Wichita is located in Sedgwick County and it is the county seat. It lies southwest of Topeka along Interstate 35, on the banks of the Arkansas River near Hutchinson.
The city is situated on the site of a settlement of Wichita Indians who were chased out of Texas and Oklahoma during the Civil War, due to their Union sympathies. In 1864, a trading post was erected here and the city was founded in 1868.
Today Wichita, population 327,000, is the state's largest metropolis and the premier industrial and commercial center of southern Kansas. Its economy is based on railroads, grain and flour, meatpacking, refining and aircraft production. McConnell Air Force Base also contributes. Wichita residents comprise four cultures: European, African, Hispanic and Asian.
Attractions include the Mid-America All Indian Center Museum, devoted to the Native American heritage; and Old Cowtown Museum, a 17-acre open air living history museum depicting life in Wichita from 1865 to 1880.