Arkansas City Schools
Arkansas City Public Schools is a results-producing public school district. Our district holds a tradition of excellence in all matters related to student achievement and true, well-rounded education. Ark City students have been on the front lines of achievement and continue the tradition of exceeding learning targets suggested by the state. District-wide efforts earned the district 37 Standards of Excellence Awards after the 2012 state assessments for a total of 238 since 2005.
(Source- USD 470-www.usd470.com)
Cowley County Community College
Cowley College offers more than 70 different certificates and degrees attracting students from across the globe because of the College’s premier online course offerings, multiple campus locations, quality residential living, as well as nationally acclaimed athletic programs and state-of-the-art training facilities.
(Source- Dr. Dennis C. Rittle, President of Cowley County Community College-www.cowley.edu)
Arkansas City Lifestyle
Arkansas City, or Ark City as the locals call it, offers a diverse selection of attractions and outdoor activities for residents.
Arkansas City Transportation
Highway US-166 runs through the south side of Arkansas City. Highway US-77 runs along the east side of Arkansas City. Wichita is only an hour from Arkansas City.
Arkansas City Local Attractions/Activities
Arkansas City offers a variety of fun activities, restaurants and shopping centers for residents to enjoy. Arkansas City is home to many restaurants including La Fiesta, Sirloin Stockade, and Carl’s BBQ. Arkansas City offers many local and national businesses including Anlee Cakes Native American Regalia and Crafts, Sparks Music, and Wal-Mart.
Cherokee Land Rush Museum
Organized in 1966, the Cherokee Strip Land Rush Museum was begun in an effort to preserve the history of the Cherokee Strip Land Rush of September 16, 1893. “The Run” was the largest land race ever. Over 125,000 people raced for a piece of the six million acres. Arkansas City was the largest of the registration points for the Run with over 75,000 eager land seekers and their families moving to the city to participate. Approximately 45,000 artifacts, pictures and documents are housed in the Cherokee Strip Land Rush Museum.
Visit the Cherokee Strip Land Rush Museum to learn the area’s history. Attend the Bland School House, which was established in Cowley County in 1894 and now sits on the Cherokee Strip Land Rush Museum site. Visualize the Prairie as you walk through the wildflowers that were known on the Prairie and make the Cherokee Strip Land Rush Museum the southernmost point on the Prairie Passage.
(Source- City of Arkansas City-www.arkcity.org)
Chaplin Nature Center
Located only five miles northwest of Arkansas City along the sandy beaches of the Arkansas River, the Chaplin Nature Center combines 230 acres of magnificent woodlands, prairies and streams.
The Chaplin Nature Center was originally homesteaded by a relative of the late Mrs. C. Stedman (Hazel) Chaplin in 1874. The Center is now owned and operated by the Wichita Audubon Society.
There are over five miles of walking trails for visitors to trek as they explore the varied environment. The nature trails are open from sunrise to sunset, every day of the year.
Facilities on site include the 3,300 square foot Visitors Center, Nature Library, Bookstore & Gift Shop, and Multi-Purpose Room.
(Source- City of Arkansas City-www.arkcity.org)
Arkansas City – History
Arkansas City lies in the peninsula formed by the meeting of the Arkansas and Walnut Rivers, in Cowley County, one of 105 counties in Kansas. Prior to July 15, 1870, settlers in this part of the country were on Indian land and were obliged to pay head rights to Chetopa, the Osage Indian Chief. But when Osage lands were opened for settlement on July 15, 1870, claims were accepted.
The town of Arkansas City was surveyed in 1870. Its newspaper began that year as well as a department store. Shortly thereafter, a post office, First Methodist School, saw mill, flour and feed mills commenced operation. The year 1872 saw incorporation of the town and the Santa Fe Railway extended its line from the north on December 3, 1879.
The town had its own water works by 1881, utilizing a spring as a source and pumping the water to a reservoir on a hill in the south part of town. From this point pipes to the town residences distributed it.
These were a few of the starts that were noticeable during the first years after this area came into the hands of the white man, but the Indian had been a contributing factor in the growth of Arkansas City. The town has played a vital role in the territorial development of Indian lands to the south in the state of Oklahoma.
When history’s most fantastic races were made, Arkansas City was the starting point, i.e. the Run of 1889 and the even more exciting event in 1893 when the renowned Cherokee Strip was opened. The prize on this occasion was 8,000,000 acres of fertile ranch and farm lands. The starting point was the Kansas –Oklahoma border – four miles south of Arkansas City. Some months prior to the big land race, Arkansas City was the rendezvous point of 100,000 eager settlers who made plans and “big deals” before the first pistol shots were fired signaling the start of the race at noon on September 16, 1893. Jockeying for positions were every conceivable mobile vehicle of the time. Ox carts, bicycles, covered wagons, Indian ponies, and racehorses were all seen lined up. In addition, thousands walked and/or ran.
Industry which now plays an important role in this southern Kansas town, first made its appearance with the construction of two steel barges for navigation on the Arkansas River in 1886. Those were the days when steamers plied the Arkansas between Arkansas City and Fort Smith carrying as much as 100,000 pounds of Kansas flour on every trip.
Ark City’s illustrious history includes a Kansas Governor, Robert Docking, and two federal judges. By heritage its residents are not afraid of work – a healthy, strong, industrious people that welcome the opportunity to prove to everyone that they are welcome in Arkansas City, Kansas