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Hutchinson, Kansas
—  City  —
Reno County Courthouse in Hutchinson

Location of Hutchinson, Kansas
Coordinates: 38°3′56″N 97°55′25″W / 38.06556°N 97.92361°W / 38.06556; -97.92361
Country United States
State Kansas
County Reno
 - Total 21.2 sq mi (54.9 km2)
 - Land 21.1 sq mi (54.7 km2)
 - Water 0.1 sq mi (0.2 km2)
Elevation 1,535 ft (468 m)
Population (2000)
 - Total 40,787
 - Density 1,932.6/sq mi (746.2/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 - Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
Area code(s) 620
FIPS code 20-33625[1]
GNIS feature ID 0477947[2]

Hutchinson is the largest city in and the county seat of Reno County, Kansas, United States,[3] 39 miles (63 km) northwest of Wichita, on the Arkansas River. Hutchinson's nickname is The Salt City but is referred to locally as Hutch. The population was 40,787 at the 2000 census. Every September Hutchinson hosts the Kansas State Fair, and in March it hosts the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Basketball Tournament. Hutchinson is also the home of the noted Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center aerospace museum, near the state fairgrounds.



The city of Hutchinson was founded in the year 1871, when Indian Agent C.C. Hutchinson contracted with the Santa Fe Railway to make a town at the railroad's crossing over the Arkansas River. The community was known to be called "Temperance City."[4]

Hutchinson was incorporated on August 15, 1872.

On January 17, 2001, 143 million cubic feet (4,000,000 m3) of compressed natural gas leaked from the nearby Yaggy storage field. It sank underground, then rose to the surface through old brine, or salt wells making around 15 gas blowholes. An explosion in the downtown area at 10:45 a.m. destroyed 2 businesses and damaged 26 others. An explosion the next day in a mobile-home park took the lives of two people. The Kansas National Guard was called in to help evacuate parts of the city because of the gas leaks, and a team of specialists looked over all the city for leaks after the event. These events were broadcast on nationally televised news stations across the country.[5][6] [7]

The Hutchinson High School football team (the Salthawks) has had seven straight appearances, including six straight wins, in the 6A & 5A State Championship Game. They have just been moved down to 5A.

Hutchinson is home to the Prairie Dunes Country Club, a golf course frequently ranked among the best golf courses in the U.S., and has hosted several United States Golf Association national championship tournaments. The club was founded by Emerson Carey and his four sons in the mid 1930s. The course was designed by Perry Maxwell, and the first nine holes opened on September 13, 1937. Twenty years later in 1957, a second 9 holes were opened, designed by Press Maxwell (Perry's son).


Hutchinson is located at 38°3′56″N 97°55′25″W / 38.06556°N 97.92361°W / 38.06556; -97.92361 (38.065503, -97.923519)[8].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 54.9 square kilometers (21.2 sq mi). 54.7 km2 (21.1 sq mi) of it is land and 0.2 km2 (0.1 sq mi) of it (0.33%) is water.


Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1880 1,540
1890 8,682 463.8%
1900 9,379 8.0%
1910 16,364 74.5%
1920 23,298 42.4%
1930 27,085 16.3%
1940 30,013 10.8%
1950 33,575 11.9%
1960 37,574 11.9%
1970 36,885 −1.8%
1980 40,284 9.2%
1990 39,308 −2.4%
2000 40,787 3.8%

As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 40,787 people, 16,335 households, and 10,340 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,932.6 inhabitants per square mile (746.2 /km2). There were 17,693 housing units at an average density of 838.3 per square mile (323.7 /km2). The racial makeup of the city was 88.57% White, 4.28% African American, 0.65% Native American, 0.59% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 3.65% from other races, and 2.21% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 7.67% of the population.

