Newton, Kansas

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Newton is a city in and the county seat of Harvey County, Kansas, United States.[3] The population was 17,190 at the 2000 census. Newton is located 25 mi (40 km) north of Wichita and is included in the Wichita metropolitan statistical area (MSA).



From the earliest beginnings in 1871 to 1873 Newton came to be known as "bloody and lawless—the wickedest city in the west." This reputation was much due to the 1871 Gunfight at Hide Park, which ultimately resulted in 8 men being killed before, during and after the incident. In 1872 the western terminal for the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway and the railhead for the Chisholm Trail were established here. Shortly after incorporation of the City in 1872, the Newton city council passed an ordinance prohibiting the running at large of buffalo and other wild animals.

The history of Newton is intertwined with the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway. Newton served as the Middle Division dispatching headquarters for the "Santa Fe" until the mid 1980's when all dispatching for the Chicago to Los Angeles system was centralized in the Chicago area. In 1995 the Santa Fe was merged with the Burlington Northern Railroad. Now called the BNSF Railway, it is one of the largest railroads in the US. The BNSF continues to be a large industrial taxpayer although its impact as an employer has decreased in the past decade. During World War II, the Newton airport was taken over by the US Navy as a secondary Naval Air Station, and the main runway was extended to over 7,000 feet (2,100 m).


Newton lies at the crossroads of the continental United States.[citation needed] U.S. Highway 81, also known as the Meridian Highway, stretches from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada to Mexico City, Mexico through Central and South America. It passes through Newton, Kansas and is known as "Main Street." U.S. Highway 50 runs past the White House in Washington, DC through Newton, Kansas and continues on to Sacramento, California.

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