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Old 01-31-2011, 10:03 PM
 
10 posts, read 65,698 times
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Looking for the "best" small town in KS.
Post up your vote and why. What makes the town so great/nice?
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Old 01-31-2011, 10:09 PM
 
Location: Back in COLORADO!!!
840 posts, read 2,229,828 times
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Parsons, Ks. Never lived there or anything, but it looked just like a Norman Rockwell painting. Ok, maybe that doesn't make it "best", but it sure was a neat little town to spend a couple of hours in.
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Old 02-01-2011, 07:18 AM
Status: "Biden = Chinese, The Official Language of the USA" (set 16 days ago)
 
Location: Kansas
21,167 posts, read 16,956,151 times
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Define "small"? We live in a town of 8,000 which people here consider small and I grew up in a town of 75 people so, this is a metropolis to me!
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Old 02-01-2011, 09:42 AM
 
10 posts, read 65,698 times
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It's all relative. What's your vote?
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Old 02-01-2011, 12:34 PM
 
Location: Kansas City Metro
203 posts, read 459,662 times
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I just moved to Gardner from Kansas City and to me, this is small. I'm not sure of the population, but it has the small town feel, has one grocery store and a Walmart, which is all I need, LOL.
Good schools, good police department, city hall has it quirks but what one doesn't, lol.

They are doing new housing addition building south of town, looks really nice. I know I have a park across the street and endless fields surrounding me. I love it here. No hearing gunshots and police sirens like in the city. I think I've heard a police siren three times in five months.
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Old 02-01-2011, 04:35 PM
 
Location: IN
22,223 posts, read 38,786,499 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adoptstrays View Post
I just moved to Gardner from Kansas City and to me, this is small. I'm not sure of the population, but it has the small town feel, has one grocery store and a Walmart, which is all I need, LOL.
Good schools, good police department, city hall has it quirks but what one doesn't, lol.

They are doing new housing addition building south of town, looks really nice. I know I have a park across the street and endless fields surrounding me. I love it here. No hearing gunshots and police sirens like in the city. I think I've heard a police siren three times in five months.
Unfortunately, Gardner will not stay rural for much longer and is getting sucked into the ugly suburbia vortex of JOCO due to forced economic growth and the BSNF intermodal hub. Population growth is also occurring at a much faster rate due to the inherent demographic types moving in.
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Old 02-01-2011, 06:28 PM
 
Location: Oklahoma
608 posts, read 844,307 times
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Minniappolis, Kansas is a beautiful small town located just 15 minutes north of Salina. The town sits on the banks of the Soloman River and has a variety of small businesses on its "Main Street" that don't include a Wal Mart or a McDonalds. They also have a nice race track and good fishing near by. As far as friendliness goes, Columbus, Baxter Springs, and Chetopa were all great places. (with great catfishing, may I add.) I guess in all fairness, Kansas has too many good small towns for me to really single more than a couple out.
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Old 02-02-2011, 07:58 AM
 
11,272 posts, read 11,305,062 times
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IMO A small town in Kansas that would be considered desirable is interdependent on towns in a four or five county area. I remember hearing that Kansas counties are spaced by the distance it took a man on a horse to ride in a day. Of course that could just be an anecdote but there are a lot of counties in Kansas. This is my top ten things that make a small town in Kansas the best.

A good small town in Kansas would :
1. Be under 20,000 in population
2. have a hospital and a University
3. Balanced economy between,business, Light industry and agriculture
4. Have at least one multinational type employer
5. should be under or around two hours from a major airport and a city larger than 50,000
5. at least one school athletic team who are; league, regional , state or national champs every year
6. should have a Public Library, municipal pool, auditorium or Civic center
7. more than one shopping district
8. Should have an Arts Council
9. Should have a Historic Museum
10.Should be located near at least one major interstate
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Old 02-02-2011, 08:27 AM
 
Location: Washington, DC area
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I think the best town in Kansas is Lawrence. But at 100,000 people and being practically part of the KC region, I'm not sure I would call it a small town.

