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Garden City, Kansas
—  City  —
Amtrak Station in Garden City
Location of Garden City, Kansas
Coordinates: 37°58′31″N 100°51′51″W / 37.97528°N 100.86417°W / 37.97528; -100.86417Coordinates: 37°58′31″N 100°51′51″W / 37.97528°N 100.86417°W / 37.97528; -100.86417
Country United States
State Kansas
County Finney
 - Total 8.5 sq mi (22.1 km2)
 - Land 8.5 sq mi (22.1 km2)
 - Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 2,838 ft (865 m)
Population (2000)
 - Total 28,451
 - Density 3,334.1/sq mi (1,287.3/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 - Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP codes 67846, 67868
Area code(s) 620
FIPS code 20-25325[1]
GNIS feature ID 0471609[2]

Garden City is a city in Finney County, Kansas, United States. The population was 28,451 as of the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Finney County[3], and provides the campus of Garden City Community College. Garden City is home to Lee Richardson Zoo, the largest zoological facility in western Kansas. It was depicted in Truman Capote's In Cold Blood and, as county seat, served as the venue for the murder trial.[4] The community boasts more than sixty restaurants and around forty churches, which in both cases cater to a diverse and changing local populace.



In February 1878, James R. Fulton, William D. Fulton and his son, L. W. Fulton, arrived at the present site of Garden City, bringing with them Chas. Van Trump, the county surveyor from Dodge City. Mr. Van Trump had previously surveyed as far as the Point of Rocks, nine miles east of Garden City. From there he started to find the center of old Sequoyah County. They drove up in their wagons and pitched camp not far from where the city pumping plant is currently located. The men were anxious to locate the exact center of the county, fearing they had gone too far west. However, when the engineer found the county lines, they discovered their camp was not one hundred yards from the center, east and west. After completing the survey they went to Larned, Kansas, where the United States Land Office was then located, and on March 16, 1878, William D. Fulton filed on the southeast quarter section 18-24-32, and James R. Fulton filed on the southwest quarter of the same section. The other two quarters in the section were to have been taken by Chas. Van Trump and John A. Stevens, but by mistake their filings were both put on the northeast quarter. Van Trump did not discover the mistake until in the summer, and by that time, Stevens had built a house on the northwest quarter, and held it. A young man at Larned, seeing that the northwest quarter was still vacant, placed a timber claim filing on it, and Van Trump lost out in the townsite deal. Late in 1879, C. J. Jones found the young man who had filed on the northwest quarter and bought his relinquishment for $90 and a gold watch. In this way Mr. Jones became the owner of the northwest quarter of section 18, which is now Jones Addition of the town of Garden City.[5]

The original townsite of Garden City was laid out on the south half of section 18 by engineer Chas. Van Trump. The land was a loose, sandy loam, and covered with sagebrush and soap weeds, but there were no trees. Main Street ran directly north and south, dividing Wm. D. and James R. Fulton's claims. As soon as they could get building material, they erected two frame houses. Wm. D. Fulton building on his land, on the east side of Main Street, a house one story and a half high, with two rooms on the ground and two rooms above. This was called the Occidental Hotel. Wm. D. Fulton was proprietor. He often joked that it should have been called the Accidental Hotel, because it was an accident if you got anything to eat. James R. Fulton built a house of two rooms on his land, which joined Main street on the west. This house was sold to D. R. Menke in August, 1878, for a cash consideration and a one-sixteenth interest in the original townsite was given him to establish a store in the building. No other houses were built in Garden City until November, 1878, when James R. Fulton and Mr. L. T. Walker each put up a building. The Fultons tried to get others to settle here, but only a few came, and at the end of the first year there were only four buildings.[5]


