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Interesting Facts and Trivia about Kansas

Updated on September 3, 2012

The state of Kansas was named after the Kansas River. The Kansas River was named after Kansas Native American Tribe which is often said to mean "people of the wind".

With annual average wind speed at 13.9 miles per hour, Dodge City in Kansas is the windiest city in the United States. Others argue that other weather stations have measured higher wind speeds in other places. But those other weather stations are on mountaintops, islands and other isolated points -- not at a town. So that's hardly fair, is it? Of course, it is going to be windier if you are on top of a mountain.

Speaking of winds, in the movie "Gone with the Wind", Kansan Hattie McDaniel was the first African American to win an Academy Award for her role in the movie. She won Best Supporting Actress and was born in Wichita Kansas.

Largest in Kansas

With winds like that, Kansas can have pretty sever weather. On September 15, 2010, a hailstone with diameter 7.75 inches fell on Wichita. This is the second largest hailstone on record. The largest hail stone fell in Vivian, South Dakota on July 23, 2010 -- measuring 8 inches in diameter (almost soccer ball size).

Cawker City in Kansas has the biggest ball of twine with circumference of 40 feet and weighing 17,886 pounds. However, this twine was built by a community, rather than by one person.

You may have heard about the largest ball of twine built by one person (Francis A. Johnson) in Minnesota. But it weighed only 17,400 lbs and is 12 feet in diameter -- not quite as big.

Kansas has the largest and longest grain elevator in Hutchinson. It is almost half a mile long and 230 feet high.

Wellington Kansas
Wellington Kansas | Source

Wheat Capital of the World

Kansas needs large grain elevators because Kansas produces a lot of wheat.

On average it produces more wheat than any other state. Just to give you an idea...

  • In certain years, Kansas can produced wheat in amounts enough to provide each person on earth with 6 loaves of bread.
  • Kansas produced a record 492.2 million bushels of wheat in 1997, which would be enough to make 35.9 billion loaves of bread.

Wellington Kansas is the wheat capital of the world.

Geographical Center

The geographical center of the contiguous United States is at a point near Lebanon, Kansas. Meades Ranch in Kansas is designated as the geodetic base point for the North American Datum. A geodetic base point is a reference from which surveying measurements are made.

If you include Hawaii and Alaska, then the geographical center of the entire United States is Belle Fourche, South Dakota.

You didn't know that Kansas has a city name Lebanon did you? Perhaps more people are familiar with Lebanon the country in the East Mediterranean.

You might have heard of Milan and Rome in Italy. But Kansas also have the cities named Milan and Rome, which are 25 miles away from each other.

You might have heard of Manhattan in New York. Not to be outdone, Kansas also have the city of Manhattan.


This article was written in September 2012 and fact may have now become outdated. Information was gathered from the Internet and may be unreliable. One reference used was from


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    • BlissfulWriter profile image

      BlissfulWriter 5 years ago

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

    • jessefutch profile image

      jessefutch 5 years ago from North Carolina

      I've seen both the ball of twine and the grain elevator! Kansas is not as boring as most of the country thinks! Great hub.

    • mperrottet profile image

      Margaret Perrottet 5 years ago from Pennsauken, NJ

      Interesting hub, especially about Kansas being the geographical center. I've been through Kansas while driving cross country, and it was really windy. Voted up and interesting.

    • BlissfulWriter profile image

      BlissfulWriter 5 years ago

      Thanks for voting up.

    • penlady profile image

      penlady 5 years ago from Sacramento, CA

      Great article. Nice hearing about another state besides the ones you hear about on a daily basis. I didn't know that Kansas is the wheat capital of the world. Interesting fact. Voted up and interesting.