How Kansas City got its' name

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FangKC
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How Kansas City got its' name

Post by FangKC » Wed Oct 17, 2018 2:37 am

Why isn’t Kansas City named for the state in which it is located? We answer your KCQ
...
With a town company formed, the group turned to the task of naming their prospective city. In her seminal 1908 work, Kansas City, Missouri: Its History and Its People, librarian and historian Carrie Westlake Whitney provides an excellent summary of how the city’s name was decided:

The proprietors decided to call the town “Kansas” after the Kansas river. The river was named after the Kansas Indians who lived along the banks of the stream. The Kansas Indians’ name for themselves was “Kanzas,” pronounced by the French traders “Kahns” a term that finally was adopted by the American settlers. In regard to the naming of the town, Charles C. Spalding makes this explanation in his “Annals of the City of Kansas,” published in 1858:

“Many persons, particularly the citizens of Kansas Territory have of late charged the citizens of Kansas City with ‘stealing the name Kansas.’ It is therefore due to ourselves to explain the matter.

“When Kansas City was first selected as a town site, and the survey made, (in 1838) it was agreed, by the then proprietors of the town, that it should be called ‘ Kansas,’ inasmuch as it was situated at the mouth of the Kansas river. Some suggested the name of ‘ Kawsmouth’ ; but it was finally agreed that the name of the place should be Kansas. All of the territory to the west being at that time known as the Nebraska Territory.

“It is evident, therefore, that no ‘stealing’ has been done on our part, for the purpose alleged by these persons, viz. : ‘to convey the idea that this city is situated in the Territory of Kansas,’ for no such Territory was known in the geography of our country till Kansas City had come to be a place of considerable trade.”


What came to be known as the Kansas Territory would have been known to the investors as the Nebraska and Indian territories in the late 1830s. The same would have been true in 1850 when Kansas City was officially incorporated.

...
https://www.kansascity.com/news/local/a ... ml-E2MK4e0

Quicker answer. Kansas City was named because it was at the mouth of the Kansas River, which is named after the native American Kansas tribe. Kansas City existed before Kansas was a territory or a state. When people started settling here, neither Kansas or Missouri were yet states.

I still find the explanation strange because if Kansas City was named because its' location near the Kansas River, wouldn't it then have been logical to name the city after the Missouri River, or Missouri tribe?

Missouri City, Missouri would have probably been the better choice had they known all the problems the naming would create later. :D

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Re: How Kansas City got its' name

Post by WSPanic » Wed Oct 17, 2018 8:23 am

Maybe they thought being at the mouth of a river is more geographically identifying than just being along it.

Which is why I don't mind Kawsmouth. Kind of says exactly where it is. Besides, Missouri City was taken.

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Re: How Kansas City got its' name

Post by flyingember » Wed Oct 17, 2018 8:57 am

FangKC wrote:
Wed Oct 17, 2018 2:37 am
I still find the explanation strange because if Kansas City was named because its' location near the Kansas River, wouldn't it then have been logical to name the city after the Missouri River, or Missouri tribe?
Because that wouldn't have told people where it was, at a place called Kansas. It got that name because it's where you went to trade with the Kansas people.

In much the same sense, Fort Osage wasn't named Fort Missouri because it was where you went to trade with the Osage.

The connection with the people became weaker and the connection with the river stronger. So it was the settlement at the Kansas River.

The territory didn't form using the name for another 15 years.

At lot of really early names came from traders picking a name for their post and it stuck as the name for the area after the tribe moved west.

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Re: How Kansas City got its' name

Post by warwickland » Wed Oct 17, 2018 12:15 pm

WSPanic wrote:
Wed Oct 17, 2018 8:23 am
Besides, Missouri City was taken.


thats never stopped anyone in missouri from naming multiple towns the same thing.

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Re: How Kansas City got its' name

Post by anonkcmo » Thu Oct 18, 2018 10:13 pm

Every time I read ridiculous articles claiming that Kansas City was named after the ""Kansas River" I have to laugh. These writers always have a Kansas bias of some sort and constantly try to claim Kansas City for the state of Kansas. The article claims this at the start and notice they offer no proof, they just make the claim and offer zero evidence.

WHY would a city that started on the older, larger, more famous river (Missouri) name itself after a smaller river a mile to the west???? That makes no sense at all. KC started on the Missouri and all of the cargo, riverboat riders and travelers came here on the Missouri and from the east. The city obviously named itself after the Kansa indian tribe - not after the small, obscure, non-traveled river a mile west.

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Re: How Kansas City got its' name

Post by FangKC » Thu Oct 18, 2018 11:47 pm

:lol: Or a territory or state that didn't yet exist under the Kansas name.

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Re: How Kansas City got its' name

Post by flyingember » Fri Oct 19, 2018 8:08 am

anonkcmo wrote:
Thu Oct 18, 2018 10:13 pm
Every time I read ridiculous articles claiming that Kansas City was named after the ""Kansas River" I have to laugh. These writers always have a Kansas bias of some sort and constantly try to claim Kansas City for the state of Kansas. The article claims this at the start and notice they offer no proof, they just make the claim and offer zero evidence.

