Kansas Centennial

The Louisiana Purchase from France in 1803 included all the present state of Kansas except for the southwest corner. This corner came into the Union as a part of Texas when it was annexed in 1845. That part of the state situated west of the 100th meridian and south of the Arkansas River has been under the flags of five nations - France, Spain, the Texas Republic, and the United States.

Kansas became the 34th state of the Union in 1861 after a long and bloody struggle between the proponents of slavery and the free-state forces, aggravated by the general disorder and lawlessness attendant upon the settling of a new territory and the guerrilla tactics employed by the rival factions. No other state entered the Union amid such difficulties. A reign of terror prevailed and the state became known as bloody Kansas. Yet in spite of her internal struggle Kansas provided more soldiers in the Civil War in proportion than any other state. Much of her later population was made up of veterans of the war, both white and Negro, who saw in the west a place of opportunity where land was free and a man's possibilities were measured only by his vision, industry and tenacity. It was such men as these who endured the terrors of border warfare, bandits, Indian raids and untold hardship to give to present day Kansas its heritage of green fields, grazing herds, developing industries, active churches, a splendid system of schools, and an alert and aggressive citizenry. In all of this Hodgeman County played a minor but important role.

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Last updated 03/26/1998