McPherson, Kansas

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McPherson is a city in and the county seat of McPherson County, Kansas, United States,[3] in the central part of the state. The population was 13,770 at the 2000 census. The city is named after Union General James Birdseye McPherson, a Civil War general. It is home to McPherson and Central Christian Colleges.



McPherson was founded in 1872 by the twelve members of the McPherson Town Company.[4] In 1887, city officials began a failed attempt to have the community named the state capital. By 1888, the community was at the junction of four railroad lines. Major industries have included a large flour mill, an insurance company headquarters, and an oil refinery.

In 1994 Terry Nichols bought a ton of ammonium nitrate from the Mid-Kansas Coop in McPherson. The chemicals would be the principal ingredient used in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.[5]


The first basketball team to represent the United States in the Olympics featured six McPherson residents of 13 total players. This team went on to defeat Canada 19-8 in the Gold Medal game at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin.


McPherson is located at 38°22′19″N 97°39′44″W / 38.37194°N 97.66222°W / 38.37194; -97.66222 (38.371923, -97.662177)[6]. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.2 square miles (16.1 km²), of which, 6.1 square miles (15.9 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.2 km²) of it (0.97%) is water.

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