So Manhattan and Emporia would get my vote. They are close enough to metro KC, but maintain self identities and are self sustaining. Manhattan is in an attractive area of KS and being a college town keeps it vibrant and active. Emporia is similar on a smaller scale.
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Old 02-03-2011, 03:53 AM
 
Location: Kansas City, MO
3,572 posts, read 6,986,081 times
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Default Independence, KS

I choose Independence, KS (pop. 9,846 in 2000). It's about 90 miles north of Tulsa, 45 minutes north of Bartlesville, and an hour west of Joplin. The place is very much the stereotypical, romanticized small town. Independence, Kansas - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia and Independence Kansas Chamber of Commerce

Independence is a county-seat town with neat, historic architecture, has a relatively diverse economy, decent restaurants, and a busy downtown full of day-in, day-out businesses. The town has a community college, two golf courses, a large park including a zoo, and many attractions either in town or in the immediate surrounding area. Also, the town's library is a Caranegie library with a newer, tasteful expansion. Independence Public Library Home Page And they apparently now have a downtown farmer's market. Independence, Kansas Downtown Farmers' Market

The two largest private employers are Cessna and Amazon.com. Although the town's economy historically was centered around the oil industry, Sinclair and Arco.

Most of Independence's retail and restaurants are still in the historic downtown, including the best of the town's restaurants, a movie theater, a grocery store, a Walgreens, Radio Shack, Jock's Nitch sporting goods store, and even a Sear's. Up until several years ago, their downtown even had a JCPenney and a second, local department store called Calvert's. There's even a nice, relatively upscale, mid-rise apartment building downtown in the historic Booth Hotel building. Independence Kansas Main Street

Independence has a Walmart Supercenter to the west of the original part of town. When it opened there were three grocery stores: Dillon's, Food-4-Less and Country Mart. All three closed, with Country Mart later reopening under another brand, Marvin's, which emphasizes cleanliness and customer service in order to compete. I know JCPenney has issues, but I can't help but think Walmart's presence was related to their choice to close their hometown store there.

Riverside Park and Zoo: Riverside Park
Riverside Park including the Ralph Mitchell Zoo is located on the northeast edge of the original part of town and was designed by George Kessler, the same guy who designed Kansas City's parks and boulevards system. The park includes a fountain, a miniature train you can ride, an 18-hole miniature golf course, a renovated historic carousel that still costs a nickel to ride, an acquatic center with water slides, etc.

The Ralph Mitchell Zoo is set in a hilly, wooded terrain, as the entire park is next the the Verdigris river. The admission is free and the zoo actually has a cougar, black bears, sun bears, a bald eagle, a couple different kinds of monkeys, large snakes, and a variety of owls, hawks, and other birds. At one time, they even had an elephant, lions, leopards, and other animals.

Laura Ingalls Wilder is from south of Independence and this is the location from her book and the TV series. On the TV show, when the family was going to the "big town", it was Independence, KS. The Little House on the Prairie musuem is just south of Independence. There website seems to be down and it was in the news recently the film company that producted the TV series had a naming-rights issue with the musuem/site outside of Independence, KS. Little House on the Praire - Indepedence, Kansas

Just northwest of Independence is Elk City State Park, one of Kansas' largest lakes. Elk City / Locations / State Parks / KDWP - KDWP

Independence is proud of its fall festival, Neewollah (Halloween backwards) as well, which must be amongst the larger ones. Neewollah Festival - Kansas's Largest Annual Festival

Other interesting facts about Independence, KS are the number of interesting people the town and area has churned out.

Harry Sinclair, founder of the oil company. Bill Kurtis from A&E's Cold Case Files, who owns the town's radio station. Vivian Vance, Ethel on I Love Lucy. William Inge, playwright. And according to Wikipedia, William Hodkinson, founder of Paramount Pictures. There are many others as well, including Toby Cook, former Fox 4 anchor in KC who is now with the Royals.
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