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Collier's New Encyclopedia (1921)/Kansas

KANSAS, a State in the North Central Division of the North American Union; bounded by Nebraska, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Colorado; land-surface area, 81,700 square miles; admitted to the Union Jan. 29, 1861; number of counties, 105; pop. (1890) 1,427,090; (1900) 1,470,496; (1910) 1,690,949; (1920) 1,769,257; capital, Topeka.

Topography.—The State, lying in the great central plain of the United States, has a generally flat or undulating surface. Its altitude above the sea ranges from 750 feet at the mouth of the Kansas river to 4,000 feet on the W. line of the State. The rivers flow through bottomlands, varying from ¼ to 6 miles in width, and bounded by bluffs, rising 50 to 300 feet. The Missouri river forms nearly 75 miles of the State's N. E. boundary. The Kansas river, formed by the junction of the Smoky Hill and Republican rivers, joins the Missouri at Kansas City, after a course of 150 miles across the State. The Arkansas, rising in Colorado, flows with a tortuous course, for nearly 500 miles, across three-fourths of the State. It forms, with its tributaries, the Little Arkansas, Walnut, Cow Creek, Cimarron, Verdigris, and Neosho, the S. drainage system of the State. Other important rivers are the Saline and Solomon, tributaries of the Smoky Hill; the Big Blue, Delaware, and Wakarusa, which flow into the Kansas; and the Osage, a tributary of the Missouri.

Geology.—The rock system of Kansas is exceedingly simple. Over almost the entire State the rocks are monoclinal and dip gently to the W. N. W., at an average rate in the E. and central portions of the State of about 15 feet to the mile, or about double the average slope of surface to the E. In the W. part of the State the strata lie horizontally. The geological formations succeed each other in a regular ascending series, from S. E. to N. W. The outcrops begin with the sub-Carboniferous, in a small triangular tract not exceeding 60 square miles in extent, in the S. E. corner of the State; followed by the Carboniferous, covering the E. quarter of the State; the Permian, or more properly the permo-Carboniferous, in the E. middle covering a belt about 60 miles wide, extending from Marshall county S. to Cowley and Sumner counties; the Triassic, embracing a triangular tract of about seven counties S. of the Arkansas river, with its apex in the great bend of the Arkansas and its base along the S. line of the State from Sumner county to Clark; the Cretaceous, in the W. middle, covering about one-third of the State, from Washington, Republic, Jewell, and Smith counties, on the N. line of the State, S. E. to the Arkansas river and the S. W. corner of the State; and end with the Tertiary, covering about 20 counties in the N. W. quarter of the State, with occasional tracts in the S. W. and S. There is a very small amount of post-Tertiary or recent formation in the valleys, scattered over the middle and W. portions of the State. Glacial drift covers the Permian and Carboniferous in the N. E. corner of the State as far W. and S. as the Big Blue and Kansas rivers.

Minerals.—The minerals of Kansas are lead and zinc, obtainable from the sub-Carboniferous; bituminous coal, petroleum and gas, from the Carboniferous; salt and gypsum from the Permian and Triassic; chalk and lignite from the Cretaceous; lignite and silica in an exceedingly fine state from the Tertiary.

Fossils.—The fossils of the Carboniferous formation are all marine, consisting of foraminifera, sponges, crinoids, brachiopods, and lamellibranchs. They are quite numerous, limestone rocks in some places being solidly full of their shells. The Cretaceous fossils consist of marine and fresh water shells, fishes, saurians, turtles, birds, and impressions of leaves of aerial plants and trees, such as fig, laurel, magnolia, and other trees of sub-tropical climate; poplar, willow, birch, and other trees of colder climate; together with walnut, oak, sycamore, and other trees similar to those of the present day. In the recent formations are found remains of horse, elephant, mastodon, and other mammals of great size.

Mineralogy.—The chief mineral product is petroleum. In 1918 there were produced 45,451,017 barrels of petroleum, valued at $100,546,202. Kansas contains part of the Kansas-Oklahoma oil fields. Other mineral products are lead, zinc and coal. The production of the latter in 1919 was about 5,750,000 short tons. The State is also a large producer of clay products, and these are valued at over $2,000,000 annually. In the production of salt, Kansas ranks fourth among the States. Other mineral products of the State include sulphur, chalk, alum, portland cement, manganese, lime, marble, kaolin, gypsum, ochre, brown hematite, and numerous other ores of iron.

Soil.—The soil is exceptionally rich in those mineral substances necessary to support vegetation, and is consequently very fertile. In the E. it consists of a black sandy loam with a vegetable mold, and in the W. it is of a lighter color, but greater depth. The bottom lands have a soil from 2 to 10 feet in depth, and the hills, from 1 to 3 feet. Only a small portion of the State consists of woodland, the most abundant trees being the ash, cottonwood, oak, elm, walnut, hickory, maple, mulberry, sycamore, box elder, willow, cherry, redbud, and pecan.

