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Great Bend, Kansas

From Academic Kids

Great Bend is the largest city and county seat of Barton County, Kansas. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 15,345.

Contents

Geography

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Location of Great Bend, Kansas

Great Bend is located at 38°21'58" North, 98°46'41" West (38.366056, -98.777958)Template:GR.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 27.8 km² (10.7 mi²). 27.5 km² (10.6 mi²) of it is land and 0.3 km² (0.1 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 1.02% water.

Demographics

As of the censusTemplate:GR of 2000, there are 15,345 people, 6,371 households, and 4,000 families residing in the city. The population density is 557.4/km² (1,443.7/mi²). There are 7,080 housing units at an average density of 257.2/km² (666.1/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 89.81% White, 1.62% African American, 0.43% Native American, 0.31% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 5.77% from other races, and 2.05% from two or more races. 13.20% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 6,371 households out of which 30.4% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.1% are married couples living together, 8.4% have a female householder with no husband present, and 37.2% are non-families. 32.8% of all households are made up of individuals and 15.2% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.35 and the average family size is 3.00.

In the city the population is spread out with 25.7% under the age of 18, 9.4% from 18 to 24, 25.4% from 25 to 44, 20.9% from 45 to 64, and 18.7% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 38 years. For every 100 females there are 92.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 87.7 males.

The median income for a household in the city is $30,841, and the median income for a family is $38,708. Males have a median income of $29,339 versus $19,647 for females. The per capita income for the city is $17,085. 15.2% of the population and 11.5% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 22.0% of those under the age of 18 and 9.7% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.

History

Early settlers to the area came in about 1870. Most of the pioneer homes were rough dugouts and sod houses that barely protected their inhabitants from the severe weather often experienced in Kansas. They were fitted with holes in the wall to defend against the Indians. Early settlers killed buffalo to provide food for their family; plus they sent the tanned hides to the east for a cash income. A few settlers tried farming but were unsuccessful because the buffalo tramped down the crops. The first settlement in Great Bend township were made by E. J. Dodge and D. N. Heiser in 1871.

The town was named after the Great Bend of the Arkansas River, a feature noted as early as the first days of the Santa Fe Trail. It was here that a trading post was established and later a small military post, Fort Zarah.

After the Civil War the land began to be developed by easterners, and by the early 1870s a town had formed and Great Bend participated for a short time as a cow town, complete with shoot outs, Texas cowboys and saloons.

Following the close of the cow town phase, Great Bend took up its place as a regional trade and service center, a role that grew stronger during the growth of the oil industry and, later, when it served as a major World War II Army Air Corps training base.

Since then the community has continued to develop as a medical, legal and technical service center, as well as a regional shopping and entertainment provider.

Great Bend Public Library

The Great Bend Public Library was organized in 1908. The present library was built in 1971.

Check the Web site. [Great Bend Public Library (http://ckls.org/~gbpl)]

Regions, Largest cities, and Counties of Kansas Flag of Kansas
Regions: Cherokee Strip
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