Blue Rapids, Kansas

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Blue Rapids, Kansas
(February 2014)
(February 2014)
Location within Marshall County and Kansas
Location within Marshall County and Kansas
KDOT map of Marshall County (legend)
Coordinates: 39°40′55″N 96°39′35″W / 39.68194°N 96.65972°W / 39.68194; -96.65972Coordinates: 39°40′55″N 96°39′35″W / 39.68194°N 96.65972°W / 39.68194; -96.65972[1]
CountryUnited States
IncorporatedMarch 20, 1872[2]
 • Total2.01 sq mi (5.21 km2)
 • Land1.99 sq mi (5.15 km2)
 • Water0.02 sq mi (0.05 km2)
Elevation1,155 ft (352 m)
 • Total1,019
 • Estimate 
 • Density510/sq mi (200/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code785
FIPS code20-07650 [1][6]
GNIS ID473162 [1][7]

Blue Rapids is a city in Marshall County, Kansas, United States.[1] In 2010, 1,019 people lived there.[8]

History[change | change source]

Looking south from the public square c. 1900. The Arlington House and Granger Store are in the foreground. Capital Bluff, the highest point in this part of the county, can be seen in the background.

The first try to create a town below the junction of the rivers was in 1857. It failed. No tried to make a city until 1869–1870. A group of about 50 families from Genesee County, New York came. They bought land and water power rights, and they started building a community. The Blue Rapids Town Company was created. By 1870, 250 people lived there. In 1872, Blue Rapids was incorporated.[9]

In 1870, a stone dam and an iron bridge was built on the Big Blue River. A hydroelectric power plant was added. It would provide power for manufacturing and for the town. The power plant was destroyed by a flood in 1903. In the late 19th century and early 20th century there were four gypsum mines in the area. Around 1910, more than 1,750 people lived in Blue Rapids. The public library was built in 1875. It is the oldest library west of the Mississippi that is still being used in the same building.[10]

Blue Rapids was where the pancreatic cancer drug Streptozotocin was created. The bacterium from which the drug is taken was found in the late 1950s. It was found in a soil sample taken from "an uncultivated sandy soil in a grassland region" at Blue Rapids.

Blue Rapids says it is the smallest town in the U.S. to have hosted a national league baseball game. On October 24, 1913, more than 3,000 people watched the Chicago White Sox and New York Giants play a world tour exhibition game on the local ball field. that is still in use today.[11]

In 2001, Blue Rapids became the place of a new NOAA Weather Radio transmitter, KZZ67. It would provide weather and emergency information from the National Weather Service in Topeka, Kansas to people living in north-central and northeast Kansas.

Geography[change | change source]

Blue Rapids is in northeast Kansas. It is near the junction of the Little Blue and Big Blue rivers, at 39°40′55″N 96°39′33″W / 39.68194°N 96.65917°W / 39.68194; -96.65917. Its elevation is 1,150 feet (350 m) above sea level. It is on highway US-77/K-9. Blue Rapids is 5 miles (8.0 km) east of Waterville, 12 miles (19 km) south of the county seat Marysville, 13 miles (21 km) west of Frankfort, and 46 miles (74 km) north of Manhattan. The United States Census Bureau says that the city has a total area of 2.01 square miles (5.21 km2). Of that, 1.99 square miles (5.15 km2) is land and 0.02 square miles (0.05 km2) is water.[3]

Georgia-Pacific has a gypsum mine near Blue Rapids containing some of the purest gypsum in the world.[source?]

People[change | change source]

Historical population
Census Pop.
2016 (est.)971[5]−4.7%
U.S. Decennial Census[12]
2013 Estimate[13]

2010 census[change | change source]

The 2010 census says that there were 1,019 people, 415 households, and 263 families living in Blue Rapids.[4]

Education[change | change source]

Blue Rapids is a part of USD 498 Valley Heights. Valley Heights Jr/Sr High School is halfway between the towns of Blue Rapids and Waterville. The Valley Heights mascot is Mustangs.[14]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) details for Blue Rapids, Kansas; United States Geological Survey (USGS); October 13, 1978.
  2. Blackmar, Frank W (1912). "Blue Rapids". Kansas: A Cyclopedia of State History... 1. Chicago: Standard Pub. Co. pp. 197–198. OCLC 11274216. Archived from the original on 2006-10-10.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2012-01-25. Retrieved 2012-07-06.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-07-06.
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017.
  6. "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2013-09-11. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  7. "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  8. "2010 City Population and Housing Occupancy Status". U.S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on July 21, 2011. Retrieved July 17, 2011.
  9. Foster, Emma Elizabeth Calderhead (1917). History of Marshall County, Kansas: Its People, Industries, and Institutions. B.F. Bowen. p. 146.
  10. "Blue Rapids home page". Blue Skyways. Archived from the original on 2006-12-31. Retrieved 2007-01-01.
  11. "Blue Rapids". Leisure And Sport Review. Retrieved 2007-01-02.
  12. United States Census Bureau. "Census of Population and Housing". Archived from the original on April 26, 2015. Retrieved August 18, 2014.
  13. "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on May 22, 2015. Retrieved December 4, 2015.
  14. "Valley Heights USD 498". USD 498. Retrieved 5 January 2017.

Other websites[change | change source]