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Hutchinson, Kansas
City
Reno County Courthouse (2008)
Reno County Courthouse (2008)
Official seal of Hutchinson, Kansas
Seal
Nickname(s): The Salt City, Hutch
Location within Reno County and Kansas
Location within Reno County and Kansas
KDOT map of Reno County (legend)
KDOT map of Reno County (legend)
Country United States
State Kansas
County Reno
Founded 1871
Area
 • Total 22.75 sq mi (58.92 km2)
 • Land 22.69 sq mi (58.77 km2)
 • Water 0.06 sq mi (0.16 km2)
Elevation 1,535 ft (468 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 42,080
 • Estimate (2015) 41,569
 • Density 1,849.7/sq mi (714.19/km2)
Time zone CST (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code 67501-67502
Area code 620
FIPS code 20-33625
GNIS ID 0477947

Hutchinson is the largest city and county seat in Reno County, Kansas, United States, and located on the Arkansas River. It has been home to salt mines since 1887, thus its nickname of "Salt City", but locals call it "Hutch". As of the 2010 census, the city population was 42,080.

Each year, Hutchinson hosts the Kansas State Fair, and National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Basketball Tournament. It is the home of the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center aerospace museum and Strataca (formerly known as Kansas Underground Salt Museum).

History

1880 Hutchinson Kansas
1880s Hutchinson
Bisonte Hotel in Hutchinson, Kansas
The Bisonte Hotel, built in 1906 and closed in 1946. It was the Harvey House and Santa Fe Railroad station in Hutchinson.
Stouffer's Railroad Map of Kansas 1915-1918 Reno County
1915 Railroad Map of Reno County
See also: History of Kansas

The city of Hutchinson was founded in 1871, when Indian Agent Clinton "C.C." Hutchinson contracted with the Santa Fe Railway to make a town at the railroad's crossing over the Arkansas River. The community earned the nickname "Temperance City" due to the prohibition of alcohol set by its founder. Hutchinson was incorporated as a city in August, 1872.

In 1887, the Chicago, Kansas and Nebraska Railway built a main line from Herington through Hutchinson to Pratt. In 1888, this line was extended to Liberal. Later, it was extended to Tucumcari, New Mexico and El Paso, Texas. It foreclosed in 1891 and taken over by Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railway, which shut down in 1980 and reorganized as Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas Railroad, merged in 1988 with Missouri Pacific Railroad, merged in 1997 with Union Pacific Railroad. Most locals still refer to this railroad as the "Rock Island".

In 1943, German and Italian prisoners of World War II were used in Kansas and other Midwest states as a means of solving the labor shortage caused by American men serving in the war effort. Large prisoner-of-war camps were established in Kansas: Camp Concordia, Camp Funston (at Fort Riley), Camp Phillips (at Salina under Fort Riley). Fort Riley established 12 smaller branch camps, including Hutchinson.

On January 17, 2001, 143 million cubic feet (4,000,000 m3) of compressed natural gas leaked from the nearby Yaggy storage field. It sank underground, then rose to the surface through old brine, or salt wells making around 15 gas blowholes. An explosion in the downtown area at 10:45 a.m. destroyed 2 businesses and damaged 26 others. An explosion the next day in a mobile-home park took the lives of two people. The Kansas National Guard was called in to help evacuate parts of the city because of the gas leaks, and a team of specialists looked over all the city for leaks after the event. These events were broadcast on nationally televised news stations across the country.

Geography

Hutchinson is located at 38°3′39″N 97°55′47″W / 38.06083°N 97.92972°W / 38.06083; -97.92972 (38.0608445, -97.9297743) at an elevation of 1,535 feet (468 m). Located in south-central Kansas at the intersection of U.S. Route 50 and Kansas Highway 96 (K-96), Hutchinson is 39 miles (63 km) northwest of Wichita, 200 mi (320 km) west-southwest of Kansas City, and 395 miles (636 km) east-southeast of Denver.

