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Clay Center, Kansas facts for kids

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Clay Center, Kansas
Clay County Courthouse (2006)
Clay County Courthouse (2006)
Location within Clay County and Kansas
Location within Clay County and Kansas
KDOT map of Clay County (legend)
Country United States
State Kansas
County Clay
Founded 1862
Incorporated 1875
 • Total 3.19 sq mi (8.27 km2)
 • Land 3.19 sq mi (8.26 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.01 km2)
1,201 ft (366 m)
 • Total 4,199
 • Density 1,316.3/sq mi (507.7/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code 785
FIPS code 20-13625
GNIS ID 476034

Clay Center is a city in and the county seat of Clay County, Kansas, United States. As of the 2020 census, the population of the city was 4,199.


Clay Center was first settled in 1862. It was named from its position near the geographical center of Clay County.

The first post office was established in Clay Center on July 3, 1862.

Clay Center was located on the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific and Union Pacific Railroads.


Clay Center is located at 39°22′48″N 97°7′23″W / 39.38000°N 97.12306°W / 39.38000; -97.12306 (39.379920, -97.123168). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.08 square miles (7.98 km2), all of it land. Clay Center is unique, because it is the geographic midpoint between Los Angeles, California and New York City, the two largest American cities. Both cities are exactly 1,224 mi (1,970 km) from Clay Center.


The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Clay Center has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 1,753
1890 2,802 59.8%
1900 3,069 9.5%
1910 3,438 12.0%
1920 3,715 8.1%
1930 4,386 18.1%
1940 4,518 3.0%
1950 4,528 0.2%
1960 4,613 1.9%
1970 4,963 7.6%
1980 4,948 −0.3%
1990 4,613 −6.8%
2000 4,564 −1.1%
2010 4,334 −5.0%
2020 4,199 −3.1%
U.S. Decennial Census
Clay Center Veterans Mural (2020)

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 4,334 people, 1,920 households, and 1,172 families living in the city. The population density was 1,407.1 inhabitants per square mile (543.3/km2). There were 2,158 housing units at an average density of 700.6 per square mile (270.5/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 96.9% White, 0.5% African American, 0.6% Native American, 0.3% Asian, 0.4% from other races, and 1.3% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino people of any race were 1.8% of the population.

There were 1,920 households, of which 27.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.8% were married couples living together, 8.2% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.0% had a male householder with no wife present, and 39.0% were non-families. 35.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 20.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.21 and the average family size was 2.82.

The median age in the city was 44.5 years. 22.5% of residents were under the age of 18; 6.6% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 21.4% were from 25 to 44; 25.8% were from 45 to 64; and 23.7% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.6% male and 51.4% female.

Area events

Piotique Festival - Held each year on the last Saturday of September, Piotique comes from smashing two words together: Pioneer and Antique. Each year, hundreds of people return to Clay Center to celebrate class reunions, family reunions and all the exciting things that have happened in clay center over the last year. Enjoy food vendors, craft booths, exciting activities, live entertainment and dancing on our Clay County Courthouse lawn. The morning kicks off at 7:30 am downtown with our Mark A. Chapman Piotique Road race. Participants can either choose a 2-mile fun run or 10K road race. Awards and medals are given at the conclusion of the race.


K-15 (2020) by William Counter
Clay Center Carnegie Library
Clay Center Carnegie Library (2015)

The community is served by Clay County USD 379 public school district, and Clay Center Community High School.

The Clay Center Carnegie Library is the public library for this community.

Notable people

  • Herb Bradley, professional baseball player
  • Tracy Claeys, Washington State football defensive coordinator and former University of Minnesota football head coach
  • Warren Henry Cole, surgeon who pioneered X-ray use in medicine
  • George Docking, former governor of Kansas
  • Steve Doocy, host for Fox News, Fox & Friends TV talk show; author
  • Tenney Frank, noted scholar and historian
  • Lady Greyhound (dog), marketing mascot for Greyhound Lines in the late 1950s
  • Nicole Ohlde, basketball player and WNBA player
  • Otto D. Unruh, two-time Bethel College football coach and 21-year coaching career at Clay Center Kansas High School
  • William D. Vincent, United States Representative

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Clay Center (Kansas) para niños

National Hispanic Heritage Month on Kiddle
Renowned Hispanic physicians
Alexander De Soto
Maria J. Merino
Raquel Eidelman Cohen
Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa
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