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The Empire

That Missouri Pacific Serves

SALINA (221 miles west of Kansas city)
 
Fifth ranking city of Kansas in population, seat of Saline County and principal distributing and trading point in central Kansas, Salina was staked out by a journalist traveling through Kansas Territory in 1857. This pioneer was attracted by the site where the Smoky Hill River twists sharply from its northerly course to flow eastward. Saline County was organized two years later and within a month a town company was organized. Early explorers referred to this section of Kansas as the "Saline River Country," because of the salt content of the river. This undoubtedly accounts for the name of both the county and its principal city.
 
Salina owed its earliest growth to trade with Indian hunting parties and as the last supply post for gold seekers bound for Colorado. Following the War Between the States Salina prospered and expanded with the coming of the railroads. It now ranks among the first five cities in the United States in milling. Recent estimates place the daily production of its huge mills at approximately 10,000 barrels and the combined grain storage capacity of its mills and elevators at 8,000,000 bushels. Other leading industries include a foundry; packing, brick and tile plants; hatcheries and manufacturers of truck bodies, binder canvas, awnings, mattresses, corn sleds, neon signs, butter, braces and playground equipment.
 
Principal products of the rich agricultural empire surrounding the city are wheat, alfalfa, poultry and livestock. It was here that the first experimental planting of alfalfa was tried in 1874, and alfalfa now ranks among Kansas' leading crops. At Salina are located Marymount College for girls, Kansas Wesleyan University and St. John's Military School. The city's Kenwood Park is annually the scene of the Salina Racing Association annual program and the 4-H Club Fair.
 
SALLYARDS (19 miles east Of Eldorado)
 
A stock-shipping station in Greenwood County, Sallyards grew up about the stock pens and loading chutes installed by the Missouri Pacific at the request of S. G. Sallyards, a cattle raiser and shipper.
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SCANDIA (19 miles northwest of Concordia)
 
Immigrants from Scandinavia who settled in Chicago decided in 1868 to form the Scandinavian Agricultural Society. The plan was for members to deposit as much of their savings as possible so that a committee could study farm lands available for permanent settlement. The Society selected twelve scattered sections of the best land on and near the Republican River in Kansas. From a map of the location they charted a townsite in Republic County and named it "New Scandinavia."
 
The first parties of settlers came by rail as far as Junction City, then overland by wagon or on foot and arrived in about September, 1868. With the coming of the Missouri Pacific Railroad in 1878 the name of the town was changed to Scandia. It was incorporated a year later. Arrival of the first train to reach the town was on Christmas Eve in 1878.
 
Prominent among Scandia's industries is a cement tile factory. The surrounding rich farm lands produce wheat, corn and alfalfa.
 
SCOTT CITY (187 miles west of Salina)
 
County seat of Scott County, this agricultural community was named– like the county–for General Winfield Scott. Wheat farming, cattle and sheep raising are the leading industries in-the area but, with gradual expansion of irrigation systems, other crops are being grown in mounting volume. These include alfalfa, cantaloupes, honeydew melons, onions, potatoes and sugar beets.
 
SCOTTSVILLE (18 miles west of Concordia)
 
A wheat and livestock-shipping station in northeast Mitchell County, Scottsville was founded in 1878, the same year in which the Missouri Pacific Railroad reached this area. It was named for Tom Scott, one of its early settlers.
 
An interesting story is told of the days preceding construction of the railroad through Scottsville. Settlers in the area asked a party of railroad officers and surveyors for a station on the new line. They were promised a station if they could guarantee an adequate supply of water. They quickly dug a shallow well and, following a heavy rain, filled it with surface water. When the railroad party returned they saw the well filled with water and the station was built as promised.
 
SEDAN (36 miles west of Coffeyville)
 
Surrender of the French fortress-town of Sedan on September 1, 1870, during the Franco-Prussian War, was a news event of world wide interest. At least it impressed the Kansas pioneers who organized the county
 
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seat of Chautauqua County so much that they named their new home "Sedan."
 
Years later, at the close of World War I, there was an interesting coincidence. Among the first United States troops who marched into the Old World Sedan at that time were a number of Sedan. Kansas, boys, descendants of the founders of the Kansas community.
 
A machine shop is Sedan's principal local industry. The town is surrounded by oil fields and grain farms, the latter producing wheat, corn and alfalfa.
 
SELKIRK (179.9 miles east of Pueblo, Colo.)
 
Prior to complete dieselization of the Missouri Pacific's Central-Kansas and Colorado divisions, Selkirk served as water station for the railroad's locomotives. Near the boundary of Wichita and Greeley Counties, Selkirk now is a trading center for the surrounding rich grain farm lands. No information is available as to the origin of the town's name.
 
SEWARD (50 miles northwest of Hutchinson)
 
This town in the Stafford County wheatlands was named for William Henry Seward, distinguished Secretary of State in the cabinet of President Abraham Lincoln. Land for the townsite was donated in 1887 by George Wetig, Sr., and the first train to operate over the newly completed railroad arrived there on the nation's birthday, July 4 of the same year.
 
SHANNON (7 miles northwest of Atchison)
 
The familiar Irish name of this attractive Atchison County community was chosen as a tribute to Wilson Shannon, Lieutenant Governor of the Kansas Territory from 1855 to 1861 when the State of Kansas was admitted into the Union. Farming, poultry and dairy production are the principal industrial activities in the vicinity of Shannon.
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SHIELDS (160.6 miles west of Salina)
 
This town in Lane County bears the same name as one of its pioneer settlers who was honored by his fellow citizens. It is a trading center and shipping station for wheat and livestock farmers of the surrounding area.
 
SILVERDALE (84 miles west of Coffeyville)
 
Its name befits this attractive community in southern Cowley County but the origin of the name cannot be determined. Silverdale is noted locally for its fine building stone. There are two stone mills in the town and many of the churches and public buildings in the surrounding area were constructed of Silverdale stone.
 
SMOLAN (9 miles west of Salina)
 
A group of settlers came directly from Sweden to this section of Saline County in about 1885. The name they gave the new town they established is the same as that of a town in their native land. Descendants of these original settlers comprise most of the present population of Smolan and they own most of the adjoining farm land.
 
During World War II Smolan was the station for Camp Phillips, an Army training camp that was later used as a storage facility for surplus war materials and then for grain.
 
SOLOMON RAPIDS (34 miles west of Concordia)
 
Advantageously located on the Solomon River, this Mitchell County town got its name from it and the "rapids" that fell from a mill dam on the river in the early days.
 
Farmers have prospered here because of the productive soil in the Solomon Valley and the town of Solomon Rapids is a thriving grain and livestock shipping point.
 
SPEED (104 miles northwest of Concordia)
 
This farming community in Phillips County was called "Big Bend" originally because of its location at a bend in the North Solomon River. Dr. Chapman, a young physician who helped build the town renamed it "Speed." Although Dr. Chapman, it is reported, later achieved a statewide reputation as an able physician, it is not now known why he changed the name of his home town or his reasons for selecting the name he did.
 
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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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