The American Cyclopædia (1879)/Leavenworth (city)

LEAVENWORTH, a city of Kansas, the largest in the state, county seat of Leavenworth co., situated on the right bank of the Missouri river, 500 m. above its mouth, 25 m. N. W. of Kansas City, Mo., and 45 m. N. E. of Topeka; pop. in 1860, 7,429; in 1870, 17,873, of whom 4,510 were foreigners and 3,024 colored. It is situated in an amphitheatre formed by the Missouri bluffs, which rise to the height of about 300 ft., and sweep round in the form of a crescent, each horn resting on the river. It covers an area of 6 or 8 sq. m., consisting of gentle rolls or slopes, which furnish admirable building sites and afford good drainage. The city is regularly laid out, with streets extending N. and S. and E. and W., which are mostly macadamized and lighted with gas. The business blocks are chiefly of iron and brick three or four stories high, and there are numerous handsome residences and churches, the Catholic cathedral being one of the largest and finest church edifices in the west. Two miles above the city is Fort Leavenworth, the headquarters of the department of the Missouri and the base of supplies for the western posts; it was established in 1827. The government reservation, which extends 6 m. along the river and 1 m. back, affords good landings for steamboats, and contains large and well built barracks, officers' quarters, storehouses, hospital, stables, &c., and a handsome parade ground. There are no fortifications. The city has an important trade by river and railroad. The river is bordered by a paved levee and crossed by an iron railroad bridge. Six lines of railroad centre here, viz.: the Leavenworth branch of the Kansas Pacific; the Leavenworth, Lawrence, and Galveston; Kansas Central; Missouri Pacific; Chicago, Rock Island, and Pacific; and Kansas City, St. Joseph, and Council Bluffs. There are saw mills, breweries, machine shops, founderies, and other manufactories; two national banks with $200,000 capital, and two savings banks. Leavenworth is the seat of one of the state normal schools and of the state penitentiary. The public schools are graded, including a high school department, and are in a flourishing condition. In 1872 there were 3,700 pupils. Six daily (two German), one tri-weekly, and five weekly (two German) newspapers, and six monthly periodicals are published. There are 26 churches. Leavenworth was settled in 1854.