February 22, 2000 from the Arkansas City Traveler:
Firsts in Ark City are unique and many
AC Convention and Visitors Bureau
Arkansas City is full of interesting history and unique secrets.
- For instance, our city's name might still be Walnut City if another town hadn't had the same name. The name was then changed to Delphi and later Creswell in honor of the Postmaster General in the
- President's Cabinet.
- Our town was renamed Arkansas City by Kansas Senator Edmund G. Ross.
- What about other firsts in Arkansas City history?
- The first mayor was H.O. Meigs.
- The first ordinance concerned dogs -- $2 per license.
- The first tight rope walker in Arkansas City was Buckskin Joe.
- The first city limits were Birch Avenue, Madison Avenue, Eighth Street and F Street.
- In 1871, Professor H. B. Norton started the first school in his home. Miss Mary E. Swartz was the teacher and there were seven students in her class.
- The first city band was started by Edward Jonathan Hoyt (Buckskin Joe) in 1872. The band, known as the Buckskin Border Band, consisted of 12 players.
- The first type of transportation in Arkansas City was a stage line which operated from the 1870s to the late 1880s.
- The first steam boat to come up the river was the Aunt Sally on Sunday morning, June 30, 1878.
- The first Arkalalah was held in October of 1928.
- The first Kansas woman to enter a U.S. Military Academy was Jan Marie (Knocke) Van Hoomissen, from Arkansas City, in 1976. She was one of 150 women nationwide, the first in Kansas, to graduatefrom the Air Force Academy in 1980.
- Arkansas City was the staging area for the Cherokee Strip Run and for Oklahoma land runs.
- It was a former hiding place for famous, wild west outlaws: the Daulton Gang, Billy the Kid and Younger.
- It has been the home of famous photographers: W.S. Prettyman, George Cornish, Thomas Croft and I.H. Bonsall.
- It has been the home of famous stars and famous government officials.
- It was the meeting place and supply center for famous wild west characters, Native Americans Chiefs and area Native Americans.
- Plus, it is still the home of the last original hardware store built by C.R. Sipes in 1870. Can you guess the name of this existing store on Summit Street?
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Tom & Carolyn Ward, Columbus, KS