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Collier's New Encyclopedia (1921)/Kansas City (Missouri)

KANSAS CITY, a city of Missouri, in Jackson co., at the junction of the Missouri and Kansas rivers. It is on the boundary between Missouri and Kansas, and is directly opposite Kansas City, Kan. Kansas City is one of the most important railroad centers of the United States, and is on the Chicago and Alton, the Atchison, Topeka and Sante Fe, the Chicago Great Western, the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific, the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul, the Union Pacific, and other railroads. One of the largest Union stations in the United States is used by several of these railroads. Four enormous bridges span the Missouri River. In addition to railroad facilities, there is transportation on the Missouri River from Kansas City to St. Louis. The street railway system of the city includes nearly 300 miles of track. Kansas City has greatly increased in recent years, as an interurban railroad center. The city is situated on three hills. The manufacturing and wholesale districts are for the most part on the first, and are separated from the central, business or retail district, which is on the second hill, by high bluffs. The residential sections of the city are on the third and highest elevation. There is an excellent street system, consisting of about 500 miles of paved streets. The notable public buildings include the Union Station, city hall, court house, Board of Trade building. Live Stock Exchange, Y. M. C. A. building, a General Hospital, and a number of handsome high schools. The educational institutions within a short distance include the University of Missouri, the University of Kansas, William Jewell College, Park College, and Baker University. There is a comprehensive system of public schools, supplemented by special schools. Kansas City is notable for its park and boulevard system. 50 miles of boulevard connect 2,600 acres of public parks within the city limits. Kansas City is the distributing point for a vast agricultural region of the west and south and it has large wholesale interests. An immense business is done in grain, live stock, and meat packing. Kansas City is the largest winter wheat market in the world, and the second market in the receipts of general grain in the United States. Its grain elevators have a capacity of over 18,000,000 bushels. It is also one of the most important hay centers. The total value of live stock marketed is over $200,000,000 annually. It also ranks first in the sale of yellow pine lumber, and third as a general lumber center. In greater Kansas City are nearly 1,500 factories. The products in 1914 amounted to $319,000,000. In that year the city ranked tenth in the value of the manufactured output. In the city is located the Federal Reserve Bank of District No. 10, which includes the States of Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming, Colorado, one-half of New Mexico, one-half of Oklahoma, and one-fourth of Missouri. There were in 1919 15 National banks. The bank clearings in that year amounted to $11,036,406,000. The total assessed valuation in 1920 was $288,774,416. The budget for that year was $4,153,500.

The first permanent settlement of Kansas City was in 1820, by a company of French fur traders. The town was laid out in 1838 and was incorporated in 1850 under the name of Town of Kansas. The name was changed to Kansas City in 1853. Pop. (1900) 163,752; (1910) 248,181; (1920) 324,410.

Collier's 1921 Kansas City (Missouri) - steel barges.jpg
© Ewing Galloway