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The Empire

That Missouri Pacific Serves

CLEARWATER (16 miles southwest of Wichita)
 
Clearwater gets its name from that of the Ninnescah River which is Indian for "clear water." There are oil wells in this section of Sedgwick County which, however, is primarily agricultural country of which the principal crops are grain, alfalfa, livestock, poultry and dairy products.
 
CLIFTON (21 miles east of Concordia)
 
Early settlers paid tribute to a friendly government surveyor by naming this Washington County community for him. On the Republican River, Clifton is a shipping center for the grain and livestock raised in the surrounding farm territory.
 
CLYDE (14 miles east of Concordia)
 
When it was founded in 1866 by F. B. Rupe this Kansas town was called Hamilton but in the spring of 1867 its name was changed to Clyde in tribute to the river of the same name in Scotland.
 
For years the watermelon carnivals held at Clyde attracted throngs of people when carloads of watermelons were shipped from this area. However, with the decline of melon growing in recent years, the carnivals were discontinued. Milling now is the principal industry of Clyde with hatcheries gaining in importance. The surrounding country is devoted to diversified farming.
 
COFFEYVILLE (200 miles southwest of Kansas City, Mo.)
 
Colonel James A. Coffey who was the first white settler here started a trading post for the Indians in 1854. Soon a few more white families arrived and settled around his trading post. In 1869 this group formed a town company and named the new community "Coffeyville" in honor of its pioneer settler.
 
In its early days the settlement was a popular gathering place for cattlemen and cowboys, who nicknamed it "Cow Town," and as a result saloons, dance halls and gambling places multiplied.
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Then, to the dismay of more substantial citizens, Octavius Chanute, a railroad construction engineer, acquired a tract of land north of "Cow Town" and platted a "railroad addition to Coffeyville." An act of the legislature provided for the incorporation of his addition as a separate town. Eventually, however, the two communities joined forces and incorporated Coffeyville as one town in 1873.
 
The advent of rail transportation was a major factor in the development of this Montgomery County industrial center. It is served by three major rail lines, being a division headquarters for the Missouri Pacific on its main line linking Kansas City with Fort Smith and Little Rock, Ark. Industries include oil refineries, manufacturers of oilfield and industrial equipment, smelters, flour and feed mills, foundries, milk processors, motorstairs builders, meat packing Plants, airplane and parts factories, brick, tile and pottery plants.
 
Perhaps the best-known incident in Coffeyville history was the bloody raid by the notorious Dalton gang on Oct. 5, 1892. These bandits were surprised in an attempted bank robbery and engaged in a running battle with Coffeyville police officers and citizens. Several of the latter lost their lives but wiping out of the gang eliminated a menace to law and order for all of Southern Kansas and Oklahoma.
 
Leading civic events held here include the Montgomery County Fair in September and the Industrial Festival a month later. Baseball fans will recall Coffeyville as the home of the "Fireball King," Walter Johnson, famous pitcher for the Washington "Senators."
 
COLWICH (14 miles northwest of Wichita)
 
This Sedgwick County town derived its name from a combination of the first syllables of Colorado and Wichita. An agricultural community on the Missouri Pacific line between Wichita and Geneseo, Kansas, it was settled in 1887,
 
CONCORDIA (154 miles west of Atchison)
 
This county seat of Cloud County owes its initial development to J. M. Hageman who built the community's first houses and at his own expense opened a road through to Junction City, Kansas. The county, organized in 1866, was named in honor of William F. Cloud. Then in 1869 a town company was formed and the settlement was given the name Concordia because, it is reported, the meeting at which the town was selected as the county seat was so harmonious and devoid of the discord that sometimes accompanied the selection of county seats in the early days of Kansas.
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A junction for four major rail lines, Concordia is an important operating headquarters on the Missouri Pacific's Northern Kansas divisions. Its industries include the manufacture of concrete and mill products, butter and brooms. It is a shipping point for the grain, poultry, livestock and dairy products of the surrounding area.
 
CONWAY SPRINGS (28 miles southwest of Wichita)
 
In 1885 the town known as Northfield was moved a mile east in order to locate on the railroad. The original name was dropped and the town on the new site was called Conway Springs, presumably for the springs located there at the time. Prior to construction of the railroad the townsite was on prairie land over which cowboys drove cattle from Texas to northern markets. Records indicate they knew of the springs and used them as a watering place.
 
During the same year of 1885 the first train was operated as far as Conway Springs on the newly completed line of the old Fort Scott and Western Railroad out of Wichita. To acquaint residents of the area with the service available free rides were given to all settlers on whose land the raft line touched.
 
Conway Springs' principal industry is a creamery. The surrounding Sumner County farm areas produce wheat, kafir corn, oats and alfalfa.
 
CORNING (55 miles west of Atchison)
 
Here was an example of the "mountain coming to Mohammed." When the Missouri Pacific extended its tracks through this section Dr. McKay, founder of Corning, decided to move the town to the railroad. He also donated land on which to build the railroad station.
 
As early as 1858 this pioneer, searching for a site on which to found a town, had visited this section of Kansas. Satisfied with what he saw, Dr. McKay hurried back to Galesburg, Ill, and soon had a Home Association started. Under agreement the Association bought a township in this part of the state, and divided the land equally among its members. A post office was established in 1867 and the town was
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named for Erastus Corning, a prominent railroad builder in New York.
 
Corning serves a rich and prosperous dairying region. Its well paved streets, fine schools, and shady parks make it a pleasant place to live. An interesting feature is the large community building which seats over 800 people and is used for many public gatherings.
 
CORWIN (74 miles southwest of Wichita)
 
Corwin is a Harper County shipping point of the Missouri Pacific line between Wichita and Hardtner. It was named after O. A. Corwin who operated a store and post office on a nearby site from which the town was moved to the railroad constructed through here in the 1880's.
 
COUNCIL GROVE (69 miles east of Salina)
 
Long before its founder, Seth Hayes, built the first log cabin here the village now called Council Grove was a watering place and rendezvous on the trail to Sante Fe and the Far West.
 
Hayes, a grandson of Daniel Boone and a cousin of Kit Carson, was born in Missouri but was raised in the atmosphere of western adventure in this Kansas territory. He was familiar with the rock-bottom crossing of the Neosho at the only hardwood grove between Missouri and the Rockies. It was here that a treaty for use of the trail to Sante Fe was made with the Indians in 1825. The name of the town derives from this historic spot.
 
In 1847 Hayes recognized the possibilities of the old conference site and rallying point as a townsite. He arrived here at the grove with his slave and housekeeper, later known as "Aunt Sarah," a Mexican driver and an interpreter. The log cabin that he built became the last source of supplies for traders and '49'ers as they crossed the lonely plains.
 
Later T. S. Huffaker, a teacher, aided Hayes in developing the town. Huffaker opened a school but had difficulty in getting the young Kaw Indians to attend it. Soon the trading post had grown into a town and in 1858 Council Grove was incorporated.
 
A historic town, Council Grove's main street is the old route of the famed Saute Fe trail. The old grove where Indians and white men camped and conferred is a city park. The famous council oak, under which Indians sold the right-of-way to Sante Fe for $800, is marked by a plaque today.
 
Council Grove, now the seat of Morris County, operates flour mills, creameries, egg packing and poultry dressing plants. It is a shipping point too for the surrounding farm area devoted to the raising of corn, alfalfa, wheat, livestock and dairy products.
 
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The book The Empire That Missouri Pacific Serves was published in the fifties by the Missouri Pacific and contains permission to reprint all or any portion.
 
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