Medicine Lodge, Kansas facts for kids
Quick facts for kids
Medicine Lodge, Kansas
City and County seat
Natural amphitheater at the Medicine Lodge Peace Treaty Site (1969)
Location within Barber County and Kansas
KDOT map of Barber County (legend)
|Named for||medicine lodge|
|• Total||1.20 sq mi (3.10 km2)|
|• Land||1.20 sq mi (3.10 km2)|
|• Water||0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)|
|Elevation||1,499 ft (457 m)|
|• Density||1,484/sq mi (574.5/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-6 (CST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-5 (CDT)|
Medicine Lodge is a city in and the county seat of Barber County, Kansas, United States. As of the 2020 census, the population of the city was 1,781.
The particular medicine lodge, mystery house or sacred tabernacle from which the Medicine Lodge River received its name was in reality an arbor-like shelter of tree trunks and leafy branches which was erected by the Kiowa people for the celebration of their annual sun dance in the summer of 1866. It was located in the valley of the Medicine Lodge River, several miles below the present town of Medicine Lodge, which is at the mouth of Elm Creek. In their own language, the Kiowa people called this stream A-ya-dalda P’a, meaning "Timber-hill River." The Kiowa had considered the site sacred due to the high content of Epsom salts in the river.
The Medicine Lodge Treaty was a set of three treaties signed between the United States of America and the Kiowa, Comanche, Plains Apache, Southern Cheyenne, and Southern Arapaho in October 1867. The site of the Peace Council camp was about three miles above that of the future town and on the same side of the river. A Peace Treaty Pageant, first presented in 1927 in an outdoor amphitheater on a quarter section of Kansas prairie, commemorates this significant event in Western history.
Settlers led by a man named John Hutchinson founded the town of Medicine Lodge north of the confluence of Elm Creek and the Medicine Lodge River in February 1873. The community grew rapidly with a hotel, stores, and a post office established within a year.
In 1874, in response to Native raids in the region, residents and the state militia constructed a stockade. A group of Osage killed three settlers within a few miles of the compound, but no direct attack on the fortifications occurred. Medicine Lodge was incorporated as a city in 1879.
Temperance activist Carrie Nation launched her crusade against the sale of alcohol while living in Medicine Lodge in 1900. Her home and a reproduction of the 1873 stockade are open to the public.
Medicine Lodge is located at 37°17′4″N 98°34′52″W / 37.28444°N 98.58111°W (37.284352, -98.580977) in south-central Kansas in the Red Hills region of the Great Plains. The city sits immediately north of the confluence of the Medicine Lodge River and Elm Creek. The city is on the northeast side of the river. Elm Creek flows south around the eastern and southern sides of the city. A tributary of Elm Creek, which flows south through Medicine Lodge, has been dammed immediately north of the city to form a reservoir, Barber County State Lake.
The city is located at the junction of U.S. Routes 160 and 281.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.21 square miles (3.13 km2), all of it land.
Medicine Lodge has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen Cfa) with hot, humid summers and cold, dry winters. The average temperature in Medicine Lodge is 57.3 °F (14 °C), and the average yearly precipitation is 26.2 inches (660 mm). On average, January is the coolest month, July is the warmest month, and June is the wettest month. The hottest temperature recorded in Medicine Lodge was 118 °F (48 °C) in 1936; the coldest temperature recorded was -22 °F (-30 °C) in 1905.
|Climate data for Medicine Lodge, Kansas, USA|
|Record high °F (°C)||82
|Average high °F (°C)||43
|Average low °F (°C)||18
|Record low °F (°C)||−20
|Precipitation inches (mm)||0.72
|Source: The Weather Channel|
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the census of 2010, there were 2,009 people, 876 households, and 530 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,660.3 inhabitants per square mile (641.0/km2). There were 1,031 housing units at an average density of 852.1 per square mile (329.0/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 96.3% White, 0.7% African American, 0.3% Native American, 0.4% Asian, 1.4% from other races, and 0.9% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.4% of the population.
There were 876 households, of which 29.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.3% were married couples living together, 8.4% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.7% had a male householder with no wife present, and 39.5% were non-families. 35.6% of all households were made up of individuals, and 14.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.28 and the average family size was 2.93.
The median age in the city was 40 years. 25.6% of residents were under the age of 18; 7% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 22.4% were from 25 to 44; 27.3% were from 45 to 64; and 17.9% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 50.7% male and 49.3% female.
Triennially, Medicine Lodge holds a pageant to commemorate the 1867 Medicine Lodge Treaty, signed near the city's present-day location. The city first held the pageant in 1927 and has held it every three years since 1961.
- Carrie Nation House
- Stockade House.
- Peace Treaty Statue, located on North Main Street.
- Wisner Fountain, originally used to water horses on North Main Street.
- Kansas Historical Marker - Medicine Lodge Peace Treaties, located 1 mile east of Medicine Lodge.
Barber County North USD 254 provides public primary and secondary education with two schools in Medicine Lodge: Medicine Lodge Grade School (Grades Pre-K-6) and Medicine Lodge Junior-Senior High School (7-12).
U.S. Route 281, which runs north-south, and U.S. Route 160, which runs east-west, intersect in the southwest corner of the city.
Medicine Lodge Airport, which hosts general aviation, is located approximately 1.5 miles (2.4 km) southeast of the city.
Medicine Lodge is the western terminus of the Medicine Lodge line of the V&S Railway. The rail line runs northwest-southeast through the southwestern part of the city.
- Carleton Beals, journalist
- B.H. Born, All American basketball player, University of Kansas
- Dorothy DeLay, violin instructor at Juilliard.
- Edward Joseph Hunkeler, Roman Catholic Archbishop
- Chester I. Long, U.S. Representative and U.S. Senator from Kansas
- Martina McBride, American country music singer
- Carrie Nation, temperance activist
- Jerry Simpson, U.S. Representative from Kansas
- Jasper N. Tincher, U.S. Representative from Kansas