Agriculture.— The excellent soil of Kansas makes it one of the foremost agricultural States. The acreage, production and value of the principal crops in 1919 was as follows: corn, 4,475,000 acres, production 69,362,000 bushels, value $97,107,000; oats, 1,574,000 acres, value $32,287,000; wheat, 11,624,000 acres, production 151,001,000 bushels, value $324,652,000; hay, 1,832,000 acres, production 4,507,000 tons, value $71,211,000; potatoes, production 5,168,000 bushels, value $9,819,000; sorghums, 1,040,000 acres, production 17,888,000 bushels, value $26,832,000.

Manufactures.—In 1914 there were 3,136 manufacturing establishments, employing 41,259 wage earners. The capital invested amounted to $163,709,000, the wages paid to $25,970,000, the value of the materials used $261,248,000, and the value of the products $323,234,000. The chief manufacturing establishments are located at Kansas City, Argentine, Topeka, Leavenworth, and Wichita. The principal articles of manufacture include cured and packed meats, flour and grist, railroad cars, dairy products, foundry and machine shop products, masonry, millinery, books, saddlery and harness, soap and candles, tobacco and cigars, and refined zinc.

Banking.—On Oct. 31, 1919, there were 234 National banks in operation, having $12,353,000 in capital, deposits $101,287,000 and surplus $6,942,000, There were also 1,068 State private banks, having total deposits of $280,297,000 and $12,488,000 surplus.

Education.—The school population is about 625,000, and enrollment about 410,000. The average daily attendance in 1920 was about 300,000. The teachers number about 17,000. The State institutions of learning are the State University at Lawrence, attendance 1,251, State Normal School at Emporia, State Agriculture College at Manhattan. For higher education there were over 200 public high schools, and many private secondary schools. The colleges and universities for both sexes include the Oswego College for Young Ladies at Oswego, and the College of the Sisters of Bethany at Topeka. Among the most noted colleges are the Baker University at Baldwin, Washburn College at Topeka, Campbell University at Holton, St. Mary's College at St. Mary's, Ottawa University at Ottawa, Southwest Kansas College at Winfield, Bethany College at Lindsborg, and McPherson College at McPherson.

Transportation.—The total mileage of first track railroads in the State is 9,648, The Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe and the Missouri Pacific are the longest lines.

Churches.—The strongest denominations in the State are the Methodist Episcopal; Roman Catholic; Regular Baptist, North; Disciples of Christ; Presbyterian, North; United Brethren; Congregational; Friends; and Lutheran, General Council.

Finance.—The receipts for the year ending June 30, 1918, amounted to $15,066,209, and the disbursements to $15,005,384. The balance in the treasury amounted to $2,795,546, The State has no bonded debt.

Charities and Corrections.—The following institutions are under the control of the State Board of Administration: Penitentiary at Lansing; Industrial Reformatory at Hutchinson; Girls' Industrial School at Beloit; Boys' Industrial School at Topeka; Industrial Farm for Women at Topeka; hospitals at Topeka, Osawatomie, Larned and Parsons; Home for Feeble Minded at Winfield; Orphans' Home at Atchison; Tuberculosis Sanitarium at Norton; School for the Blind at Kansas City; and School for the Deaf at Olathe.

State Government.—The governor is elected for a term of two years. Legislative sessions are held biennially and are limited to 50 days each. The Legislature has 40 members in the Senate, and 125 members in the House. There were 8 representatives in Congress. The government in 1920 was Republican.

History.—Kansas was included in the Louisiana Purchase of 1803, and is believed to have been visited by an army of Spaniards and Indians in 1541. It was explored by the French in 1724, and by Lieut. Zebulon M. Pike, of the United States army, in 1806. It was made a Territory in 1854, and disputes between the slavery and abolition parties made Kansas a scene of bitter partisan conflict. The repeal of the Missouri Compromise of 1820 opened a new field for the extension of slavery, of which the slaveholders of Missouri and the South hastened to avail themselves, while the anti-slavery party of the North made equally vigorous efforts to people the new Territory. The result was a series of conflicts which continued for four years, fights taking place, towns being burned, and illegal voting freely indulged in. In the end the party opposing slavery triumphed; a constitution excluding slavery was adopted in 1859, and Kansas was admitted as a State, Jan. 29, 1861, During the Civil War Kansas sent into the field a larger number of soldiers, in proportion to its population, than any other State. After the Civil War there was a great influx of immigrants, and since then there has been peace and steady progress.


Collier's 1921 Kansas.jpg
Copyright, L. L. Poates Eng. Co., 1921