Wichita: Another Setting In My First Book

    Wichita, Kansas

Wichita plays a short but pivotal role in my first book, “Imperfect Promise.” Fictional story and characters, yet portraying the rough backdrop. Here’s a bit of trivia about the history and Wichita story. First settled in 1864 by J.R. Mead, who opened a trading post, the town was platted in 1865. By 1869, herds of cattle were moved northward from Texas along Jesse Chisholm’s famous Chisholm Trail. Between 1870-1871, the town had both a hotel and a school. And the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad reached Wichita, allowing for rapid growth. Wichita became a rowdy cowtown of saloons, brothels, and little law enforcement. Until…Wyatt Earp arrived and brought his own form of justice between 1875-1876. The cattle trade moved westward to Dodge City. After a catastrophic flood of the Arkansas River in 1877, folks rebuilt Wichita with an eye focused on agriculture. A little known fact: Catherine McCarty was the only woman who signed the original incorporation petition. The vast majority were men. (123 men). She owned a local laundry and her eldest son, Henry, changed his name to William Bonney. (Infamous as “Billy the Kid.”)