GREAT BEND, Kan. (KSNW) — The KSN team stopped by Jack Kilby Square in Great Bend over the noon hour. We had a warm welcome from citizens and included a lot of information about Great Bend in our live broadcasts at noon.
Kilby was a Great Bend native who received the Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on integrated circuits. He invented the microchip that has led to many technological advances of the last six decades. He was also involved in creating the handheld calculator.
About 16,000 people call Great Bend home. The town was built on agriculture and the oil industry. But it is also known for the wildlife at Cheyenne Bottoms, the largest inland marsh in the United States.
Great Bend got its name for being by a “great bend” in the Arkansas River. The town is the county seat of Barton County. The county is named for Clara Barton, making it the only Kansas county named for a woman.
The airport in Great Bend was built as an Air Force base in the early 1940s to handle the B-29 Superfortress bomber being used in WWII. When the war was over, the City of Great Bend took it over and started turning it into a passenger airport.
Things to do in the Great Bend area:
- Jack Kilby Square
- Outdoor Murals
- Barton Co. Historical Museum
- Brit Spaugh Park & Zoo
- Great Bend Parks
- B-29 Memorial
- Kansas Wetlands Education Center, Cheyenne Bottoms
- Wetlands & Wildlife National Scenic Byway
- Visit Great Bend
- Great Bend Airport Airfest
- Kansas Oil & Gas Hall of Fame and Museum
Community & Government:
- Great Bend
- Barton County
- Great Bend Public Schools
- Great Bend Chamber of Commerce
- Barton Community College
- Fuller Brush Company
- SRCA Drag Strip
- Great Bend Farm & Ranch Expo
Notable events, people & heritage:
- Jack Kilby, Great Bend High School grad,invented the integrated curcuit (microchip), during his time at Texas Instruments, awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics.
- Oscar Micheaux, Author and filmmaker