 335 and 35 on the Kansas Turnpike. Emporia is the principal city of the Emporia Micropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Lyon and Chase counties.



Sixth Avenue c. 1912

Located on upland prairie, Emporia was founded on February 20, 1857, drawing its name from ancient Carthaginian Africa. Emporia is particularly known for its newspaper, the Emporia Gazette, published in the first half of the 20th century by the legendary newspaperman William Allen White. The paper became the widely perceived model of excellence in small-town journalism.

In 1953, Emporia was the site of the first Veterans Day observance in the United States. At the urging of local shoe cobbler Alvin J. King, U.S. Representative Edward Rees introduced legislation in The United States Congress to rename Armistice Day as Veterans Day. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the bill into law on October 8, 1954.[4]

On June 8, 1974, an F4 tornado struck Emporia, killing six people, injuring 200 people, and causing $25 million in damages.[5]

Geography and climate

Emporia is located at 38°24′29″N 96°11′13″W / 38.40806°N 96.18694°W / 38.40806; -96.18694 (38.408148, -96.187054)[6] in east-central Kansas. It lies along the Kansas Turnpike at its intersection with Interstate 35 and U.S. Highway 50, 108 miles (174 km) southwest of Kansas City, 58 miles (93 km) southwest of Topeka, and 87 miles (140 km) northeast of Wichita on the eastern edge of the Flint Hills. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 10.0 square miles (25.8 km²), of which, 9.9 square miles (25.6 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.2 km²) of it (0.60%) is water.

The city averages about 60 rainy days per year, 59 days with high temperatures of 90 °F (32 °C) or higher, and 124 days with low temperatures below freezing. The average temperature in January is 29 °F (−2 °C), and in July it is 79 °F (26 °C). Annual snowfall averages 10.2 inches (25.9 cm).[7]

The Neosho River flows along the northern side of the city. The Cottonwood River, one of its tributaries, flows along the city's southern edge and two large city parks, Peter Pan and Soden's Grove; the two rivers meet near the eastern boundary of Emporia and flow southeast to join the Arkansas River in Oklahoma.

Weather data for Emporia, Kansas
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 40
Average low °F (°C) 19
Precipitation inches (cm) 0.7
Source: Weatherbase[7] August 2007


Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1870 2,168
1880 4,631 113.6%
1890 7,551 63.1%
1900 8,223 8.9%
1910 9,058 10.2%
1920 11,273 24.5%
1930 14,067 24.8%
1940 13,188 −6.2%
1950 15,669 18.8%
1960 18,190 16.1%
1970 23,327 28.2%
1980 25,287 8.4%
1990 25,512 0.9%
2000 26,760 4.9%

As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 26,760 people, 10,253 households, and 6,039 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,043.6/km² (2,703.0/sq mi). There were 11,019 housing units at an average density of 1,113.0/sq mi (429.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 78.63% White, 2.96% African American, 0.48% Native American, 2.66% Asian, 12.75% from other races, and 2.52% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 21.49% of the population.

There were 10,253 households out of which 31.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.4% were married couples living together, 9.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 41.1% were non-families. 31.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.47 and the average family size was 3.15.

In the city the population was spread out with 25.3% under the age of 18, 19.4% from 18 to 24, 27.2% from 25 to 44, 17.0% from 45 to 64, and 11.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 28 years. For every 100 females there were 95.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.1 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $30,809, and the median income for a family was $41,571. Males had a median income of $27,915 versus $20,946 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,157. About 12.4% of families and 17.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.6% of those under age 18 and 10.1% of those age 65 or over.


In addition to Emporia State University and other large public-sector employers such as the city and county governments, the public schools, and the county hospital, Emporia has several large private-sector employers.[8] Previously, a Tyson Foods beef-packing plant employed more than 2,400 workers.[8] Dolly Madison has a bakery in Emporia. Hopkins Manufacturing Corporation, founded in Emporia in 1953 and recognized in 2003 as the city's Large Employer of the Year,[9] makes products for the automotive aftermarket. The Braum dairy store chain, based in Oklahoma City, originated in Emporia in 1952 under the name Peter Pan.[10] Menu Foods operates a multi-acre plant in Emporia that manufactures wet dog food.[11]

On January 25, 2008, Tyson unexpectedly announced the layoff of 1,500 workers (more than 60 percent) by March 25, 2008.[12] The company said it needed to move its slaughter operations closer to where the cattle are raised in western Kansas.[13] As the city's largest employer for 37 years, the Tyson plant creates almost 10 percent of the local economy.[14]

