There are five industrial districts of distinctive character in different parts of the city, each one flanked by residential sections. The Armourdale district, a level stretch extending west from the Missouri State line and served by five railways, contains many of the large industries, including the stock-yards, packing plants, soap factories, foundries, flour mills and lumber mills. A district under development along the Santa Fe, in the south-western part of the city and extending several miles into the country, has grain elevators, steel plants, ice factories and car shops. In the Fair fax district, on a bend in the Missouri river, at the north-eastern boundary of the city, is the Fairfax airport of 125ac. only 2m. from the post office. Natural gas from the Kansas fields has been available since 1906.
The public school system has 46 elementary, three junior and four senior high schools with an enrolment of 23,64o, teaching staff of 572, and an expenditure (1933-1934) of $1,217,106. There are 20 parochial schools. The school of medicine of the University of Kansas (established 1899) has been located in Kansas City (except for the work of the first year and a half of the four year course, which is still given at Lawrence) since 1905, when three older medical colleges were merged with it. Among the other insti tutions of higher education are the Kansas City university (United Brethren) ; the Kansas City Baptist theological seminary (1902) and Woman's training school (which prepares for missionary work) ; and two training schools for nurses, in connection with two of the six hospitals. The State school for the blind is here. There are two mineral springs in the city, one of which is used for the treatment of rheumatism. The private charitable agencies of the city are financed through a "community chest" which raised $113,135 in 1935. The principal daily paper, the Kansan, is one of several owned by Sen. Arthur Capper. Since 1909 the city has operated under a commission form of government.
Kansas City is the principal industrial centre of the State, and ranks 29th among the cities of the United States in the value of its manufactured products (1933), though 65th in population (1930). The output of the 131 establishments included in the Federal census of manufactures in 1933 was valued at 371. Slaughtering and meat-packing, in which Kansas City stands second only to Chicago, overshadows all other industries, contrib uting 72% of the total value of factory products. Next in impor
tance are flour and grain milling, foundry and machine-shop products and railroad cars. In the manufacture of hog serum and of black walnut lumber Kansas City ranks first in the country ; in the manufacture of soap and flour, third; and in the capacity of its grain elevators, fifth. The stock-yards handle nearly 10,000,000 head annually, and the market for stock and feed cattle and stock hogs is the largest in the country. Bank debits to individual accounts amounted in 1934 to $120,887,000.
The site of Kansas City was the starting point for many early explorations westward, including that of Lewis and Clark. The first permanent settlement, Wyandotte, was made in 1843 by the Wyandotte Indians from Ohio. In 1855 they sold their lands to the Federal Government, stipulating that their burial-ground, now in the heart of the city, should be preserved, as it has been. Wyan dotte was plotted and settled by whites in 1857, and in 1858 was incorporated as a city, with a population of 1,259. The convention that drafted the first constitution of the State of Kansas met here in July 1859. Wyandotte was a pro-slavery town. Quindaro, a free State settlement a few miles up the Missouri, of which noth ing remains but ruins, was its commercial rival until after the Civil War. In 1869 a town called Kansas City was founded on the bottom-lands between the Kansas river and the Missouri State line; in 1872 Rosedale was plotted on the southern boundary of the county ; in 1880 Argentine was laid out (a smelting town ; the name derived from the Latin word argentum) on the south bank of the Kansas, and Armourdale on the north bank. Meanwhile, a small community called Armstrong had grown up on the hills south of Wyandotte. The modern Kansas City was formed in 1886 by the consolidation of Wyandotte, Armourdale, Armstrong and the original Kansas City. Argentine was annexed in 1910 ; Rosedale in 1922. The population was 38,316 in 1890; 51,418 in 1900; 82,331 in 191o; 101,177 in 1920; and 121,857 in 1930, a gain of 10.6% for the decade 1920-193o as compared with 22.9% for 1910-1920. The packing industry began in 1867; the first large packing plant was established by Armour and Co., 1871. In June 1903, a flood, the highest since 1844, swept away 12 of the 13 bridges spanning the Kaw, and did much damage to other prop erty. The entire area affected is now thoroughly protected by concrete dikes.