> Seek truth > Topics > Kansas >
Manhattan, Kansas

It was a pleasant place to grow up. Small, but with the university to open it to the wider world. Friendly, easy to get around it. Looking back, I wouldn't want to live now in the city then: one radio station, one television station, 2 single screen movie theaters, and a host of similar limitations. It still is home, though I've not lived there for 30 years.

Settled in typical Kansas low comedy style: a riverboat ran aground there in 1854, and people just decided to get off instead of going on farther to where they intended to go. But, also in Kansas style, behind the modest story is a more interesting one: the first settlers were sent there by the New England Immigrant Aid society to bolster the free-state population in anticipation of the struggle to come, they intended to name the town 'Boston'. The riverboat had people from Cincinnati who, funded by people in New York City, were charted to start a town named 'Manhattan' that had been marked on a map for a location 20 miles to the west. The two groups of people decided they'd do better together than apart and the 'Boston' crew agreed to change their town name to 'Manhattan.'

[ Under construction ]
The Riley County Courthouse. Click for larger photos and more pages. Railroads in Manhattan Photo gallery of Manhattan and the Flint Hills

Last updated 9/11/2004; posted 3/00; © 2004 John P. Nordin