Economic boom

C. J. Jones came to Garden City for an antelope hunt around the middle of January, 1879, from Sterling, Kansas. Before returning to his home, the Fulton brothers arranged with him for his services to assist in the promotion of Garden City, and especially in trying to influence the Santa Fe Railroad to put in a switch and station. Eventually, C. J. Jones made an agreement with the Santa Fe Railroad early in 1879, and the Fulton location at Garden City was agreed upon as the town-to-be. In the spring of 1879 people began coming in to locate in Garden City and on surrounding homesteads. George T. Inge, an ambitious young merchant, came to Garden City to establish a store in the spring of 1883. This was his first independent business, and he continued to sell goods in Garden City for the next twenty-four years. For a few years of that time, the store was conducted as Inge Brothers. During the years of 1885-87 a rush was made for Western Kansas, and a settler came in for every quarter section. The United States Land Office was located at Garden City and this drew people to Southwest Kansas, and they came to Garden City to make filings on their land. There were also many contests to be settled, and this brought many men of the legal profession. I. R. Holmes was agent for the sale of lands of the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad and the offices of himself and his excellent partner, A. C. McKeever, were located at Garden City. During the year 1885 this firm sold thousands of acres of railroad and private land.[5]

The streets of Garden City were crowded with horses, wagons, buggies, and ox teams. Long lines of people stood out in the weather waiting in turn to call for mail at the post office, and there was always a crowd in front of the United States Land Office to make filings on land. The space in front of the door would be jammed with people at closing time, and they would be there long before opening time in the morning. In order to escape the crowd during closing hours, the officials used a ladder both in entering and leaving the building, which they lowered from a rear window. During the height of the boom the town had nine lumber yards. Lumber was hauled from these in all directions to build up inland towns, and to improve the homesteads over the country. Thirteen drug stores were in operation. The town had two daily newspapers. Everybody used coal oil lamps and a few were on posts up and down Main Street, as street lamps. There was no city water works, and everybody drank from wells, which were strong of alkali, as they were only put down to the shallow water. Ice was $2.50 per hundred pounds. Passenger trains of two and three sections came in daily, loaded with people and most of them got off at Garden City.[5]

The first issue of "The Garden City Newspaper" appeared April 3, 1879. Three months after the paper was established, the editor states, "There are now forty buildings in town." When the first telephone line was built trees were growing on both sides of Main Street. These interfered with the wires, but the citizens who had lived here and knew the value of trees in Western Kansas would not allow them to be cut, and the telephone poles were set down the center of the street. The first long distance telephone out of Garden City was a line nine miles long, and was built in 1902. Dr. R. N. Hall was the first physician to locate in Garden City. He arrived in the spring of 1879. Dr. Morrison came next. Both of these men left after a short time for want of practice. Dr. H. S. Lowrance came to Garden City in 1881, and served as a physician and surgeon. He had a large and lucrative practice and remained in Garden City several years.[5]


Like much of the Great Plains, many fields near Garden City are irrigated from the Ogallala Aquifer.

Garden City is located at 37°58′31″N 100°51′51″W / 37.97528°N 100.86417°W / 37.97528; -100.86417 on the Arkansas River in the High Plains in southwestern Kansas.[6]

According to the United States Census Bureau, Garden City has a total area of 8.5 square miles (22.1 km²), all of it land.

As of 2008, Garden City was served by two commercial airlines at Garden City Regional Airport.


Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1890 1,490
1900 1,590 6.7%
1910 3,171 99.4%
1920 3,848 21.3%
1930 6,121 59.1%
1940 6,285 2.7%
1950 10,905 73.5%
1960 11,811 8.3%
1970 14,790 25.2%
1980 18,256 23.4%
1990 24,097 32.0%
2000 28,451 18.1%

As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 28,451 people, 9,338 households, and 6,760 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,334.1 people per square mile (1,287.8/km²). There were 9,907 housing units at an average density of 1,161.0/sq mi (448.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 68.80% White, 1.49% African American, 1.06% Native American, 3.55% Asian, 0.09% Pacific Islander, 22.28% from other races, and 2.73% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 43.91% of the population.

There were 9,338 households out of which 43.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.4% were married couples living together, 10.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.6% were non-families. 22.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.99 and the average family size was 3.51.

