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The founding fathers, W.D. and J.R. Fulton, J.A. Stevens, C.J. Jones and others had a vision in the late 1870s to turn this part of the Great American Desert into a town that would last.

The first years of this young town's history are full of names and events that prove people were industrious, imaginative and resourceful. By 1883, trainloads of Easterners were coming out to lay claim on this fertile river bottom land, lured by land speculators and their own dreams of being a part of the Western expansion. The population soared to over 6,000 during those boom years from 1885 to 1888.

Many of the people lived in tents, dugouts or covered wagons waiting for houses to be built. Not all of those who came stayed.

Those who stayed did keep the town going. Through the growth of the Sugar Beet Industry, the Stock Market Crash, the Dirty Thirties, the War years, the further development of irrigation and the expanding cattle industry, many hearty souls have brought their ideas, work ethic and families to grow and prosper. Now, in the last decade of this century, Finney County is still welcoming newcomers and is the fastest growing county in Kansas.

Garden City History
Finney County History
Western Kansas History
The Lost Towns of Finney County

Garden City's Founders (large graphics)
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Watch Main Street Grow (large graphics)
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Garden City's Early Years (large graphics)
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Note: The difference between normal resolution graphics and enhanced is the load time and quality of the image. These images are large and making them a lower resolution than the enhanced will increase load time. The enhanced resolution images are much clearer, but will take much longer to load than the normal resolution.

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