Junction City - Encyclopedia


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JUNCTION CITY, a city and the county-seat of Geary county, Kansas, U.S.A., between Smoky Hill and Republican rivers, about 3 m. above their confluence to form the Kansas, and 72 m. by rail W. of Topeka. Pop. (1900), 4695, of whom 545 were foreign-born and 292 were negroes; (1905, state census), 5494. Junction City is served by the Union Pacific and the Missouri, Kansas & Texas railways. It is the commercial centre of a region in whose fertile valleys great quantities of wheat, Indian corn, oats and hay are grown and live stock is raised, and whose uplands contain extensive beds of limestone, which is quarried for building purposes. Excellent water-power is available and is partly utilized by flour mills. The municipality owns and operates the waterworks. At the confluence of Smoky Hill and Republican rivers and connected with the city by an electric railway is Fort Riley, a U.S. military post, which was established in 1853 as Camp Centre but was renamed in the same year in honour of General Bennett Riley (1787-1853); in 1887 the mounted service school of the U.S. army was established here. Northward from the post is a rugged country over which extends a military reservation of about 19,000 acres. Adjoining the reservation and about 5 m. N.E. of Junction City is the site of the short-lived settlement of Pawnee, where from the 2nd to the 6th of July 1855 the first Kansas legislature met, in a building the ruins of which still remain; the establishment of Pawnee (in December 1854) was a speculative pro-slavery enterprise conducted by the commandant of Fort Riley, other army officers and certain territorial officials, and when a government survey showed that the site lay within the Fort Riley reservation, the settlers were ordered (August 1855) to leave, and the commandant of Fort Riley was dismissed from the army; one of the charges brought against Governor A. H. Reeder was that he had favoured the enterprise. Junction City was founded in 1857 and was chartered as a city in 1859.

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