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Title: Wichita
Release Date: 2018-08-01
Type book: Text
Copyright Status: Public domain in the USA.
Date added: 27 March 2019
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“Watch Wichita Win”

“Watch Wichita Win” is the city motto that has been adopted byWichita and there is every proof that the community is justifying it.In 1900 Wichita had a population of 25,000; today its population exceeds63,000, and there are good grounds to believe it will soon be a city of 100,000.

The location of Wichita was not an accident. Long before the white man camethe Indians chose the junction of the Arkansas and Little Arkansas Rivers as ameeting place from which to conduct their campaigns and hunting expeditions intothe Southwest territory. Before the railways reached Wichita, it was a center forthe cattle trade of Oklahoma and Texas. In 1872 the first railway train enteredWichita over the Wichita Southwestern, a branch of the Atchison, Topeka & SantaFe, and the city became at once a distributing point for the Southwestern country.

Today Wichita is served by six trunk lines, reaching into Western Kansas,Eastern Colorado, Oklahoma, Texas, and Mexico.

The development of Wichita in the last ten years has been many-sided. Perhapsits most important growth has been in the live stock and grain markets. In 1912,14,465 cars of grain came to the Wichita market and 10,759 cars of live stock werereceived at the Wichita Union Stockyards. Wichita is the largest broom corn market3in the United States, parts of Oklahoma and Western Kansas being peculiarlyadapted for the growth of broom corn. The city’s standing as a distributing centeris evidenced by its large number of jobbing houses, with business covering SouthernKansas, Oklahoma and parts of Texas and New Mexico. There are more than a hundredjobbing houses located here. Among these, ten firms deal in agricultural implements,six wholesale grocery firms, three dry goods jobbers, three wholesale drughouses.

Surrounding Wichita is one of the great wheat districts of the world and this fact,with the city’s superior transportation facilities, is largely responsible for the millingindustry. The city’s flouring mills have a capacity of 7,000 barrels a day and theirproduct is shipped to California and to New York, to Oregon and to Europeanports. This branch of Wichita’s manufacturing and commercial industry is growingsteadily. Eight hundred men are employed in sash and door factories. In foundries250 men are employed.

The faith of Wichita’s builders is shown in its wide streets. In the residence districta large portion of the street has been converted into parking and at many pointsbranches of the trees meet in the middle, forming arches.

In public improvements the city is remarkably progressive. It has eleven parkswith an area of 416 acres, and a public gathering place, known as the Forum, with aseating capacity of 5,500. In 1911 it ranked eighth among all cities in the United4States in the area of new paving. Its office buildings—among them 10-story structures—arebuilt on most modern lines; building permits in one year reached sevenand one-half million dollars.

The water supply of Wichita comes from cylinders sunk forty feet beneath thebed of the Big Arkansas river. The water flows through a deep body of gravel beforeentering the cylinders, providing a supply of unusual purity. Air pumps syphonthe water from the cylinders to cement reservoirs, where it is aerated before passinginto the city mains.

The educational facilities of Wichita are complete. A new high school, thebuilding costing $200,000, is at the head of the public school system. Friends University,Fairmount College and Mt. Carmel Academy cover the field of higher education.The main building of Friends University cost $265,000.

In its physical appearance, in the class of retail and wholesale business buildingsand public structures, such as the city hall, government building and schools,Wichita gives the impression of a city twice the population. The completion of theNew Union Passenger Terminal Station, with the elevation of railway tracks, addsgreatly to this feeling. This terminal work cost two and one-half million dollars andwas completed early in 1914.

In this book are illustrations of the new Passenger Terminal, of the business andresidence sections of the city and of some of the more important public buildings—thewhole a true picture of one of the most aggressive cities in all the Southwest.


The Wichita Union Terminal Station

The Wichita Union Terminal Station, opened in 1914, isused by the Santa Fe, the Frisco, the Rock Island, andthe Orient lines. The building, 600 feet in length, has afrontage of 103 feet on Douglass Avenue, Wichita’s main thoroughfare.It is constructed of concrete, Colorado limestone andterra cotta, and is fireproof throughout. Trains enter by means ofelevated tracks, connected with the waiting rooms by inclinedplanes.

Including the approaches and track elevations, the station costapproximately two and one-half million dollars.

Wichita Union Terminal Station

The Concourse and Ticket Offices of the Wichita Union Terminal Station

The main concourse of Wichita’s new Union TerminalStation is 100 feet long and 55 feet wide. The floors areof marble, the walls of glazed terra cotta, and it is aglowwith natural light. The station building, constructed of concrete,limestone and terra cotta, is fireproof and cost, including approaches,approximately two and one-half million dollars.

Concourse and Ticket Offices

Main Waiting Room, Wichita Union Terminal Station

The main waiting room of Wichita’s new Union TerminalStation is 165 feet long, 125 feet wide and 25 feet high,and is open to sunlight on three sides, making it unusuallycheerful and attractive. The floors are of marble; glazed terracotta is used on the walls. Inclined planes lead to the elevatedtracks over which all passenger trains run.

Wichita is among the most important railroad centers in theSouthwest, and has large live stock packing and jobbing interests,while some of its manufactured products are sent to all the civilizedworld.

