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Contains photographs of early Chanute, Kansas.

The first settlement in what would become Chanute, Kansas (Neosho County) began in 1856, prior to Kansas statehood and just before the arrival of the railroad. Four nearby rival towns, New Chicago, Chicago Junction, Alliance, and Tioga, were also developed. They were vying over which town would house the Leavenworth, Lawrence & Galveston Railroad’s new land office. Octave Chanute, Chief Engineer and General Superintendent of the railroad, suggested that the towns merge into one. On January 1, 1873, they did just that, and they were chartered as the city of Chanute, named after Octave Chanute. The city began to flourish with the Southern Kansas Railroad’s division headquarters in town. Chanute saw rapid growth in flourmills, grain elevators, banks, drug and hardware stores, and natural gas. By 1903, Chanute established electric utility and established gas, water, wastewater, and refuse utilities in the following years.

Publication Date



Business and Industry, Social Life and Customs

Size of Collection

.4 linear feet

Dates of Collection


Manuscript Number

SpC MS 0317

Shehan, Pat, Collection, 1904-1920



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