Historic structures

Emporia has 13 structures on the National Register of Historic Places. They are the Old Emporia Public Library, the Finney (Warren Wesley) House, the Granada Theater (also known as the Fox Theater), the Harris-Borman House, the Howe (Richard) House, the Keebler-Stone House, the Kress Building, the Mason (Walt) House, the Anderson Carnegie Memorial Library, the Plumb (Mrs. Preston B.) House, the Soden's Grove Bridge, the Soden (Hallie B.) House, and the William Allen White House (also known as Red Rocks).[15]


The city is served by the Emporia Municipal Airport as well as the Lyon County Area Transportation (LCAT) municipal bus system. The city once had an Amtrak stop and was served by the east and westbound Southwest Chiefs daily. The station was eliminated in the mid-90s.

Bus service within the city is provided by LCAT or Lyon County Area Transportation. The agency provides fixed-route bus service to the city of Emporia, and paratransit service to the disabled and the rest of Lyon County. The buses are a service of Lyon County, with significant support coming from the Kansas Department of Transportation.




Emporia has one daily newspaper, The Emporia Gazette.[16]


The following radio stations are licensed to Emporia:


Frequency Callsign[17] Format[18] Notes
1400 KVOE Adult Contemporary


Frequency Callsign[19] Format[18] Notes
89.3 K207EI Christian Translator of KAWZ, Twin Falls, Idaho
89.7 KANH Variety NPR; Satellite of KANU, Lawrence
90.7 KPOR Christian Family Radio
91.9 KNGM Contemporary Christian
94.1 K231AY Christian AFR; Translator of KCFN, Wichita[20]
96.1 KANS Adult Contemporary
101.7 KVOE-FM Country
103.9 K280EK Christian Translator of KLJC, Kansas City, Missouri[21]
104.9 KFFX Hot Adult Contemporary
106.1 K291AX Christian Translator of KCCV-FM, Olathe[22]


The following television station is licensed to Emporia:

Digital Channel Analog Channel Callsign[23] Network Notes
17 KETM-CA Fox Satellite of KTMJ-CA, Topeka

Notable residents

Pedestrian bridge over the Cottonwood River at Soden's Grove

Fictional resident


  1. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  4. ^ "Declaring Emporia, Kansas, to Be the Founding City of the Veterans Day Holiday -- (Senate -- October 31, 2003)". Library of Congress. Retrieved 2007-08-31.  
  5. ^ "1974 Emporia Tornado". National Weather Service Weather Forecast Office, Topeka, Kansas. Retrieved 2007-08-19.  
  6. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2000 and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2005-05-03. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  7. ^ a b "Weatherbase: Historical Weather for Emporia, Kansas, United States of America". Weatherbase. 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-21.  
  8. ^ a b "Private Sector Employees". Regional Development Association of East Central Kansas. Retrieved 2007-08-20.  
  9. ^ "Emporia's 2003 Employer of the Year". Hopkins Manufacturing Corporation. Retrieved 2007-08-26.  
  10. ^ "Our History". Braum's Online, LLC. Retrieved 2007-08-26.  
  11. ^ "Facilities". Menu Foods Income Fund. Retrieved 2007-08-26.  
  12. ^ "Tyson will eliminate slaughter in Emporia". Emporia Gazette. 2008-01-25. Retrieved 2008-01-26.  
  13. ^ "Tyson Plant in Emporia Ceasing Operations". WIBW-TV. 2008-01-25. Retrieved 2008-01-26.  
  14. ^ "Emporia Leaders Say They'll Make Do". KAKE-TV. 2008-01-26. Retrieved 2008-01-26.  
  15. ^ "National Register of Historic Places: Kansas, Lyon County". National Register of Historic Retrieved 2009-11-14.  
  16. ^ "About this Newspaper: The Emporia gazette". Chronicling America. Library of Congress. Retrieved 2009-09-18.  
  17. ^ "AMQ AM Radio Database Query". Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved 2009-09-18.  
  18. ^ a b "Station Information Profile". Arbitron. Retrieved 2009-09-18.  
  19. ^ "FMQ FM Radio Database Query". Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved 2009-09-18.  
  20. ^ "KCFN-FM 91.1 MHz". Radio-Locator. Theodric Technologies LLC. Retrieved 2009-09-18.  
  21. ^ "K280EK-FM 103.9 MHz". Radio-Locator. Theodric Technologies LLC. Retrieved 2009-09-18.  
  22. ^ "Stations Map". Bott Radio Network. Retrieved 2009-09-18.  
  23. ^ "TVQ TV Database Query". Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved 2009-09-18.  

External links


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