Wichita turned 151 this week, here are some firsts in the city

Local

KSNW

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Wichita celebrated its’ 151st birthday on Wednesday, July 21.

The Wichita and Sedgwick County Historical Museum plans to continue the celebration this weekend with its’ Sesquicentennial Finale. The free event kicks off with a proclamation from Mayor Brandon Whipple Saturday at 12:30 p.m. and is open from 1-5 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday.

Honoring the 151st birthday, here is a look back at some of Wichita’s ‘firsts’:

Businesses

‘Deffenbaugh and Lewis Mill’ (Courtesy: The Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum)

‘Deffenbaugh and Lewis Mill’

The Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum dates this original image from circa 1874 and describes it as “View of the first mill in Wichita. Located at Hydraulic and First Streets.”

Education

‘Wichita University’ (Courtesy: The Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum)

‘Wichita University’

The Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum dates this original image from circa 1892 and describes it as “One of the first institutions of higher learning built in Wichita, located at 3700 East Lincoln. Designed by architects Dumont and Hayward. It operated only a few years. Not to be confused with a later institution at 17th and Hillside Streets that succeeded Fairmount College and was also known as Wichita University.”

‘Wichita University’ (Courtesy: The Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum)

‘Wichita University’

The Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum dates this original image from circa 1893 and describes it as “One of the first institutions of higher learning built in Wichita, located at 3700 East Lincoln. Designed by architects Dumont and Hayward. It operated only a few years. Not to be confused with a later institution at 17th and Hillside Streets that succeeded Fairmount College and was also known as Wichita University.”

Entertainment/Sports

‘YMCA Basketball Team’ (Courtesy: The Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum)

‘YMCA Basketball Team’

The Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum dates this original image from circa 1894 and describes it as “Members of the first basketball team to represent Wichita; all are identified (on file).”

‘Boy Scouts of America’ (Courtesy: The Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum)

‘Boy Scouts of America’

The Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum dates this original image from circa 1920 and describes it as “Boy Scout members of Wichita Troop 5 posed with U.S. flag and banner. Location unknown. The first troop in Wichita was organized in 1913. By 1918, when the council was organized, there were 17 troops in the city.”

’81 Drive In Theatre’ (Courtesy: The Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum)

’81 Drive In Theatre’

The Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum dates this original image from circa 1946 and describes it as “The 81 Drive In Theatre was Wichita’s first drive-in theater. It opened in August, 1946. The theater was located north of the city limits at 6250 North Broadway. It took its name from US Highway 81, which coincided with Broadway as it crossed Wichita north to south. The motion picture “The Hurricane” was first released in 1937.”

Food

‘Nu-Way Sandwich Shop’ (Courtesy: Wichita State University Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives)

‘Nu-Way Sandwich Shop’

Wichita State University Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives dates this original image from 1939 and describes it as “Interior of Nu-Way Sandwich Shop located at 1416 West Douglas.”

‘White Castle’ (Courtesy: The Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum)

‘White Castle’

The Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum dates this original image from circa 1935 and describes it as “Looking southeast at a White Castle hamburger stand, 3159 East Douglas Avenue. The national White Castle System, Inc. was founded in Wichita in 1921 by Walter Anderson and “Billy” Ingram. They expanded the chain of popular restaurants eastward. In 1933, Ingram, then the sole owner, moved the company headquarters to Columbus, Ohio. While still in Wichita, the company developed the distinctive, all-steel frame structure enclosed with interior and exterior porcelain enamel panels. The portable, 5-stool buildings were designed by another Wichitan, Loyd Ray. Note the company slogan, “Buy ‘em by the Sack,” which introduced homemakers to the idea of carry-out meals.”

‘Original Pizza Hut’ (Courtesy: Wichita State University Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives)

‘Original Pizza Hut’

Wichita State University Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives dates this original image from 1995 and describes it as “View looking east toward small part of original Pizza Hut building. It was moved to Wichita State University campus in 1984 from Kellogg and Bluff street location. Dan and Frank Carney founded Pizza Hut in the 1950s while they were students at the University of Wichita, now Wichita State University.”

Housing

‘Home of H. W. Dunning’ (Courtesy: The Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum)

‘Home of H. W. Dunning’

The Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum dates this original image from circa 1875 and describes it as “View looking northwest at early house in Wichita. Identified as residence of H. W. Dunning at 535 North Lawrence (now Broadway). The family is gathered in the front yard.”

‘Home of Robert E. Lawrence’ (Courtesy: The Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum)

‘Home of Robert E. Lawrence’

The Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum dates this original image from circa 1878 and describes it as “Members of the Robert Lawrence family gathered in front of their residence at 415 South Seneca Street. Early home in the Delano neighborhood built in about 1871. Identified as the first residence of R. E. Lawrence and was replaced later by a grand limestone home.”

‘Home of Charles R. Miller’ (Courtesy: The Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum)

‘Home of Charles R. Miller’

The Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum dates this original image from circa 1878 and describes it as “Residence at 509 South Lawrence (Broadway) owned by C. R. Miller. The home, with Gothic Revival styling and Stick and Shingle details was designed by architects Will Sternberg and the yet unknown, Stanford White. It was built in the late 1870s and demolished in 1923 to make way for a filling station.”

Public Service

‘Wichita City Building’ (Courtesy: The Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum)

‘Wichita City Building’

The Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum dates this original image from 1908 and describes it as “View of original City Hall, known popularly as the “City Building,” located on the southeast corner of Main and William Streets; “Mayor’s Office” painted on third floor window. Presently houses the Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum. Original Central Fire Station at left, and Wichita Eagle building at far left, corner of Market and William Streets.”

‘KANS Radio Broadcast’ (Courtesy: Wichita State University Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives)

‘KANS Radio Broadcast’

Wichita State University Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives dates this original image from circa 1938 and describes it as “KANS Radio broadcast showing announcer, band and singer. KANS radio station began broadcasting in Wichita in 1936 and became an NBC affiliate in 1937.”

Religion

‘First Church in Wichita’ (Courtesy: Wichita State University Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives)

‘First Church in Wichita’

Wichita State University Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives dates this original image from circa 1873 and describes it as “Wichita citizens posed in front of the church building in Wichita, built around 1870 and used by the Protestant Episcopal Church, now St. John’s Episcopal Church. The location was north of Third Street on the east side of Main Street.”

Transportation

‘First airplane flown in Wichita at the Walnut Grove air meet’ (Courtesy: Wichita State University Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives)

‘First airplane flown in Wichita at the Walnut Grove air meet’

Wichita State University Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives dates this original image from 1911 and describes it as “First airplane flown in Wichita at the Walnut Grove air meet, north of the city. Eugene Ely pilots a Curtiss bi-plane during Wichita’s first air show.”

‘Maiden Wichita’ (Courtesy: Wichita State University Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives)

‘Maiden Wichita’

Wichita State University Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives dates this original image from 1925 and describes it as “View of “Maiden Wichita,” first airplane produced by Travel Air Manufacturing Company. Prototype for Travel Air Model 4000 was powered by Wright J4 radial engine.”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Download the KSN News App and stay up-to-date wherever you are. You can even watch KSN News live for free!
Click here to get the app
Get it in the App store
Get it in the Google Play store

KSN Storm Track 3 Weather

Trending Stories