Ottawa, Kansas

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Ottawa, Kansas
Ottawa Historic District (2018)
Ottawa Historic District (2018)
Location within Franklin County and Kansas
Location within Franklin County and Kansas
KDOT map of Franklin County (legend)
Coordinates: 38°36′43″N 95°15′59″W / 38.61194°N 95.26639°W / 38.61194; -95.26639Coordinates: 38°36′43″N 95°15′59″W / 38.61194°N 95.26639°W / 38.61194; -95.26639
CountryUnited States
StateKansas
CountyFranklin
Founded1865
Incorporated1866
Named forOttawa Tribe
Government
 • TypeCouncil-Manager
 • City ManagerRichard Nienstedt[1]
 • MayorSara Caylor[2]
Area
 • Total9.42 sq mi (24.40 km2)
 • Land9.32 sq mi (24.14 km2)
 • Water0.10 sq mi (0.26 km2)  1.06%
Elevation
902 ft (275 m)
Population
 • Total12,649
 • Estimate 
(2016)[5]
12,356
 • Density1,300/sq mi (520/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
66067
Area code785
FIPS code20-53550[6]
GNIS ID0479367[7]
Websiteottawaks.gov

Ottawa is a city in Franklin County, Kansas, United States. It is also the county seat of Franklin County.[8][9] It is on both banks of the Marais des Cygnes River near the center of Franklin County. In 2010, 12,649 people lived there.[10]

History[change | change source]

Main Street, circa 1865-1900

19th century[change | change source]

The name comes from the Ottawa tribe of Indians. The city was planned on their reservation. In spring 1864, the land was obtained from the tribe through a treaty connected to the creation of Ottawa University. The Ottawa had given 20,000 acres of land to create and fund a school for the education of Indians and non-Indians alike. The word Ottawa itself means “to trade”. In 1867, the Ottawa tribe sold their remaining land in Kansas, and they moved to Indian Territory in Oklahoma.[11][12]

Panoramic map of Ottawa from 1872 including inset images of Union School, the Ludington House, C.W Hamblins Block, and Ottawa University building

March 31st, 1864, J.C. Richmond built the first non-Indian settlement in the new town.[13][14]

Flooding[change | change source]

Ottawa has a history of flooding. This is because of where it is. It is on the Marais Des Cygnes river. The area's first recorded flood was the Great Flood of 1844. In 1928, a flood went up to at 38.65 feet, and it killed six people. Other floods included 1904. Water went up to 36 feet.[15] In 1909, a flood went up to 36.3 feet (11.1 m). In 1915, a flood went up to 31 feet (9.4 m). Another flood happened in 1944, where the water went up to 36.5 feet (11.1 m).[source?]

The most famous flood is the Great Flood of 1951. It was about five inches higher than the 1928 flood. The flood of 1951 hurt a lot of Missouri and Kansas. 41 people died. 1/3 of Ottawa was covered because of this flood.[16]

20th century[change | change source]

In 1943, the United States government brought prisoners to Ottawa. These prisoners were war prisoners from World War II. The prisoners were mostly German people and Italian people. The government brought them because farmers needed more people. They were forced to live in camps. These camps were like prisons. The camp closed in 1945.[17][18]


Geography[change | change source]

Ottawa is on the Marais des Cygnes River. It is 58 miles (93 km) southwest of Kansas City at the junction of U.S. Route 59 and K-68. U.S. Route 50 and Interstate 35 go near Ottawa to the south and east, while business US-50 goes through the city.

The United States Census Bureau says that the city has a total area of 9.42 square miles (24.40 km2). Of that, 9.32 square miles (24.14 km2) is land and 0.10 square miles (0.26 km2) is water.[3]

Climate[change | change source]

The area gets about 40 inches (1,000 mm) of precipitation during an average year. Most of the rain happens in May and June.

Source: Monthly Station Climate Summaries, 1971–2000, U.S. National Climatic Data Center
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Temperatures (°F)
Mean high 40.1 46.6 58.0 68.5 77.1 85.7 91.1 89.9 82.0 70.9 55.1 43.3 67.4
Mean low 20.6 25.8 35.4 45.6 55.4 64.8 69.6 67.4 58.8 47.5 35.6 25.2 46.0
Highest recorded 76
(1950)
84
(1981)
93
(1910)
96
(1910)
101
(2000)
108
(1980)
118
(1954)
113
(1936)
111
(1947)
98
(1939)
86
(1980)
75
(1939)
118
(1954)
Lowest recorded −20
(1947)
−28
(1905)
−9
(1948)
11
(1920)
21
(1907)
41
(1946)
47
(1972)
42
(1910)
27
(1908)
16
(1925)
1
(1932)
−22
(1989)
−28
(1905)
Precipitation (inches)
Median 1.06 1.09 2.50 3.22 5.10 4.80 3.25 3.94 3.75 3.55 2.95 1.57 39.34
Mean number of days 5.3 4.8 7.3 9.0 10.4 9.1 7.4 7.6 7.2 7.2 6.2 5.6 87.1
Highest monthly 3.60
(1982)
4.17
(1997)
10.14
(1973)
9.08
(1994)
11.67
(1995)
12.84
(1981)
10.49
(1993)
8.43
(1996)
12.06
(1986)
7.48
(1985)
8.83
(1992)
4.10
(1971)
Snowfall (inches)
Median 3.3 4.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.2 8.5
Mean number of days 3.0 2.1 0.9 0.1 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.5 1.8 8.4
Highest monthly 22.3
(1985)
14.8
(1980)
7.0
(1975)
0.8
(1994)
0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 trace
(1993)
9.0
(1975)
15.0
(1983)
Notes: Temperatures are in degrees Fahrenheit. Precipitation includes rain and melted snow or sleet in inches; median values are provided for precipitation and snowfall because mean averages may be misleading. Mean and median values are for the 30-year period 1971–2000; temperature extremes are for the station's period of record (1900–2001). The station is located in Ottawa at 38°37′N 95°17′W, elevation 900 feet (270 m).

