Q: In 1873, the communities of Tioga, Chicago Junction, Alliance and New Chicago all merged together to form a brand new town in southeast Kansas. This new town became the largest city in the county, but not the county seat. This remains true today. What’s the name of this southeast Kansas town?
(Hint: KPR operates a transmitter in this community called KANQ!)
A: Chanute (in Neosho County)
In 1870, the Leavenworth, Lawrence & Galveston Railroad (later the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe and now the BNSF Railway) was being built through Neosho County in southeast Kansas. Soon, four rival towns sprang up in the vicinity: New Chicago, Chicago Junction, Alliance and Tioga. These towns began a bitter dispute, arguing over which town would get the railroad land office. Octave Chanute was the chief civil engineer of the LL&G Railroad. He tried to mediate the dispute and suggested the towns merge together to end the bickering. On Jan. 1, 1873, the towns did merge and named the town after Chanute himself. In addition to his role with the railroad, Octave Chanute was also an aviation pioneer.
Fun Factoid: Octave Chanute was a mentor to Wilbur and Orville Wright and very influential in the early days of flight exploration.