Main Waiting Room

Dining Room of the Wichita Terminal Station

The dining room in the new Union Terminal Station inWichita immediately adjoins the main waiting room andconcourse. Across the hall are the men’s smoking room,telegraph offices and parcel rooms. One end of the dining room isoccupied by the lunch counter, while the other end is given over totables. The floors and walls are finished in terra cotta, glazed tileor marble.

About a hundred persons may be served at a sitting. The managementis under the direction of Fred Harvey.

Wichita is one of the most important commercial centers of theSouthwest. Its wholesale interests and packing and live stock industriesare growing steadily. The new Union Station with terminalscost approximately two and one-half million dollars andwas completed in 1913.

Dining Room

Concourse, Wichita Union Terminal Station

Opposite the main waiting room of the Union TerminalStation, Wichita is the concourse which leads to the trainplatforms. Here are the news and fruit stand and thesoda fountain, all constructed of marble or white terra cotta tile,as is the main portion of the Concourse. A side sky-light gives theConcourse sunshine most of the day.


Ladies’ Retiring Room, Wichita Union Terminal Station

Adjoining the Main Waiting room of the WichitaUnion Terminal Passenger Station is the Ladies’ RetiringRoom. Here are provided all the comforts and conveniencesrequired by women and children on a journey. A ladies’maid is at the service of the traveler, and there are wash and toiletrooms, easy chairs and couches where one may recline. It is decoratedin cheerful tones and is a good example of the considerationthat has come to be expected by the traveling public in these days.

Ladies’ Retiring Room

A Twilight View of the New Union Terminal Station, Wichita, Kansas

Wichita’s new Union Terminal Station, constructedof Colorado limestone and concrete, with terra cottafacing, is architecturally on strong, dignified lines, withthe pleasing gracefulness of the Renaissance. The main buildingfronts a plaza on Douglass Avenue, the city’s main thoroughfare,giving the traveler an attractive entrance to the heart of the city.The interior is of concrete, tile and marble. It is fireproof throughout.

Union Terminal Station, Twilight

“Watch Wichita Win”—The Motto of an Aggressive Community

Spanning the intersection of two of the principal streetsin the retail section of Wichita is the motto that best expressesthe spirit of the community—“Watch WichitaWin.” At night this motto stands out, brilliant in lights, where itmay be seen from the trains entering and leaving the city. Andthat Wichita is living up to its watchword is proved by its recordof growth in population. In 1890 it had 15,620 inhabitants; in1895, 20,839; in 1900, 24,691; in 1905, 34,520, and today it hasreached the 65,000 mark. “Wichita Is Winning.” The large buildingin the illustration is the Hotel Eaton.

“Watch Wichita Win” Sign

Looking North on Main Street, Wichita

In its business and office buildings Wichita surpasses any cityin Kansas. In the illustrations are shown some of the moreimportant commercial structures of Wichita, among themthe Beacon building, ten stories; the Boston department store andthe Schweiter building, ten stories. The founders of Wichita, withforesight based on their faith in the city’s greatness, made thestreets wide and their wisdom is appreciated by the men who arebuilding the city today.

Main Street

The Live Stock Exchange, Wichita

Wichita’s real development as a live stock market hascome within the last seven or eight years and since thenits progress has been truly remarkable. In three years,1906 to 1909, the cattle receipts increased 400 per cent and hogreceipts 150 per cent. In order to keep pace with this growth theUnion Stock Yards Company has been forced to add acres of pensto its equipments almost every year. The pens are brick-pavedand each contains watering and feeding troughs. The exchangebuilding, erected by the Stock Yards Company, contains a nationalbank, the offices of commission firms, of the stock yards company,of the Terminal Railroad and branch offices of the packing companies.

Live Stock Exchange

Union Stock Yards, Wichita

Wichita has two large packing houses with a capacityof 6,000 animals a day. The annual receipts at theUnion Stock Yards reach one million a year. Wichitais looked upon as a logical point for a packing house and stockyardscenter, first, because it is located at the very entrance of thegreat Southwestern cattle district, and, secondly, because it has thetransportation lines reaching into the great stock-growing country.Twelve hundred men are employed in the packing houses and about500 in the stockyards. It is estimated that 4,000 persons are dependentupon this branch of Wichita’s commercial activity.

Union Stock Yards

Wichita as a Milling Center

Kansas has soil and climate peculiarly adapted to the growingof Red Turkey Hard Wheat. An area of more than 8million acres is devoted to the raising of Red TurkeyWheat in Kansas and there are perhaps four million acres moresuitable for the purpose and now given over to grazing. FromWichita railway lines spread like spokes from a hub into these wheatfields. The milling capacity of Wichita is now 7,000 barrels daily;millers say it should have 10,000 barrels output, with a possibility of20,000 within a few years. The illustration shows one of the modernflouring plants in Wichita.

A Modern Flouring Plant

In the Retail Business District, Wichita

With its 10-story buildings and extensive retail establishments,Wichita’s business district suggests a city oftwice its size. This development is largely due to thewide commercial influence of Wichita, shoppers coming from allthe surrounding territory. The retail stores of Wichita are ofunusual attractiveness, both in equipment as well as stock.

Retail Business District

The Forum, A Gathering Place for the People of Wichita

The city of Wichita built a structure 260 feet long and 160feet wide as a meeting place for the people of the city andsurrounding territory. It is designed so that it may beused for a horse show or

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