The city lies on the northeast bank of the Arkansas River in the Great Bend Sand Prairie region of the Great Plains. Cow Creek, a tributary of the Arkansas, runs southeast through the city.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 22.75 square miles (58.92 km2), of which, 22.69 square miles (58.77 km2) is land and 0.06 square miles (0.16 km2) is water.

Climate

Lying in the transition zone between North America's humid subtropical climate (Köppen Cfa) and humid continental climate (Köppen Dfa), Hutchinson experiences hot, humid summers and cold, dry winters. The average temperature for the year is 56 °F (13 °C), and the average relative humidity is 65%. Temperatures exceed 90 °F (32 °C) an average of 65 days a year and drop below 32 °F (0 °C) an average of 121 days a year. On average, Hutchinson experiences 46 rainy days a year. Snowfall averages 14.1 inches (35 cm) per year. Total precipitation averages 30.3 inches (770 mm) per year. On average, January is the coolest month, July is the warmest month, and May is the wettest month. The hottest temperature recorded in Hutchinson was 111 °F (44 °C) in 1964; the coldest temperature recorded was -19 °F (-28 °C) in 1982.

Climate data for Hutchinson, Kansas
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 79
(26.1)
84
(28.9)
89
(31.7)
98
(36.7)
102
(38.9)
110
(43.3)
110
(43.3)
111
(43.9)
108
(42.2)
95
(35)
88
(31.1)
76
(24.4)
112
(44.4)
Average high °F (°C) 40
(4.4)
47
(8.3)
56
(13.3)
66
(18.9)
75
(23.9)
87
(30.6)
93
(33.9)
91
(32.8)
82
(27.8)
70
(21.1)
54
(12.2)
43
(6.1)
67
(19.44)
Average low °F (°C) 17
(-8.3)
22
(-5.6)
32
(0)
41
(5)
52
(11.1)
62
(16.7)
67
(19.4)
65
(18.3)
56
(13.3)
43
(6.1)
31
(-0.6)
21
(-6.1)
42.4
(5.79)
Record low °F (°C) −16
(-26.7)
−19
(-28.3)
−6
(-21.1)
16
(-8.9)
28
(-2.2)
42
(5.6)
46
(7.8)
46
(7.8)
29
(-1.7)
12
(-11.1)
1
(-17.2)
−18
(-27.8)
−19
(-28.3)
Precipitation inches (mm) 0.70
(17.8)
1.08
(27.4)
2.70
(68.6)
2.83
(71.9)
4.36
(110.7)
3.97
(100.8)
3.70
(94)
2.97
(75.4)
3.02
(76.7)
2.43
(61.7)
1.56
(39.6)
1.00
(25.4)
30.32
(770.1)
Snowfall inches (cm) 3.5
(8.9)
2.9
(7.4)
2.5
(6.4)
0.6
(1.5)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
1.6
(4.1)
2.1
(5.3)
13.2
(33.5)
Source: Weatherbase

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 1,540
1890 8,682 463.8%
1900 9,379 8.0%
1910 16,364 74.5%
1920 23,298 42.4%
1930 27,085 16.3%
1940 30,013 10.8%
1950 33,575 11.9%
1960 37,574 11.9%
1970 36,885 −1.8%
1980 40,284 9.2%
1990 39,308 −2.4%
2000 40,787 3.8%
2010 42,080 3.2%
Est. 2015 41,569 −1.2%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 42,080 people, 16,981 households, and 10,352 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,854.6 inhabitants per square mile (716.1/km2). There were 18,580 housing units at an average density of 818.9 per square mile (316.2/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 87.9% White, 4.3% African American, 0.7% American Indian, 0.6% Asian, 3.4% from other races, and 3.2% from two or more races. Hispanics and Latinos of any race were 10.6% of the population.

There were 16,981 households of which 29.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.1% were married couples living together, 12.3% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.5% had a male householder with no wife present, and 39.0% were non-families. 33.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.31 and the average family size was 2.93.

