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History >> United States:
Local History and Description
West >> Kansas
a city in Leavenworth County with a population of approximately 9,250
In 1861, the State of Kansas decided to build a state penitentiary near the federal penitentiary at Leavenworth. The state chose a tract of land five miles south of Leavenworth, near the community of Delaware. Convict labor was used to construct the prison facility, which was occupied in 1868.
Convict labor was also utilized to establish a coal mining operation nearby, which supplied coal to all correctional facilities in the state. The necessity of transporting coal subsequently spurred the development of a railroad system, and the area soon became a crossroad for the transportation industry. The bustling community that developed around the prison soon became known as the "Town of Progress."
In 1878, James William Lansing acquired ninety acres of land east of the "Town of Progress," platted it into town lots, and established a mercantile store that also provided postal services. Because "Town of Progress" was too long to put on a postmark, local residents suggested naming the town for Lansing. Eventually the entire community known as Progress was commonly referred to as Lansing. Official incorporation of the City of Lansing -- encompassing Lansing's original town plat, the community of Delaware, and the "Town of Progress" -- occurred in 1959.
This page was last updated on April 01, 2017.