Our History

Junction City was the first town west of the Mississippi to distribute Coca-Cola.

Junction City’s Ladies Reading Club is the oldest Federated Club in Kansas and one of the first west of the Mississippi.

Junction City was one of the first towns in Kansas to have a kindergarten in 1927.

In 1929, the "Uptown" Theater was one of the first theaters in Kansas to be equipped with " talkies" (motion pictures).

On April 19, 1867 the Junction City Stone Sawing Company secured a contract to furnish all the stone needed in the construction of the East wing of the Kansas State Building.

Famous guests of the Historic Bartell Hotel include: Mr. Adllphus Busch, Sally Rand, Gene Tierney, John Phillip Sousa, WC. Fields, Gloria Vanderbilt, Dan Dailey, and John Wayne. In January 1872, Russian Grand Duke Alexis was feted with a dinner given by the townspeople, with Mayor Robert O. Rizer as host. The Duke had been on a buffalo hunt and stopped here on his way to attend a session of the Kansas Legislature.

Fort Riley’s first name was Camp Center, because it was believed to be the geographic center of the U.S.

Davis County was Geary County’s original name.

St. Mary’s Chapel, Building 5, Fort Riley: the first stone church in Kansas, the original building was constructed by the Episcopalians in the mid 1850s.

The first chaplain at Ft. Riley, Chaplain Clarkson, laid the cornerstone.

During the War Between the States, it was used as an arsenal, and later as a school. The chapel was extensively renovated in 1938 and rededicated as the Catholic Chapel.

Wetzel’s Log Cabin Church: It was in this cabin that the St. Paul’s Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, the first Lutheran parish in the state, was organized in 1861.

Episcopal Church, 314 N Adams: built in 1859; oldest Episcopal Church in continuous use in Kansas.

Junction City had three other names before being named Junction City:

  1. Manhattan, named by land agents of the Cincinnati-Manhattan Company
  2. Millard City, named by Captain Millard of the Steamboat Hartford (October 3, 1855)
  3. Humboldt, by local farmers (1857)

In the fall of 1857, the name Junction City was given to the site.

Dr. John R. Brinkley started Kansas’ first radio station - KFKB (Kansas First, Kansas Best).

Montgomery Publications and Brown Electric have done family business in JC for over 100 years.

Junction City is actually the site of what was to be Manhattan Kansas. However due to low water conditions the Steam Ship was only able to get as far as where Manhattan is now.

Walkers Stone Company was one of the first industries in the area.

The Original JC Hospital is now the administrative residence for the Good Samaritan Society.

Rimrock Lake used to be called Homer’s Pond and was on the Homers farmstead.

Keith Devenney holds the record for longest terms for Geary County Commissioner 27 years.

Fort Riley has had an "open door" policy until the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001. The base was just as any other city.