Here it is, entry number 6! This is a fun project, I've enjoyed these trips around the country. My random entry this week has a new state, Kansas. Very different than the last county which was very Urban and has the state's largest city. So I hope you enjoy this week.
Here is how this project of mine goes. Each and every week (or more often), using a random number generator I pick one county from the United States and give a little bit of information on that county. I am going with five pieces of information - historical, cultural, news, natural, political, etc. - to share about the county I choose. Ideally, I'll stick it out until every single county is completed.
Here we go, Round 6!
This entry is the sixth of the counties. The randomly selected celebrity county is...
Haskell County, Kansas
Incorporated: March 23, 1887
Total Area: 577.73 square miles
County Seat: Sublette (pop: 1,453)
Let's find out more about this Kansas high plains country below!
(1) The modern look of the county is a direct result of the Cimarron Valley Railroad being constructed through the county in 1912. With the offices for the railroad at Satanta at a major switch, the two main towns developed along the route. The route carries 10,000 carloads worth of mostly agricultural commodities and carbon blacks. The route is now owned by BNSF.
(2) But wait! I don't see Satanta or Sublette on the map above! Why is that? Well I'll tell you! When the county was developing, it was a result of the Santa Fe Trail that went through this county, going directly through the now ghost town of Santa Fe, Kansas (on the map above).
In 1821, the Santa Fe Trail became America's first great international commercial highway, and for nearly sixty years thereafter was one of the nation's great routes of adventure and western expansion.The trail which connected St. Louis, MO to Santa Fe (at the time, in Mexico) was a trade route which saw the trade of silver, furs and hides, and mules and horses, among other things. The completion of the railroad across the region and county saw the end of the trail as a trade route, as well as an end to the towns along the route leaving behind a string of ghost towns.
(3) For our resident epidemiologists here, the Spanish Flu outbreak of 1918 was first observed in Haskell County in January of that year. By March 11, 1918, the flu had reached Queens, and by August had reached France, Sierra Leone, and Boston. In the end, the flu killed an estimated 50 to 100 million people.
(4) This year's Satanta Day will be held on May 12, 2012.
The first Satanta Day was held in October, 1941, to culminate a city-wide beautification program, which was instituted by three Satanta women's clubs. The celebration got into full swing following WWII, when the Chamber of Commerce agreed to sponsor the event and the date was changed to the second weekend of May.Every year, a local pair of high school students apply for the position of Chief & Princess Satanta, representing the city for the duration of the festival in an honor dating back to 1958.
In the 1950's, a rodeo, carnival, and dancing were added, and the event became a two-day celebration known as "Satanta Days." The rodeo was recognized as one of the leading rodeos in southwest Kansas at the time. In the mid-1960's the rodeo was discontinued and the celebration reverted to a one day affair, known as it is today as "Satanta Day."
In keeping with Satanta's Native American heritage, Kiowa Indian Chief Robert Goombi came from Anadarko, Oklahoma in 1959 to conduct a ceremony during which he officially made all Satanta citizens honorary members of the Kiowa Indian tribe.
(5) Renewable energy could see a huge leap in Southwest Kansas with a 100-200 strong wind turbines could be placed in Haskell County and neighboring Grant County. The project could generate up to $600 million in development and when at full capacity could power 120,000 homes. Once all the necessary permits, purchases, and paperwork are completed, construction could begin as early as mid-March. According to officials, the county could recieve $350,000 in the first year of operation alone from TradeWind Energy. According to TradeWind Energy:
The project, when completed, will offset approximately 900,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year, 3,000 tons of NOx per year, and 4,200 tons of SO2 per year.
I know that some may have asked "What's the Matter with Kansas?" in the past, but renewable energy fans rejoice!
I hope you enjoyed this week's entry, who knows what will be next, I sure don't. But stay tuned!