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The Empire

That Missouri Pacific Serves

HIAWATHA (39.6 miles northwest of Atchison)
 
Residents of this Kansas town which carries his name remind us that Hiawatha was not a great Indian chieftain, as many suppose, but a fictional character made immortal by Longfellow's famed poem and representative of all that was good in Indian life.
 
Although the State Historical Society gives Dr. E. H. Grant, an early settler, credit for naming the town, others claim it was derived from the name of the original Hiawatha Town Company, incorporated in 1857.
 
The seat of Brown County, Hiawatha has a dairy products plant and hatcheries, industries in keeping with the produce of surrounding farms which produce dairy products, grain, stock and poultry.
 
HOISINGTON (64 miles west of Salina)
 
A lucky town geographically because it's located in the heart of both the wheat belt and the oil territory of Kansas, Hoisington was first known as "Monon," probably from the town company of the same name which helped lay out the village. The original settlement had been established before the Missouri Pacific (then the Kansas and Colorado Pacific) was built through here. In 1886 a new town company obtained a charter for a town, purchased the land from the first company, and called it "Hoisington" after one of the partners in the company.
 
Hoisington is a strategic operating headquarters on the Missouri Pacific between Kansas City and Pueblo and during World War II was host to thousands of Air Force flyers who came here from the Great Bend Air Base nearby to board the trains.
 
Wheat and oil are the leading products of the area surrounding this Barton County community.
 
HOOSER (67.5 miles west of Coffeyville)
 
Hooser is situated near the center of about 40,000 acres of grass land, most of which is part of two huge ranches. These pasture about 10,000 head of cattle a year which are shipped in and out over the Missouri Pacific Lines.
 
Most accounts indicate the town was named after an early settler of the same name.
 
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HOPE (26 miles east of Salina)
 
Thank the Methodist Ladies Society of this Dickinson County town for its name. The religious women of this group were determined to change its name from the original "Wagram" even though both the Missouri Pacific and Santa Fe railroads objected because there was an Arkansas town by the same name! They persisted and won... and "Hope" the town became.
 
Hope was founded in 1881 and has been a prosperous substantial farming community ever since.
 
HORACE (166 miles east of Pueblo, Colo.)
 
"Go west, young man, go west." This oft-quoted advice from the famed Horace Greeley inspired the Kansas Territorial Legislature to name a county on the western border of Kansas, "Greeley," and to attach his given name to the town of Horace in that county.
 
Founded in 1886, Horace is located in a farming and grazing country. It is a shipping point for substantial volumes of cattle and grain.
 
HUDSON (46 miles west of Hutchinson)
 
This wheat belt town in Stafford County near the end of the Missouri Pacific's Larned Branch is said to have been named for Hudson, Wisconsin. The reason, it is explained, is that the Wisconsin town was the home of relatives of a Mr. Uptegraph who donated land for the Kansas townsite in 1887, specifying the name as one of the terms of the grant.
 
HURON (16 miles northwest of Atchison)
 
In 1882, when the Missouri Pacific pushed its line into new country from Atchison with Omaha, Nebraska, as its goal, a new station was established three miles from an old settlement named Huron after the Indian tribe. The station took the name of the old town, and was incorporated as a city in 1891.
 
Grain elevators, lumber yards and a mill are Huron's main industries.
 
HUTCHINSON (48 miles northwest of Wichita)
 
Frequently and properly referred to as the "Salt City," Hutchinson was named for its founder, C. C. Hutchinson, who platted the town in November, 1871. Although it is now on the Arkansas River the city had its beginnings in a cluster of huts a considerable distance north of that river and then grew up along its present Main Street southward to the Arkansas. This reversed the procedure of most pioneer communities which usually sought a location on the banks of a major stream wherever that was possible.
 
