Wichita is located on the site of a Native American village (1863–65) inhabited by Wichitas who had been driven out of Oklahoma and Texas for their Union sympathies during the Civil War. A trading post was established there in 1864, and the city was founded in 1868 by settlers serving the Chisholm Trail. In 1872 the railroad was extended to Wichita and the city boomed as a cow town. After 1880 it became the trade center of an agricultural and livestock region. Oil was discovered just E of Wichita in 1915.
The city has many civic and cultural facilities, including art museums, a symphony orchestra, a modernistic convention and cultural complex (Century II), and a large speech-and-hearing rehabilitation center. It has fine parks, a zoo, a
cow-town restoration, and two large stadiums. It is the seat of Wichita State Univ., Friends Univ., and Newman Univ. Nearby is McConnell Air Force Base.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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