City of McFarland, Kansas

101123_mcfarland_city_hallThe city of McFarland is a small one located in Kansas, USA. It is within the area of Wabaunsee County. Estimated population is less than 1,000. The city is part of Topeka of Kansas Metropolitan Statistical Area. Wabaunsee County has a total area of 799.80 square miles.

McFarland as a city was established way back in June 1887. It was done so by S.J. Fairfield. The city got its name from J.N. McFarland who was a judge at Topeka, Kansas and a member of the town company.

The city sees more than thirty passenger trains passing through on a daily basis. A main line going from Topeka towards Herington was built in 1887 by the Chicago, Kansas, and Nebraska Railway. This railway was unfortunately foreclosed in 1891. It was taken over afterwards by Chicago, Rock Island, and Pacific Railway; the company which also closed down in 1980. From then, the railway was known as Oklahoma, Kansas, and Texas Railroad. Two merges will take place, one with Missouri Pacific Railroad in 1988 and one with Union Pacific Railroad, recently in 1997. The railroad is recognized today as “Rock Island”.

McFarland has humid and hot summers while winters are often mild to cool. The city is generally categorized as of humid and subtropical climate. Population is very small. From a 224 population in 1990 to a 256 residents population in 2010, the city remains quite small. Less than 200 households are found in the cities. Racial composition is 95% white and 5% mix of Native American and other races.

McFarland may be a small town but the beautiful Mill Creek Valley where it’s located nearby is very picturesque. There is something serene about Flint hills in Wabaunsee. The city is also strategically located. It’s just near Topeka, Junction City, Manhattan, Fort Riley, as well as Council Grove. Interstate 70 is also just a mile away. Parks and ball fields are also located nearby.

Expect a community that is warm and friendly. Families planning to stay for an extended period of time will have no problems about their children’s schooling as a number of good schools are located in the vicinity. Land is very affordable and taxes are quite low.

The city is greatly appealing due to the abundance of natural surroundings and various vistas. Small town living is naturally safe and quiet and appeals much to people who are just tired of the noisy and stressful life of big city residence.

Wabaunsee County is less than 10,000 in population. Small towns around it are 13 in number. The place is rich in history. Kansas of old was a place inhabited by most Native Americans. The US secured the area only in 1803 as part of its purchase of Louisiana. Established as Kansas Territory in 1854, the county was officially declared on March 25, 1859. The name Wabaunsee means ‘dawn of day’, named after a chief of the Potawatomi Indians.

The first church built in the county was Wabaunsee Church of Christ in June 1857. The first railroad built was Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe in 1880. Wabaunsee and nearby places to McFarland have a number of interesting places to show:  Pierce Creek Ranch (Paxico), Beecher Bible and Rifle Church (Wabaunsee), Old Stone Church (Maple Hill) and Snokomo School (Paxico).

Beecher Bible and Rifle Church was established by the Beecher Colony in 1854. Free-staters shipped rifles to the church via boxes declared as bible contents.  Captain William Mitchell, Jr.  joined the Beecher Bible and Rifle Colony in its free-sate efforts, settling with them in Wabaunsee. In 1868, Captain William was elected to the state legislature.

Topeka, the capital city of Kansas is well recognized for the US Supreme Court case Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka that declared public school segregation according to race as unconstitutional. Three US Navy ships bear the name USS Topeka in honor of the site.

The area is richly filled with traces of past history. Topeka in the 1860’s was a commercial area populated by traders and travelers. In 1862, work began on the construction of Kansas State Capitol. Kansas limestone was used for the building that took thirty-seven years to complete. A Governor’s Mansion was built in 1887, which was then replaced by Cedar Crest in 1963.

Lincoln College (established in 1865) is also found in the area, though it is now called Washburn University. The university is co-ed, a public school that offers both undergraduate and graduate courses. Professional programs in business and law are also offered. Faculty members number to over 500 and students range from 1,500 and above yearly.

Another school, Monroe Elementary, is also located within the area. It is a racially segregated school that was cited in the historic case that declared unconstitutionality of racial segregation in public schools.  In the early 1990’s, the Brown Foundation worked with Kansas Congressional delegation place in efforts of putting up The National Historic Site. It contains a great number of historical interpretive exhibits and the site was opened by former President Bush in May of 2004.

A new airport and convention center was conceptualized from the 1980’s. West Ridge Mall was built in 1988 as a replacement to White Lakes Mall that opened in 1964. Heartland Park Topeka opened in 1989 allowing Topeka to be known as a motorsports mecca. Topeka Performing Arts was opened by 1991.

The Kansas River runs west to east and skyline is just awesome at night. Apartments and condominiums have been in continuous development. Façade, landscape, and streetscape improvements are continually being made. The State Capitol is on an eight year renovation project worth close to $300 million. A trip to the other side of the river will lead you to Great Overland Station which boasts of excellent railroad archtecture, classic in all aspects.

Other points of interest around the locality are: Bethel Bible College, the home of Rev. Charles Sheldon; The First Presbyterian Church, a church fully decorated with Tiffany stained glass; the oldest Baha’i community in Kansas; Westboro Baptist Church, a controversial church community; the Capitol Building; Kansas Children’s Discovery Center; Reinisch Rose Garden and Doran Rock Garden; Topeka Zoo which is the first US Zoo that has indoor rain forest; and a lot more.

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