The median age in the city was 37.8 years. 23.1% of residents were under the age of 18; 10.5% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 24.4% were from 25 to 44; 25.4% were from 45 to 64; and 16.6% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 50.3% male and 49.7% female.

The median income for a household was $38,880, and the median income for a family was $47,336. Males had a median income of $39,442 versus $26,600 for females. The per capita income for the city was $21,050. About 12.9% of families and 15.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 26.0% of those under age 18 and 6.9% of those age 65 or over.

2000 census

As of the census of 2000, there were 40,787 people, 16,335 households, and 10,340 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,932.6 inhabitants per square mile (746.2/km2). There were 17,693 housing units at an average density of 838.3 per square mile (323.7/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 88.57% White, 4.28% African American, 0.65% Native American, 0.59% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 3.65% from other races, and 2.21% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 7.67% of the population.

There were 16,335 households out of which 28.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.3% were married couples living together, 10.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.7% were non-families. 31.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.31 and the average family size was 2.91.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 23.2% under the age of 18, 11.0% from 18 to 24, 27.8% from 25 to 44, 21.2% from 45 to 64, and 16.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 101.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 100.5 males.

As of 2000 the median income for a household in the city was $32,645, and the median income for a family was $40,094. Males had a median income of $30,994 versus $21,190 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,964. About 9.8% of families and 12.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.5% of those under age 18 and 9.7% of those age 65 or over.

Parks and recreation

Hutchinson is home to the Prairie Dunes Country Club, a golf course frequently ranked among the best golf courses in the U.S., and has hosted several United States Golf Association national championship tournaments. The club was founded by Emerson Carey and his four sons in the mid-1930s. The course was designed by Perry Maxwell and the first nine holes opened on September 13, 1937. Twenty years later in 1957 a second 9 holes were opened, designed by J. Press Maxwell (Perry's son). Prairie Dunes was host of the 2002 U.S. Women's Open and 2006 U.S. Senior Open golf championships.

Culture

Points of Interest

  • Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center
  • Strataca, formerly known as Kansas Underground Salt Museum
  • Kansas State Fair
  • Carey Park, home of the Hutchinson Zoo, Carey Park Golf Course, and Salt City Splash outdoor aquatic center

In popular culture and the arts

Film

  • Wait till the Sun Shines, Nellie (1952 film), directed by Henry King, is set in Hutchinson.
  • Picnic (1955 film), directed by Joshua Logan and winner of two Academy Awards, was partially shot in Hutchinson (grain elevator scene).
  • Mysterious Skin (2004 film), directed by Gregg Araki and based on a 1996 Scott Heim book of the same name, is set in Hutchinson.
  • Salvation (2014 Film), Directed by Brett Donowho, Bernie Van De Yacht, was shot in Hutchinson.

Television

  • Dirty Jobs, Season 2 Episode 42, an episode in Hutchinson focusing on mining salt.
  • Modern Marvels, Season 17 Episode 7, (time code: 29:40 - 34:26, first aired 12/10/2010), contained a segment on The Hutchinson Salt Mine.
  • Rocket Power, Samuel "Squid" Dullard is said to have moved from Hutchinson to Ocean Shores, California.
  • So Weird, season 2, an episode takes place in Hutchinson where Molly is performing for a charity benefit.
  • How Stuff Works Salt Episode, Mining salt

Literature

  • Sprout, a 2009 novel by Dale Peck, is set in Hutchinson and surrounding areas.
  • Mysterious Skin, a 1996 novel by Scott Heim (adapted into a film in 2004 starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt), is set in Hutchinson and nearby towns.

Sports

  • Roller Derby Central Kansas Roller Girls - All Female Flat Track Roller Derby League. Formed in 2012. In 2016 the team became a coed team and were renamed Central Kansas Roller Derby. In 2017 they added a junior team which has not yet been named.
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