Until American settlers began moving west, Kansas was home to nomadic tribes that hunted bison. Spanish explorers explored the area in the 16th century, and French fur traders traded with the locals. The Louisiana Purchase formally introduced it to the United States in 1803, but the Kansas-Nebraska Act opened it to settlement a year later.
In 1861, the state of Kansas became a swing state for slavery which happened after being flooded by people. In the end, it remained a free state, but the results were a trigger for the Civil War.
Several frontier towns were established in Kansas after the conflict. Cattle drives in Texas were made more accessible by the railroads. Despite having success in the east, farmers had to switch from corn to wheat due to a lack of rain. Manufacturing centers in the state are providing diversification, but agriculture remains an essential part of the economy.
Here are the best things about living in Kansas:
Best: Juicy barbeques
The best BBQ on the planet is found in Kansas City, though people might disagree with this. While there are few terrible joints in this town, there are differing opinions about the best ones. People in Kansas highly recommend visiting Arthur Bryant's on Brooklyn Avenue if you settle in this state. The cooking scene has drawn celebrities such as Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, and Harry Truman.
Even if you need to travel to Missouri for a little while to enjoy this advantage, it's okay. You'll have enough time to enjoy some time in Branson anyway, and the trip gives you a great excuse to eat.
Best: High entrepreneurial spirits
A 2013 NCAA Men's Basketball Final, Four appearances by Wichita State University, helped establish Wichita State as a national player. The institution has an excellent center for entrepreneurship that is unknown to most people. Wichita has produced some big brands that have been globally influential. Pizza Hut and White Castle both originated here.
Wichita and Kansas City, as well as a few other areas, have vibrant food truck scenes. This city's Lebanese cuisine is one of the surprises of this scene; it's some of the best you will ever taste while living in this state.
Now that you have the taste of the good, let's take a look at the worst parts about Kansas:
Worst: Challenging climate
If you decide to live in Kansas, you'll find there are three distinct climates to choose from. The southern part of the state has subtropical conditions; the central and eastern regions have humid continental climates; the western part has semi-arid climates. Western North Dakota is hot and dry, with winters that can range from cold to remarkably hot.
In Wichita, the summer heat index can reach life-threatening levels during the summer months. Sunshine here is plentiful, but it comes at a price.
Worst: Tornadoes will make you dizzy!
Having a home equipped with a storm shelter is prudent in Kansas, where tornadoes are frequent. If you're being blasted by an F5 tornado, sitting in a bathtub or an inner room won't help much. According to the National Weather Service, each year since 1996, at least 60 twisters have been recorded in the state. 2008 had one of the worst tornadoes on record with 11 EF3 tornadoes.
The central plains saw at least eight tornadoes on at least 12 consecutive days during the tornado season in 2019. Living here will require you to stay informed about severe weather to ensure your safety.
Bonus: Read some fun facts about Kansas below:
- A ball of twine in Cawker City measures over 38′ in circumference weighs more than 16,750 pounds, and is still growing.
- A grain elevator in Hutchinson is 1/2 mile long and holds 46 million bushels in its 1,000 bins.
- South of Ashland, the Rock Island Bridge is the longest railroad bridge of its kind. It measures 1,200 feet long and is 100 feet above the Cimarron River.
- At Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine, waterbeds for horses are of use in surgery.
- Kansas won the award for a most beautiful license plate for the wheat plate design issued in 1981.
- Dodge City is the windiest city in the United States.
- At one time, it was against the law to serve ice cream on cherry pie in Kansas.
- The first woman mayor in the United States was Susan Madora Salter. She was elected to office in Argonia in 1887.
- The first black woman to win an Academy Award was Kansan Hattie McDaniel. She won the award for her role in "Gone with the Wind."
- Kansas inventors include Almon Stoeger of El Dorado, who invented the dial telephone in 1889; William Purvis and Charles Wilson of Goodland, who created the helicopter in 1909; and Omar Knedlik of Coffeyville, who invented the first frozen carbonated drink machine in 1961.
How do you like Kansas so far? Comment down your worst and best experiences!