To stimulate the growth of his new community Founder Hutchinson offered a choice lot as the prize for the builder of the first house. This
 
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was won by A. F. Horner who moved his house from Newton, Kansas, to Hutchinson. With the same building Horner previously had won prizes for the first house in Brookvale and Florence, Kansas, as well as in Newton. Evidently he liked Hutchinson for the prize-winning house was never moved again, remaining in its final location until it was razed to make room for a more modern structure,
 
Hutchinson was built above salt deposits reputedly among the richest in the world. They are about 600 feet below the surface and range in thickness from 300 to 350 feet. Salt mining and processing therefore is one of the city's major industries along with wheat storage and flour milling and oil refining. Hutchinson also is an important poultry and cream market and manufactures fiberboard, airplane parts, candy, vinegar, plows and oil well supplies. It is the seat of Reno County.
 
Among outstanding civic events held in Hutchinson are the annual Fourth of July Fiesta and the Kansas State Fair in September.
 
INDEPENDENCE (18.7 miles north of Coffeyville)
 
Founded in 1870, Independence is the county seat of Montgomery County and one of Kansas' biggest cities – population-wise and industrially. It was named for the home-town of its organizer, Dr. E. W. Wright who had moved to Kansas from Independence, Iowa.
 
Adjacent southern Kansas oil fields have contributed materially to the development and prosperity of Independence and recent secondary recovery of oil from these fields promises even greater production than the original drillings. Products of the city's manufacturing industries include cement, millwork, washing machines, brick, tile, auto devices and oil well bombs. A large alfalfa dehydrating plant reflects the growing importance of this forage crop to the surrounding farm country which also produces in abundance grain, livestock and dairy products.
 
Independence was the former home of Alfred M. Landon, a governor of Kansas and Republican candidate for the presidency of the United States in 1936. Another former resident who attained national prominence was the celebrated explorer, Martin Johnson.
 
An attractive community of elm-shaded streets, Independence is justly proud of its beautiful Riverside
 
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Park which lies in a deep valley of the Verdigris River. Hundreds of visitors as well as residents participate in the colorful "Neewollah" celebration held every year on October 31.
 
IOLA (41 miles west of Fort Scott)
 
Often described by its residents as the "Crossroads of Eastern Kansas," Iola was founded in 1859. Information as to the origin of its name is not available. It is the seat of Allen County, a rich agricultural district producing milk and other dairy products, corn, wheat, flax, sorghums, poultry and livestock.
 
Local Iola industries produce cement, condensed milk, creamery products, bricks, dresses and candy.
 
IRVING (91 miles west of Atchison)
 
In August, 1859, ten citizens of Lyons, Iowa, decided to organize and build a new community somewhere on government land on the frontier. After much discussion about the name of the town-to-be they decided to call it Irving, in tribute to Washington Irving because their map was drawn on the day that he died – Nov. 28, 1859.
 
W. W. Jerome, one of the founders, was sent out to explore the frontier. At Atchison he met General Pomeroy who showed the pioneer portions of northern Kansas land. Finally Jerome selected a beautiful tract on the west side of the Big Blue River. After his report back to his friends settlers from Lyons came westward and, despite winter hardships, established the town of Irving in 1860.
 
Situated in a rich farm belt, Irving is an agricultural community, with livestock, dairy products and poultry the principal shipments from its station.
 
IUKA (50 miles southwest of Hutchinson)
 
The story of the naming of Iuka provides one of the most interesting chapters in the history of this part of Kansas. Historians say that when residents of the community, established in about 1877, met to select a name they decided to do it with a drawing. Each person put his selection in a hat with the understanding that the first one drawn, if it was a name not then in use in Kansas, would be adopted. Possibly the winning draw was by a man who recognized his own slip, for a Civil War veteran who fought in the battle of Iuka pulled out that name.
 
The man with the deft draw was the second Civil War veteran to figure prominently in early affairs of the settlement. Leader of the original party that arrived there from Iowa was the Reverend A. Axline who had been a chaplain in the war. He became the first postmaster. The town in later years was moved to its present location, at the end of the Missouri Pacific branch line from Olcott.
 
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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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