WHY would a city that started on the older, larger, more famous river (Missouri) name itself after a smaller river a mile to the west???? That makes no sense at all. KC started on the Missouri and all of the cargo, riverboat riders and travelers came here on the Missouri and from the east. The city obviously named itself after the Kansa indian tribe - not after the small, obscure, non-traveled river a mile west.
The KC Library says this too. They would have the sources to back it up, but don't give one.

http://www.kchistory.org/faq/why-there- ... d-missouri

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Re: How Kansas City got its' name

Post by AlbertHammond » Fri Oct 19, 2018 10:18 am

anonkcmo wrote:
Thu Oct 18, 2018 10:13 pm
WHY would a city that started on the older, larger, more famous river (Missouri) name itself after a smaller river a mile to the west???? That makes no sense at all. KC started on the Missouri and all of the cargo, riverboat riders and travelers came here on the Missouri and from the east. The city obviously named itself after the Kansa indian tribe - not after the small, obscure, non-traveled river a mile west.
Being named after the river that starts (or ends?) here makes total sense. Anyway, the Kansas River was regularly used by steamboats in the 1850s & 1860s, all the way to Ft. Riley, so it had commerce traffic.

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Re: How Kansas City got its' name

Post by ToDactivist » Fri Oct 19, 2018 10:22 am

First the Town of Kansas in RM, then City. Even Columbus Park area was called East Town of Kansas.
Delaware Street of course named after the tribe that had been relocated right across the Kansa.

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Re: How Kansas City got its' name

Post by chingon » Fri Oct 19, 2018 3:27 pm

FangKC wrote:
Thu Oct 18, 2018 11:47 pm
:lol: Or a territory or state that didn't yet exist under the Kansas name.
Hate to bust your bubble, but the first Kansas City, the village of Canzes, existed in modern day Doniphan, Co. Kansas, centuries before Possum Trot, Missouri was settled. Dumont writes about it in his recounting of Moncachtape the Interpreter’s 1700 voyage to the West in his 1753 account Memoires surla Louisiane, V2. And the tribe that inhabited modern day Kansas were being referred to as versions of the word Kansans since 1599. Guess what where they lived was called? “The nation/land of the Kanzas”. You Missourah mouthbreathers can try to rewrite history all you want...but you’re going to have to learn to read first.

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Re: How Kansas City got its' name

Post by FangKC » Fri Oct 19, 2018 4:08 pm

I am not saying the Kanza tribe didn't exist, or that they didn't have villages. I am saying there was no official federal territory or state in the United States yet named after them when Kansas City was being settled.

The Kansas Territory was established May 30, 1854. Kansas City, Missouri was incorporated as a town on June 1, 1850, Thus, the city wasn't named after the river, or the state, but everything aforementioned was named after the Kansa tribe.

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Re: How Kansas City got its' name

Post by anonkcmo » Fri Oct 19, 2018 6:05 pm

AlbertHammond wrote:
Fri Oct 19, 2018 10:18 am

Being named after the river that starts (or ends?) here makes total sense. Anyway, the Kansas River was regularly used by steamboats in the 1850s & 1860s, all the way to Ft. Riley, so it had commerce traffic.
No it makes no sense because the kansas river did NOT end in KC.
The kansas river was a mile west of the landing of KCMO.
The entire city and commerce centered on the Missouri River.

KC had a few names (Possum Trot, etc..) before it settled on Kansas City.
No one was considering the kansas river then, so why would they a few years later? And while the kansas river may have had traffic, it had nothing comparable to the people and commerce on the Missouri River - which was the entire reason there was even a town here in the first place.

The original city wasn't near the Kansas river or Kaw Point, so it makes no sense that they were naming the town after the kansas river - which was a mile away from the foot of Grand Ave where the city started. It is far more likely they named the town after the indian tribe, just as the kansas river was named after the tribe.
Last edited by anonkcmo on Fri Oct 19, 2018 6:21 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: How Kansas City got its' name

Post by anonkcmo » Fri Oct 19, 2018 6:18 pm

chingon wrote:
Fri Oct 19, 2018 3:27 pm
Hate to bust your bubble, but the first Kansas City, the village of Canzes, existed in modern day Doniphan, Co. Kansas, centuries before Possum Trot, Missouri was settled.
So what? "Village of Canzes" can keep that name, it has nothing to do with the conversation.
chingon wrote:
Fri Oct 19, 2018 3:27 pm
Dumont writes about it in his recounting of Moncachtape the Interpreter’s 1700 voyage to the West in his 1753 account Memoires surla Louisiane, V2. And the tribe that inhabited modern day Kansas were being referred to as versions of the word Kansans since 1599. Guess what where they lived was called? “The nation/land of the Kanzas”. You Missourah mouthbreathers can try to rewrite history all you want...but you’re going to have to learn to read first.
I won't question your mouthbreather judgement abilities as they are probably well experienced.
But even the lowest judge of mouthbreathers would know that the Kansa Nation extended into parts of Nebraska, Missouri and Iowa, not just state of kansass (you know, the one named after KCMO).

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