WICHITA, KANSAS, a city and the county-seat of Sedgwick county, Kansas, U.S.A., on the Arkansas river, at the mouth of the Little Arkansas, 208 m. (by rail) S.W. of Kansas City. Pop. (1880) 4911; (1800) 23,853; (1900) 24,671, of whom 1447 were foreign-born and 1389 were negroes; (1910 census), 52,450. Area, 18-75 sq. m. Wichita is served by the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe, the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific, the Missouri Pacific, the St Louis & San Francisco, and the Kansas City, Mexico & Orient railways. The site of the city is level, about 1300 ft. above the sea. The principal public buildings are the Federal building, the city hall, the county court house, a Y.M.C.A. building, an auditorium and exposition hall and a Masonic Temple. In Wichita are Fairmount College (Congregational; co-educational; organized as a preparatory school in 1892 and as a college in 1895); Friends' University (Society of Friends; co-educational; 1898); and Mount Carmel Academy and the Pro-Cathedral School (both Roman Catholic). Among the city's parks (area in 1909, 325 acres) is one (Riverside) of 146 acres. The city is supplied with natural gas. Wichita is a transportation centre for the rich agricultural region surrounding it, and is an important market for broom-corn. In 1905 it ranked third among the cities of the state in value of its factory product ($7,389,844). The principal industry is slaughtering and meatpacking. The Kansas City, Mexico & Orient railway has carshops here. Wichita, named from an Indian tribe, was settled in 1870, and was chartered as a city in 1871. In 1909 the city adopted by popular vote government by commission under a state law of 1907 providing for a mayor and four commissioners, heads of the executive, finance, streets and public improvements, parks, public buildings and health, and water and lights departments, all elected for two years and nominated by primary election or by petition signed by at least 25 voters.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)