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Victoria, Kansas
City
The Basilica of St. Fidelis (1997)
The Basilica of St. Fidelis (1997)
Location within Ellis County and Kansas
Location within Ellis County and Kansas
KDOT map of Ellis County (legend)
KDOT map of Ellis County (legend)
Country United States
State Kansas
County Ellis
Founded 1873
Incorporated 1913
Area
 • Total 0.59 sq mi (1.53 km2)
 • Land 0.59 sq mi (1.53 km2)
 • Water 0 sq mi (0 km2)
Elevation 1,926 ft (587 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 1,214
 • Estimate (2015) 1,226
 • Density 2,058/sq mi (793.5/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code 67671
Area code(s) 785
FIPS code 20-73775
GNIS feature ID 0484729
Website victoriaks.com

Victoria is a city in Ellis County, Kansas, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 1,214.

History

VictoriaKanasaVolgaGermanStatue
Commemorative statue of a Volga German pioneer family in Victoria (1997)

A group of English and Scottish colonists led by a Scotsman named George Grant founded Victoria in 1873 on land he had purchased from the Kansas Pacific Railway. They named the settlement after Queen Victoria. Grant intended for Victoria to be a ranching community and was purportedly responsible for bringing the first Aberdeen Angus cattle to the United States. Most of the colonists, however, were remittance men more interested in sports and dancing than in raising livestock. Their families soon learned of this and reduced the remittances, driving most of the colonists to leave by 1880. Some returned to Britain; others left for South America.

In 1876, Volga Germans from villages near Saratov, Russia established the settlement of Herzog one half mile north of Victoria. Herzog's Roman Catholic settlers built a series of churches which culminated in the construction of St. Fidelis Catholic Church, known as "The Cathedral of the Plains," in 1911. Herzog grew rapidly and later absorbed Victoria, eventually adopting the older settlement's name. Herzog was officially renamed Victoria in 1913.

In 1942, the U.S. Army built Walker Army Airfield 3 miles northeast of Victoria. During World War II, thousands were stationed at the airfield, most for training in operation of the Boeing B-29 Superfortress bomber aircraft. The military closed the base in 1946.

In 1966, construction of Interstate 70 reached Victoria, passing north of the city.

Geography

Victoria is located at 38°51′13″N 99°8′51″W / 38.85361°N 99.1475°W / 38.85361; -99.1475 (38.853588, -99.147456) at an elevation of 1,926 feet (587 m). Located on Kansas Highway 255 (K-255) 1-mile (1.6 km) south of Interstate 70 in northwestern Kansas, Victoria is approximately 9 miles (14 km) east of Hays (the county seat), 129 miles (208 km) northwest of Wichita, and 243 miles (391 km) west of Kansas City.

The city lies roughly 9 miles (14 km) north of the Smoky Hill River in the Smoky Hills region of the Great Plains. The city sits on the east side of the North Fork of Big Creek, part of the Smoky Hill River watershed.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.59 square miles (1.53 km2), all of it land.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1920 600
1930 637 6.2%
1940 884 38.8%
1950 988 11.8%
1960 1,170 18.4%
1970 1,246 6.5%
1980 1,328 6.6%
1990 1,157 −12.9%
2000 1,208 4.4%
2010 1,214 0.5%
Est. 2015 1,226 1.0%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 1,214 people, 496 households, and 316 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,068.1 people per square mile (798.5/km²). There were 530 housing units at an average density of 902.9 per square mile (348.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 98.5% White, 0.3% American Indian, 0.2% African American, 0.1% from some other race, and 0.8% from two or more races. Hispanics and Latinos of any race were 0.5% of the population.

There were 496 households of which 29.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.4% were married couples living together, 3.8% had a male householder with no wife present, 6.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.3% were non-families. 33.1% of all households were made up of individuals, and 15.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.30, and the average family size was 2.93.

The median age in the city was 41.7 years. 22.3% of residents were under the age of 18; 6.8% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 24.8% were from 25 to 44; 24.6% were from 45 to 64; and 21.3% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 50.9% male and 49.1% female.

The median income for a household in the city was $46,125, and the median income for a family was $64,000. Males had a median income of $35,875 versus $26,058 for females. The per capita income for the city was $22,636. About 3.2% of families and 4.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.4% of those under age 18 and 6.6% of those age 65 or over.

Culture

VictoriaKansasCathedralOfThePlainsSide
The Basilica of St. Fidelis (1997)

Events

The Herzogfest is Victoria's annual community festival, held to celebrate the city's ethnic German heritage. Held in August, it includes music concerts, a talent show, a tractor pull, games for children, and other local entertainment.

Points of interest

The Basilica of St. Fidelis, known as "The Cathedral of the Plains", is located in Victoria. Local Roman Catholic residents, having outgrown a series of church buildings as their population grew, began construction of the church in 1908. Built from native limestone based on plans by noted church architect John T. Comes, St. Fidelis Catholic Church was completed in 1911. William Jennings Bryan gave the church its nickname during a visit in 1912. In June 2014, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Salina dedicated the church as a minor basilica, renaming it the Basilica of St. Fidelis.

Sister cities

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