There were 16,335 households out of which 28.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.3% were married couples living together, 10.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.7% were non-families. 31.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.31 and the average family size was 2.91.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 23.2% under the age of 18, 11.0% from 18 to 24, 27.8% from 25 to 44, 21.2% from 45 to 64, and 16.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 101.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 100.5 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $32,645, and the median income for a family was $40,094. Males had a median income of $30,994 versus $21,190 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,964. About 9.8% of families and 12.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.5% of those under age 18 and 9.7% of those age 65 or over.


Salt was discovered in Reno County by Benjamin Blanchard on September 26, 1887.[9] This gave rise to the first salt-processing plants west of the Mississippi River. Salt was originally extracted using the evaporation method by pumping water into brine wells. In 1923, the Carey Salt Company opened the only salt mine in Hutchinson, which then produced rock salt. That mine is still in use today and is now operated by Hutchinson Salt Company. Cargill and Morton Salt also have evaporative salt plants in Hutchinson.

Excavated portions of the mine are used for archival storage of movie and television masters, data tapes, and permanent business records. Underground Vaults & Storage currently houses the masters for The Wizard of Oz (1939), Gone with the Wind (1939), and Star Wars, (1977) among many others.[10]

The world's longest grain elevator was built in Hutchinson in 1961.

Dillon's grocery stores was established in Hutchinson by J.S. Dillon in the 1920s (originated in Sterling, Kansas). Dillon's was bought out by The Kroger Co. in 1983. The company still operates a distribution center and headquarters in town.

The Eaton Corporation operates a hydraulics plant in Hutchinson. On August 22, 2006, Eaton announced they would keep the Hutchinson plant open because of a $1 million economic incentive from the City of Hutchinson and a $2 million incentive from the State of Kansas. 155 assembly jobs were moved to the Reynosa, Mexico plant in June, 2007.[11]

On September 2, 2008, The Hutchinson Hospital changed their name to Promise Regional Medical Center.[12]

Mike Lowen started Lowen Corporation in 1950 in a converted garage behind his house in Hutchinson. Today Lowen Corporation has 2 operating divisions, Lowen Sign Company, the nation's largest manufacturer of signage for the real estate industry, and Lowen Color Graphics, the leading U.S. manufacturer of fleet, commercial, event and OEM graphics with manufacturing facilities in 3 states.

Collins Bus Corporation resides just outside Hutchinson, and is the leading small school bus manufacturer in North America.

StraightLine HDD, a leading directional drill tooling manufacturer, has a 70,000 sq. ft. manufacturing plant in Hutchinson.

In May 2009, Siemens announced it would open its American wind turbine nacelle assembly facility in Hutchinson. The facility will begin producing late in 2010 and create 400 jobs in Hutchinson.[13]


Mass Transportation

Reno County Area Transit (RCAT) is responsible for public transportation in the city. The agency operates three bus routes colored Red, Blue, and Yellow.[14]


Hutchinson Municipal Airport (KHUT) is located on the eastern side of the city. There are no commercial airline flights. The nearest major commercial airport is Wichita Mid-Continent Airport (ICT) in Wichita, Kansas.


The Hutchinson Amtrak Station serves Amtrak's Southwest Chief service once daily in each direction.


In all there are 5 high schools in the area, 3 public high schools and 2 private high schools. The largest is 5A Hutchinson High School, or USD 308, with an enrollment of around 1400. The Salthawk football team has won six consecutive Kansas State High School Activities Association state football championships from 2004 through 2009. The first four titles were in Class 6A, the state's largest class; the 2008 and 2009 titles came after Hutchinson High dropped to 5A. Buhler High School with 691 students (USD 313), also draws some students from Hutchinson. Nickerson High School (USD 309), 11 miles northwest of Hutchinson along K-96, also has Hutchinson residents. Trinity Catholic High School and Central Christian High School are the city's two small private schools.

There are numerous Middle Schools in the area including Hutchinson Middle School-7, Hutchinson Middle School-8, Prairie Hills Middle School, Trinity Middle School, Reno Valley Middle School, and Central Christian Schools.

