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Greensburg, Kansas
Greensburg Water Tower (2009)
Greensburg Water Tower (2009)
Location within Kiowa County and Kansas
Location within Kiowa County and Kansas
KDOT map of Kiowa County (legend)
Country United States
State Kansas
County Kiowa
Founded 1885
Incorporated 1886
Named for D.R. Green
 • Total 1.79 sq mi (4.63 km2)
 • Land 1.79 sq mi (4.63 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
2,238 ft (682 m)
 • Total 740
 • Density 413/sq mi (159.8/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code 620
FIPS code 20-28675
GNIS ID 474258

Greensburg is a city in, and the county seat of, Kiowa County, Kansas, United States. As of the 2020 census, the population of the city was 740. It is home to the world's largest hand-dug well. On the evening of May 4, 2007, Greensburg was devastated by an EF5 tornado that leveled at least 95 percent of the city and killing eleven people between the ages of 46 and 84. Today, Greensburg stands as a model "green town", often described as the greenest in America. The hospital, city hall, and school have all been built to the highest certification level issued by Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).


The first settlement was made at Greensburg in 1885. Greensburg was named for D. R. "Cannonball" Green, who owned a stagecoach company and who helped to form the city.

Greensburg kansas tornado
City center, twelve days after the tornado struck (2007)

At 9:45 p.m. CDT on May 4, 2007, during a deadly tornado outbreak, Greensburg was hit by an EF5 tornado. The tornado was estimated to be 1.7 miles (2.7 km) in width — wider than the city itself — and traveled for nearly 22 miles (35 km). Ninety-five percent of the city was confirmed to be destroyed, with the other five percent being severely damaged. The National Weather Service estimated winds of the tornado to reach 205 mph (330 km/h). This was the first tornado to be rated EF5 since the update of the Fujita scale and the first "5" classification since May 3, 1999, when an F5 tornado ripped through Moore, Oklahoma, as part of the 1999 Oklahoma tornado outbreak. Tornado sirens sounded in the city twenty minutes before the tornado struck, and a tornado emergency was issued, which undoubtedly saved many lives. Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius and President George W. Bush both declared Kiowa County a disaster area, which opened up the affected areas for national and international aid. The tornado took 10 lives in Greensburg and two more in neighboring towns. While some rebuilding was done, the population by 2010 was about 50% of what it was in 2000, as the 2000 census found 1,574 residents, while only 777 were recorded in the 2010 census.

After the tornado, the city council passed a resolution stating that all city buildings would be built to LEED - platinum standards, making it the first city in the nation to do so. Greensburg is rebuilding as a "green" town, with the help of Greensburg GreenTown, a non-profit organization created to help the residents learn about and implement the green living initiative. The city's power is supplied by ten 1.25 MW wind-turbines. Carbon offsets generated from the turbines are being managed by NativeEnergy, and have been purchased by charter supporters including Ben & Jerry's, Clif Bar, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, and Stonyfield Farm.


Greensburg is located at 37°36′16″N 99°17′37″W / 37.604316°N 99.293488°W / 37.604316; -99.293488 (37.604316, -99.293488). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.48 square miles (3.83 km2), all land.


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


Historical population
Census Pop.
1890 515
1900 343 −33.4%
1910 1,199 249.6%
1920 1,215 1.3%
1930 1,338 10.1%
1940 1,417 5.9%
1950 1,723 21.6%
1960 1,988 15.4%
1970 1,907 −4.1%
1980 1,885 −1.2%
1990 1,792 −4.9%
2000 1,574 −12.2%
2010 777 −50.6%
2020 740 −4.8%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 777 people, 355 households, and 212 families residing in the city. The population density was 525.0 inhabitants per square mile (202.7/km2). There were 431 housing units at an average density of 291.2 per square mile (112.4/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 95.5% White, 0.4% African American, 1.0% Native American, 0.4% Asian, 1.4% from other races, and 1.3% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.9% of the population.

There were 355 households, of which 24.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.2% were married couples living together, 8.2% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.4% had a male householder with no wife present, and 40.3% were non-families. 36.9% of all households were made up of individuals, and 16.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.18 and the average family size was 2.83.

The median age in the city was 45.2 years. 22% of residents were under the age of 18; 5.2% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 22.6% were from 25 to 44; 27.9% were from 45 to 64; and 22.3% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 47.4% male and 52.6% female.

2020 census

As of the census of 2020, there were 740 people, and 365 households. The population density was 411.1 inhabitants per square mile (158.7/km2). There were 403 housing units at an average density of 223.9 per square mile (86.4/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 88.6% White, 2.2% African American, 0.3% Native American, 1.7% Asian, 0.4% from other races, and 6.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.6% of the population.

There were 365 households. The average household size was 3.11 and the average family size was 3.09.

The median age in the city was 45.6 years. 25.3% of residents were under the age of 18; 74.7% were between the ages of 18 and 64; and 24.0% were 65 years of age or older.

The median household income was $40,729.


Greensburg is home to the world's largest hand dug well. Work had begun on the well in 1887 to provide water for the steam engines of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway and Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad. When the well was completed in 1888 it was 109 feet (33 m) deep and 32 feet (9.8 m) in diameter. The well was used as the city's water supply until 1932. In 1939 it was opened as a tourist attraction allowing visitors to descend to the bottom of the well. The adjacent museum displayed a 1000-pound pallasite meteorite until the museum fell down around the meteorite during a 2007 tornado that destroyed the city. The Well was not destroyed, and the meteorite was found in the rubble of the museum and moved to a temporary home in Hays before Greensburg could reclaim it. As of January 2011 the meteorite is back in Greensburg on display in the new City Hall until the new Big Well Museum is built.

On October 16, 2006, a related smaller meteorite measuring 154 pounds (70 kilograms) was dug up near Greensburg (5 miles (8.0 km)) and Haviland (4 miles (6.4 km)). The only scientific publication discussing time of impact suggests a terrestrial age of 20,000 years. It was once thought that its age was closer to 10,000 years.

The town serves as a time station for the annual Race Across America, a 3,000 miles (4,800 km) transcontinental bicycle race.


Greensburg is served by three U.S. Highways:

Bus service is provided daily eastward towards Wichita, Kansas and westward towards Pueblo, Colorado by BeeLine Express (subcontractor of Greyhound Lines).



The community is served by Kiowa County USD 422 public school district. Greensburg schools were closed through school unification. The Greensburg Rangers won the Kansas State High School boys class B basketball championship in 1948.

As of the 2019 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, 82.35 of School Enrolled Population are Enrolled in Kindergarten to 12th Grade in Greensburg. 27.4% of residents have a High School or Equivalent degree, 27.4% have some college but no degree, 8.6% have an Associate's degree, 16.8% have a Bachelor's degree, and 7.2% have a Graduates or Professional degree.

Notable people

  • Manvel H. Davis, Republican loser to Harry S. Truman in 1940 U.S. senatorial Missouri campaign
  • Dennis McKinney, Kansas State Treasurer 2008-2010
  • Sandra Seacat, actress and acting coach

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See also

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

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