People[change | change source]

Historical population
Census Pop.
18702,941
18804,03237.1%
18906,24855.0%
19006,93411.0%
19107,65010.3%
19209,01817.9%
19309,5636.0%
194010,1936.6%
195010,081−1.1%
196010,6735.9%
197011,0363.4%
198011,016−0.2%
199010,667−3.2%
200011,92111.8%
201012,6496.1%
Est. 201612,356[5]−2.3%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census[change | change source]

In 2010, there were 12,649 people, 4,998 households, and 3,127 families living in Ottawa.[4]

Economy[change | change source]

Ottawa's two biggest employers are Walmart and American Eagle Outfitters. They both have distribution centers in the city. Ottawa has freight rail service from BNSF railway. There is also a grain elevator operated by the Ottawa Co-Op. The city operates the Ottawa Municipal Airport, a small General Aviation airport four miles south of the city.

Government[change | change source]

Franklin County Courthouse (2009)
Aerial view of Ottawa (2013)

Ottawa had a Mayor-Council system. This changed in 1913 when the City became a Commission form of government. In 1970 voters created the City Manager form of government with a five-member Commission. The commission chooses a Mayor. The people of Ottawa elect commissioners at-large. Three seats on the Commission are open every odd numbered year. Two Commissioners are elected to four-year terms and one is elected to a two-year term. [19]

Education[change | change source]

Ottawa is served by USD 290 for public education. The private four-year university, Ottawa University, is in Ottawa. Ottawa is also where another campus of Neosho County Community College is.

USD 290 public education schools:

  • Ottawa High School
  • Ottawa Middle School
  • Garfield Elementary School
  • Lincoln Elementary School
  • Sunflower Elementary school

Ottawa has several private schools.

  • Sacred Heart Catholic Elementary School
  • Pilgrim Bible Academy
  • Ottawa Christian Academy

Media[change | change source]

Newspapers[change | change source]

There is one newspaper for the city of Ottawa, the Ottawa Herald. It was created in 1869. It is owned by GateHouse Media.[20]

Entertainment[change | change source]

Business District (2009)

Downtown Ottawa is has the Plaza Grill and Cinema (formerly the Crystal Plaza and Bijou Theater). In 2013, it was found that it is the oldest operating movie theater in the United States.[21]

Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. Ottawa City Manager
  2. Ottawa Government
  3. 3.0 3.1 "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2012-07-02. Retrieved 2012-07-06. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  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. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  7. "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  8. "Geographic Names Information System". United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  9. "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  10. "2010 City Population and Housing Occupancy Status". U.S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on March 17, 2011. Retrieved March 6, 2011. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  11. Dixon, Rhonda. "The Ottawa Tribe of Oklahoma." Archived 2008-07-04 at the Wayback Machine Ottawa Tribe of Oklahoma. (16 Feb 2009).
  12. Carpenter, Tim (November 28, 1997). "What's in a name? Key elements of area history". Lawrence Journal-World. pp. 3B. Retrieved 28 April 2015.
  13. Cutler, William G. (1883). William G. Cutler's History of the State of Kansas. A. T. Andreas, Chicago, Illinois. pp. Franklin County, part 5, Ottawa, part 1.
  14. Blackmar, Frank Wilson (1912). Kansas: A Cyclopedia of State History, Volume 2. Standard Publishing Company. p. 423.
  15. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-06-16. Retrieved 2017-03-29. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  16. Perry, Charlie Perry, C.A. "USGS - Kansas Big Water". ks.water.usgs.gov.
  17. List of Prisoner Of War (POW) Camps in Kansas, Genealogy Tracer
  18. http://www.kansastravel.org/campconcordia.htm
  19. https://www.ottawaks.gov. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  20. Staff, The Herald. "New owner a 'great fit' for Herald". The Ottawa Herald. Retrieved 2017-01-28.
  21. The Plaza Grill and Cinema Archived 2014-02-19 at the Wayback Machine

Other websites[change | change source]

Official sites

Schools
Museums
Maps