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The French Connection to Kansas - January 16, 2015

The main business street looking north in Hugoton, Kan., 1891. (Photo Courtesy of Kansas Historical Society /

Q: This southwest Kansas community is named after a French poet and writer who authored many works, including: The Hunchback of Notre-Dame. What’s the name of this town, and what’s the name of the French writer for which the town is named?

Welcome to Hugoton! (Flickr Photo by Jimmy Emerson, DVM)A: Hugoton, Kan. / Victor Hugo
Hugoton, the county seat of Stevens County, in southwest Kansas, was originally named Hugo, in honor of French writer Victor Hugo. The town’s name was later changed to Hugoton, so it wouldn’t be confused with other towns named Hugo.

Victor HugoFrench poet and author Victor Hugo is considered one of the world’s greatest writers and poets. Outside of France, two of his best-known works include the novels Les Miserables and The Hunchback of Notre-Dame. Victor Hugo died in 1885, the same year Hugoton, Kan., was founded.

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