Kanopolis is a city in
Ellsworth County, Kansas, United States. The town is built on the site of Fort
Harker, a United States
Army base that housed infantry and
cavalry troops involved in the Indian Wars from 1867 to 1872.
- See also: Kanopolis State Park
Harker was closed, the new town was given the name of Kanopolis
because it was envisioned as the "Central Metropolis" of the state
and in due time was to be its capitol. Most settlement in the
area instead went to Ellsworth.
The population was 543 at the 2000 census
Fort Ellsworth was the first frontier fort established in the
It was built by the United States Army in
August, 1864 at the junction of the Fort Riley-Fort Larned Road and
the Smoky Hill Trail, near the Smoky
. Within two years of its creation, the fort had
grown in importance as a military staging post and supply depot for
forts further west, and needed to expand to continue meeting its
mission. On November 17, 1866, the Army ordered the
construction of Fort Harker about 1.6 km (1 mile) northeast of Fort
Fort Ellsworth was closed in early 1867, and the
town of Ellsworth was founded in its place. For the next five
years, Fort Harker became one of the most important military
stations west of the Missouri River.
With the Indian Wars and the railroads both moving further and
further west, Fort Harker was no longer needed as a military
installation. It was officially ordered closed on April 8, 1872
and over the next several months
was sold to developers. The new town was given the name of
Kanopolis because it was envisioned as the "Central Metropolis" of
the state and in due time was to be its capitol. It was laid out to
provide for a city of 150,000 people by the Kanopolis Land
Kanopolis was incorporated January 6, 1887. "The Kanopolis
Journal", a weekly newspaper of Kanopolis printed and distributed
50,000 sample copies that were sent back East to promote "The
Future Great City" of central Kansas with an unequalled location
and natural advantages. This issue dated May 24, 1890, told of two
large hotels, a hardware store, roller mill, woolen mills, foundry
and irons works, carriage works, an earthenware works, an elevator,
the Union Pacific
churches and a school.
Although Kanopolis did not reach the proportion that the early
planners had hoped and worked for, the town has prospered through
the years. Many of the early business places have disappeared and
new ones have taken their places. It has a library and community
center on the park grounds.
Kanopolis is located at (38.709707, -98.157020) .
According to the United
States Census Bureau
, the city has a total area of
1.2 square miles (3.1 km²), all of it land.
As of the census
of 2000, there were 543
people, 248 households, and 153 families residing in the city. The
people per square mile (174.7/km²). There were 295 housing units at
an average density of 246.5/sq mi (94.9/km²). The racial
makeup of the city was 85.21% White
, 0.37% African American
, 2.76% from other races
, and 1.47% from two
or more races. Hispanic
of any race were 12.71%
of the population.
There were 248 households out of which 25.4% had children under the
age of 18 living with them, 49.2% were married
living together, 9.3% had a female householder with no
husband present, and 38.3% were non-families. 34.3% of all
households were made up of individuals and 18.1% had someone living
alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size
was 2.19 and the average family size was 2.80.
In the city the population was spread out with 22.1% under the age
of 18, 6.3% from 18 to 24, 23.8% from 25 to 44, 25.2% from 45 to
64, and 22.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was
44 years. For every 100 females there were 96.0 males. For every
100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.5 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $31,413, and the
median income for a family was $39,531. Males had a median income
of $30,170 versus $21,250 for females. The per capita income
for the city was
$16,161. About 4.6% of families and 6.9% of the population were
below the poverty line
, including 1.7%
of those under age 18 and 12.8% of those age 65 or over.