Wichita is the largest city in Kansas . Located at the confluence of the Arkansas and Little Arkansas rivers the city lies in the south-central part of the state.
The area was first settled by Wichita Indians, who came north from Texas and Oklahoma during the Civil War. At about the same time a number of trading posts were established at or near the river junction. One of the traders, Jesse Chisholm, pioneered the Chisholm Trail, which passed through Wichita .It was the main cattle-drive route from Texas to the railroad in Abilene. After the railroad was extended to Wichita in 1872, the city boomed first as a cow town.Laterit became the trading center in an agricultural and livestock region. Although the city experienced an economic slump at the end of the 19th century, oil was discovered nearby in 1915, and the population almost doubled subsequently.
Wichita is the chief commercial and industrial center of southern Kansas.Aircraft manufacturing began in the 1920s. Wichita remains a center of the aircraft industry today. In addition, the city also has flour mills, meatpacking plants, and oil refineries. Major manufactures include camping equipment, heaters and air conditioners, and electronics. Wichita has a number of art and historical museums, a zoo, and a planetarium. Winchita is the site of several universities, including Wichita State University (1895). McConnell Air Force Base is nearby.