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Frontenac, Kansas
Location within Crawford County and Kansas
Location within Crawford County and Kansas
KDOT map of Crawford County (legend)
Country United States
State Kansas
County Crawford
Founded 1886
Incorporated 1895
 • Total 5.32 sq mi (13.78 km2)
 • Land 5.22 sq mi (13.53 km2)
 • Water 0.10 sq mi (0.25 km2)
955 ft (291 m)
 • Total 3,382
 • Density 635.7/sq mi (245.43/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code 620
FIPS code 20-24850
GNIS ID 469741

Frontenac is the second largest city in Crawford County, Kansas, United States. As of the 2020 census, the population of the city was 3,382.


Frontenac was established as a coal mining town in 1886 in the Cherokee-Crawford Coal Fields in the western Ozark Plateau.

A post office was opened in Frontenac in 1887, and remained in operation until it was discontinued in 1957.

On the night of November 9, 1888, Frontenac had the worst mining disaster in Kansas history, when a coal dust explosion killed 44 miners.

During the last decade of the nineteenth century and in the early twentieth century the town was populated primarily by immigrant families from eastern and southeastern Europe, predominantly Sicilian, Italian, and Slavic people from the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Its maximum population neared 4,000. It housed various ethnic lodges and drinking parlors despite the state's increasingly severe ban on the distribution, sale, and manufacture of alcoholic beverages.

Coal mining remained the town's occupational base until World War II, when its economy began to change, as did the entire region's.


Frontenac is located at 37°27′16″N 94°41′43″W / 37.45444°N 94.69528°W / 37.45444; -94.69528 (37.454465, -94.695185) in the Cherokee Lowlands, at the western edge of the Ozarks. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 5.06 square miles (13.11 km2), of which, 4.97 square miles (12.87 km2) is land and 0.09 square miles (0.23 km2) is water.


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


Historical population
Census Pop.
1890 600
1900 1,805 200.8%
1910 3,396 88.1%
1920 3,225 −5.0%
1930 2,085 −35.3%
1940 1,766 −15.3%
1950 1,569 −11.2%
1960 1,713 9.2%
1970 2,223 29.8%
1980 2,586 16.3%
1990 2,588 0.1%
2000 2,996 15.8%
2010 3,437 14.7%
2020 3,382 −1.6%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 3,437 people, 1,391 households, and 893 families residing in the city. The population density was 691.5 inhabitants per square mile (267.0/km2). There were 1,519 housing units at an average density of 305.6 per square mile (118.0/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 95.5% White, 0.5% African American, 0.5% Native American, 0.7% Asian, 0.2% Pacific Islander, 0.6% from other races, and 1.9% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.1% of the population.

There were 1,391 households, of which 32.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.0% were married couples living together, 11.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.7% had a male householder with no wife present, and 35.8% were non-families. 30.6% of all households were made up of individuals, and 15.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.40 and the average family size was 3.00.

The median age in the city was 40.1 years. 24.2% of residents were under the age of 18; 7.7% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 24.4% were from 25 to 44; 24.2% were from 45 to 64; and 19.6% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 46.3% male and 53.7% female.

Area events

"Festa Italiana, A Taste of Nations" is an annual festival held to celebrate the city's heritage. It hosts many different cooks, and patrons can sample foods from family recipes ranging from many different European heritages. Festa Italiana is held near the Frontenac Sports Complex each fall. Nearly 3,000 people attend Festa yearly.

Frontenac Town Homecoming is an event in which the Frontenac area celebrates the town's establishment. It is complete with a large parade, food vendors, beer & wine tents, children's games, contests & tournaments, fishing derby, pool games, and a Street Dance in the evening. In 2016, community leaders created the Frontenac Heritage Hall, a museum of photo collections and memorabilia from Frontenac's foundation in 1886 to present. It is located in downtown Frontenac, at the corner of McKay and Crawford Streets. Most events are held in downtown Frontenac (with fishing derby held at Frontenac City Park, pool games held at Frontenac City Pool), and celebrated in late May or early June. Many alumnus from Frontenac High School celebrate their class reunions on this weekend.

Parks and recreation

The city is home to several parks and thriving recreation.

Frontenac Rotary Park is located east of downtown Frontenac, and is filled with state-of-the-art playground equipment, a skate park, and shelter houses for gatherings.

Frontenac City Park is located on the north edge of town, and is great for walking and fishing, home to several deep fishing pits.

Frontenac Sports Complex, located on the east end of town, is home to a brand new football stadium & track, several baseball & softball diamonds, and a cross-country path. The sports complex is home to the Raiders & Lady Raiders for football, baseball, softball, cross-country, and track & field.

Frontenac Municipal Swimming Pool is located east of Rotary Park and is ideal for the whole family to enjoy.

Frontenac Recreation Center is located in downtown Frontenac, and has state-of-the-art lifting & running machines, in addition to free-weights and biking machines. Citizens can get access cards by joining at City Hall.

Senior Citizens Center, located north of downtown Frontenac, is a community center available to rent for parties.


Primary and secondary education

Frontenac is served by Unified School District 249. The district serves primarily in east-central Crawford County, and parts of west-central Barton County, Missouri. It consists of three schools in the city of Frontenac:

  • Frontenac High School (Grades 9-12), located at 201 S. Crawford St.
  • Frontenac Middle School (Grades 6–8), located at 201 S. Cayuga St.
  • Frank Layden Elementary School (Grades Pre-K-5), located at 200 E. Lanyon St.

Frontenac High School competes as Class 4A. The mascot is the Raider & Lady Raider, and the colors are black, silver, & white. It is the second largest school system in Crawford County, Kansas, with an average district enrollment of about 1,000 students.

Higher education

  • Fort Scott Community College - Frontenac Campus.
  • Harley Davidson Technician Training Center.
  • John Deere Technology Center.

Notable people

  • Andy Pilney, college football player and coach
  • Archie San Romani, world-class distance runner & 1936 U.S. Olympian
  • Joe Skubitz, United States congressman
  • Douglas Youvan, biophysicist and inventor
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