Hutchinson Community College serves as the Hutchinson's only post-secondary school system, and offers many programs in vocational technologies, arts, science, as well as in other fields.



Hutchinson has a daily newspaper, The Hutchinson News, and a weekly newspaper, The Hutchinson Record.[15][16]


The following radio stations are licensed to Hutchinson:


Frequency Callsign[17] Format[18] Notes
1450 KWBW News/Talk


Frequency Callsign[19] Format[18] Notes
88.1 K201DL Christian Translator of KAWZ, Twin Falls, Idaho
90.1 KHCC-FM Variety NPR
93.5 K228DW Contemporary Christian Translator of KTLI, El Dorado, Kansas[20]
95.9 KWHK Oldies
99.5 K258AE Christian Translator of KYFW, Wichita, Kansas[21]
102.1 KZSN Country
102.9 KHUT Country


The following television stations are licensed to Hutchinson:

Digital Channel Analog Channel Callsign[22] Network Notes
8 KPTS PBS Broadcasts from Wichita, Kansas
19; 12 (Virtual) KWCH-DT CBS Broadcasts from Wichita, Kansas
35 KMTW MyNetworkTV Broadcasts from Wichita, Kansas

Points of interest

Notable natives

Elected Officials

  • Mike O'Neal, Republican, State Representative - 104th District
  • Terry Bruce, Republican, State Senator - 34th District

In popular culture

  • Science Fiction and Fantasy novelist William Mark Simmons (Wm. Mark Simmons) currently makes his home in Hutchinson.
  • Samuel "Squid" Dullard from the Nickelodeon show, Rocket Power, is said to have moved from Hutchinson to Ocean Shores, California.
  • The grain elevator scenes of Picnic directed by Joshua Logan in 1955 were shot in Hutchinson.


  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. ^ "Introduction". Hutchinson. 2001-01-09. Retrieved 2007-08-26.  
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Kansas Natural Gas Explosion Update".  
  7. ^ "KGS-Hutchinson Response Web Site".  
  8. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2000 and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2005-05-03. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  9. ^ "Kansas and Kansans Ch. p. 996-1009".  
  10. ^ "Hollywood's Underground Treasures - Classic Film".  
  11. ^ "Eaton Corporation announces they will maintain Hutchinson plant".  
  12. ^ "Hutchinson Hospital Name Change".  
  13. ^ McCoy, Daniel (May 4, 2009). "Siemens plans wind turbine facility in Hutchinson". Retrieved May 27, 2009.  
  14. ^ "Route map". Reno County RCAT. Retrieved 2009-05-13.  
  15. ^ "About this Newspaper: The Hutchinson news". Chronicling America. Library of Congress. Retrieved 2009-10-05.  
  16. ^ "About this Newspaper: The Hutchinson record". Chronicling America. Library of Congress. Retrieved 2009-10-05.  
  17. ^ "AMQ AM Radio Database Query". Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved 2009-10-05.  
  18. ^ a b "Station Information Profile". Arbitron. Retrieved 2009-10-05.  
  19. ^ "FMQ FM Radio Database Query". Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved 2009-10-05.  
  20. ^ "KTLI-FM 99.1 MHz". Radio-Locator. Theodric Technologies LLC. Retrieved 2009-10-05.  
  21. ^ "KYFW-FM 88.3 MHz". Radio-Locator. Theodric Technologies LLC. Retrieved 2009-10-05.  
  22. ^ "TVQ TV Database Query". Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved 2009-10-05.  
  23. ^ Aneta Corsaut at the Internet Movie Database
  24. ^ Glori-Anne Gilbert at the Internet Movie Database
  25. ^ Scott Heim at the Internet Movie Database
  26. ^ Delos V. Smith, Jr. at the Internet Movie Database
  27. ^ Richard Thorpe at the Internet Movie Database

External links

Official websites
Local Business
Local News & Articles
Maps, photos, and other images
Additional Web Resources

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