In the city the population was spread out with 32.6% under the age of 18, 11.6% from 18 to 24, 31.0% from 25 to 44, 16.6% from 45 to 64, and 8.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 29 years. For every 100 females there were 102.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 101.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $37,752, and the median income for a family was $43,471. Males had a median income of $29,343 versus $21,247 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,200. About 9.9% of families and 14.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.7% of those under age 18 and 12.8% of those age 65 or over.


There is a Main Downtown and Commercial Downtown.

  • Main Downtown is centered mainly on Southern Main St. Although there aren't many tall buildings, the Windsor Hotel is the tallest at five stories high and about 50 ft. tall. The police station is also one of the tallest buildings.
  • Commercial Downtown is centered mainly on Eastern Kansas Ave. It is the home of many businesses such as Wal-Mart, Sam's Club, Sears, Target, J.C. Penney, Dollar General, Staples, Home Depot, and recently built IHOP.

Points of interest

Initially named by its developers "The Big Dipper", Garden City's "The Big Pool" is larger than a 100-yard football field, holds 2.2 million gallons of water, and is large big enough to accommodate water-skiing. Originally hand-dug in 1922, a bathhouse was added by the Works Progress Administration during the Great Depression and local farmers used horse-drawn soil-scrapers to later enlarge the pool. The pool hosts 50-meter Olympic swimming lanes, three water slides, and a children's pool with zero-entry depth. The pool employs a minimum of fourteen lifeguards, two slide assistants, three admission clerks, two concession workers and a pool manager on duty each day. Advertised for years as "The World's Largest, Free, Outdoor, Municipal, Concrete Swimming Pool", the pool has been known to count up to 2,000 patrons when open during the summer months. In order to finance improvements made in recent years, admission is now $1 per person, with an added dollar fee for use of the slide.

Located inside 110-acre Finnup Park, the pool is co-located with Finney County Museum and Lee Richardson Zoo, Richardson Zoo is the largest zoological facility in western Kansas, housing over 300 animals representing 110 species. Walking tours are free to the public and the admission fee for a driving tour is $3.

A few miles from Finnup Park, The Big Pool and Lee Richardson Zoo is the Buffalo Game Preserve, with one of the largest herds of bison in the world.[7]

Garden City Plaza is a strip mall in the recently rennovated commercial downtown district. It includes a Sears, Dollar General, Riddles Jewelry, Buckle, RadioShack, Tradehome Shoes, Subway, J.C. Penney, Gamestop, Alltel Wireless, KFC, Taco Bell, and Lone Star Steakhouse & Saloon.




Garden City has one daily newspaper, The Garden City Telegram.[8]


The following radio stations are licensed to Garden City:


Frequency Callsign[9] Format[10] Notes
1240 KIUL News/Talk -


Frequency Callsign[11] Format[10] Notes
91.1 KANZ Public NPR
97.3 KKJQ Country -
107.9 KKCV Christian Satellite of KCCV-FM, Olathe, Kansas


The following television stations are licensed to Garden City:

Digital Channel Analog Channel Callsign[12] Network Notes
11 - KSNG NBC Satellite of KSNW, Wichita, Kansas
13 - KUPK ABC Satellite of KAKE-TV, Wichita, Kansas
- 31 KAAS-LP Fox Translator of KSAS-TV, Wichita, Kansas
- 34 K34GG America One -
- 39 K39FW TBN -

Sister cities

Garden City has two sister cities, as designated by Sister Cities International:

Notable natives and residents


  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. ^ The book that changed a town.
  5. ^ a b c d e "Garden City History" (English). Retrieved 2009-03-13.  
  6. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2000 and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2005-05-03. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  7. ^ Roadside America review of The Big Pool, Finnu Park, Lee Richardson Zoo, and Buffalo Game Park
  8. ^ "About this Newspaper: Garden City telegram". Chronicling America. Library of Congress. Retrieved 2009-09-27.  
  9. ^ "AMQ AM Radio Database Query". Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved 2009-09-27.  
  10. ^ a b "Station Information Profile". Arbitron. Retrieved 2009-09-27.  
  11. ^ "FMQ FM Radio Database Query". Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved 2009-09-27.  
  12. ^ "TVQ TV Database Query". Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved 2009-09-27.  

External links


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