My watch list  

Hutchinson, Kansas

Hutchinson, Kansas

Location of Hutchinson, Kansas
Coordinates: 38°3′56″N 97°55′25″W / 38.06556, -97.92361
Country United States
State Kansas
County Reno
 - Total 21.2 sq mi (54.9 km²)
 - Land 21.1 sq mi (54.7 km²)
 - Water 0.1 sq mi (0.2 km²)
Elevation 1,535 ft (468 m)
Population (2000)
 - Total 40,787
 - Density 1,932.6/sq mi (746.2/km²)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 - Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
Area code(s) 620
FIPS code 20-33625GR2
GNIS feature ID 0477947GR3

Hutchinson is the largest city and county seat of Reno County, Kansas, 219 miles (352 km) southwest of Kansas City, Missouri, on the Arkansas River. Hutchinson's nickname is The Salt City; sometimes it is called Hutch for short. The population was 40,787 at the 2000 census.



The community of Hutchinson was founded in 1871, when Indian Agent C.C. Hutchinson contracted with the Santa Fe Railway to create a town at the railroad's bridge over the Arkansas River. The community was initially called "Temperance City."[1]

Hutchinson was incorporated on August 15, 1872.

On January 17, 2001, 143 million cubic feet of compressed natural gas leaked from the nearby Yaggy storage field. It migrated underground, then rose to the surface through old brine, or salt wells creating around 15 gas blowholes. An explosion in the downtown area at 10:45 a.m. destroyed two businesses and damaged 26 others. An explosion the next day in a mobile-home park killed two people. The Kansas National Guard was called in to help evacuate parts of the city because of the gas leaks, and a team of specialists searched the entire city for leaks after the evacuation. These events were broadcast on nationally televised news stations around the United States. [2][3] [4]

The Hutchinson High School football team (the Salthawks) has had five straight appearances, including four straight wins, in the 6A State Championship Game. They have just been moved down to 5A.


Hutchinson is located at 38°3′56″N, 97°55′25″W (38.065503, -97.923519)GR1.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 54.9 square kilometers (21.2 sq mi). 54.7 km² (21.1 sq mi) of it is land and 0.2 km² (0.1 sq mi) of it (0.33%) is water.


Historical populations
Census Pop.

As of the censusGR2 of 2000, there were 40,787 people, 16,335 households, and 10,340 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,932.6 people per square mile (746.0/km²). There were 17,693 housing units at an average density of 838.3/sq mi (323.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 88.57% White, 4.28% African American, 0.65% Native American, 0.59% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 3.65% from other races, and 2.21% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 7.67% of the population.

There were 16,335 households out of which 28.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.3% were married couples living together, 10.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.7% were non-families. 31.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.31 and the average family size was 2.91.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 23.2% under the age of 18, 11.0% from 18 to 24, 27.8% from 25 to 44, 21.2% from 45 to 64, and 16.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 101.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 100.5 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $32,645, and the median income for a family was $40,094. Males had a median income of $30,994 versus $21,190 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,964. About 9.8% of families and 12.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.5% of those under age 18 and 9.7% of those age 65 or over.


Salt was discovered in Reno County by Benjamin Blanchard on September 26, 1887.[5] This gave rise to the first salt-processing plants west of the Mississippi River. Salt was originally extracted using the evaporation method by pumping water into brine wells. In 1923, the Carey Salt Company opened the first and only salt mine in Hutchinson, which then produced rock salt. That mine is still in use today and is now operated by Hutchinson Salt Company. Cargill and Morton also have evaporative salt plants in Hutchinson.

Excavated portions of the mine are used for archival storage of movie and television masters, data tapes, and permanent business records. Underground Vaults & Storage currently houses the masters for The Wizard of Oz (1939), Gone with the Wind (1939), and Star Wars, (1977) among many others.[6]

The world's longest grain elevator was built in Hutchinson in 1961.

Dillon's grocery stores was established in Hutchinson by J.S. Dillon in the 1920s (originated in Sterling, Kansas). Dillon's was bought out by The Kroger Co. in 1983. The company still operates a distribution center and headquarters in town.

The Eaton Corporation currently operates a hydraulics plant in Hutchinson.

Mike Lowen started Lowen Corporation in 1950 in a converted garage behind his house in Hutchinson. Today Lowen Corporation is comprised of 2 operating divisions, Lowen Sign Company, the nation's largest manufacturer of signage for the real estate industry, and Lowen Color Graphics, the leading U.S. manufacturer of fleet, commercial, event and oem graphics with manufacturing facilities in 3 states.

Collins Bus Corporation resides just outside Hutchinson, and is the leading small school bus manufacturer in North America .


  • Hutchinson (Amtrak station)

Reno County Area Transit (RCAT)- Public busing system


There are three public high schools and two private high schools that serve the Hutchinson area. The largest is 5A Hutchinson High School (USD 308) with an enrollment of around 1400. Buhler High School (enrollment 691, USD 313) draws some students from the city of Hutchinson. Nickerson High School (USD 309) also has Hutchinson residents in attendance. Trinity Catholic High School and Central Christian High School are the two small private schools.

Middle Schools in the area include Hutchinson Middle School-7, Hutchinson Middle School-8, Prairie Hills Middle School, Trinity Middle School, Reno Valley Middle School, and Central Christian Schools.

Hutchinson Community College serves as the city's only post-secondary school system, and offers many programs in vocational technologies, arts, science, and much more.

Points of interest

  • Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center
  • Kansas State Fair
  • Kansas Underground Salt Museum
  • Hutchinson Correctional Facility, state prison
  • Prairie Dunes Country Club, host of the 2002 U.S. Women's Open and 2006 U.S. Senior Open golf championships.
  • Fox Theater
  • Carey Park

Notable natives

  • Jamie Carey, basketball star
  • David Dillon, CEO of Kroger Co.
  • William Stafford, poet
  • Steven Stucky, 2005 Pulitzer Prize winner in music
  • Howard Robert Swearer, president of Carleton College and Brown University
  • Scott Heim, novelist for 2004 film Mysterious Skin
  • Delos V. Smith, film actor appearing in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
  • Racquel Darrian, adult film actress
  • Dale L. Boger, Scripps Research Institute organic and medicinal chemist
  • Aneta Corsaut, late actress best known as Helen Crump on The Andy Griffith Show.

Elected Officials

  • Mike O'Neal - R, State Representative - 104th District
  • Terry Bruce - R, State Senator - 34th District

In popular culture

  • Mysterious Skin, a 2004 film directed by Gregg Araki based on a 1996 book of the same name by Scott Heim, are set in Hutchinson.[citation needed]
  • Science Fiction and Fantasy novelist William Mark Simmons (Wm. Mark Simmons) currently makes his home in Hutchinson.
  • Mike Rowe filmed a Dirty Jobs episode in Hutchinson, focusing on mining salt.


  1. ^ Introduction, Hutchinson, 2001-01-09. Accessed 2007-08-26.
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
Local Business
  • Business Directory
  • Prairie Dunes
  • Kansas Underground Salt Museum
Local News & Articles
  • The Hutchinson News
  • The Effort
  • National Public Radio audio story about 650' deep elevator
Maps, photos, and other images
  • City of Hutchinson & Reno County Official Map Based Information
  • Hutchinson, Kansas is at coordinates 38°03′56″N 97°55′25″W / 38.065503, -97.923519Coordinates: 38°03′56″N 97°55′25″W / 38.065503, -97.923519
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Hutchinson,_Kansas". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
Your browser is not current. Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 does not support some functions on Chemie.DE