What is the History of our Town?


Emma Haag, Author

What is the history of Great Bend, you may be asking. Well, I’m here to tell you. The city of Great Bend got its name from the Great Bend of Arkansas River.

The earliest settlers arrived in Great Bend in 1870 and most practiced farming for their livelihood. The first township was made by D. N. Heiser and E. J. Dodge in the year 1871. Once the Civil War was over, easterners began to develop the land more and more. As the growth of the oil industries began, Great Bend emerged as a center of regional trade and service center. Great Bend now has a population of 14,773 people. It is also ranked 26th most populated city in Kansas, out of 729 cities.

Now, here are some interesting facts about our town. Great Bend is also home to Jack Kilby, who was an American electrical engineer. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics on December 10, 2000 for his part in the invention of the integrated circuit. An integrated circuit (more often called a microchip) is a piece of specially prepared silicon, in which a very complex electronic circuit is etched using photographic techniques.

Kilby is also the co-inventor of the handheld calculator and the thermal printer, for which he has the patents. He has patents for seven other inventions.

In conclusion, our town got its name from the bend in the Arkansas river. It had its earliest settlers in 1860, and was founded in 1871. It is home to Jack Kilby, who was an inventor. I hope you all learned some new facts.