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Lansing, KS Contractors

History

Before William Lansing Taylor platted what is now Lansing, Kan., the area was a thriving community due primarily to the Kansas State Penitentiary. Authorized by the Kansas Constitution in 1859 and built by prison labor, the facility housed its first inmates in 1868.

In order to keep busy, the prisoners dug a coal shaft in 1881. The need to transport the coal to other state institutions gave rise to the railroad. Merchants and tradesmen moved into the area to support the penitentiary and railroad workers, and the area became known as The Town of Progress.

Taylor fought for the Union and was taken as a Confederate prisoner. Paroled after promising not to fight again against the South, he broke his promise and enlisted in the Kansas Volunteer Calvary under the name of James William Lansing. When the war ended, he opened an apothecary shop and post office in Progress under his new name.

In 1878, Lansing, along with John C. Schmidt, platted the Town of Lansing on the west side of the road in Progress. The Town of Lansing and the Town of Progress, situated on the east side of the road, ultimately merged and became Lansing.

Economy

The economy of Lansing has long been entwined with the correctional facilities located in the area. The State Industrial Farm for Women, established in Lansing in 1917, became the Kansas Correctional Institution at Lansing. The penitentiary and KCIL merged and became the Lansing Correctional Facility. The LCF is the largest employer in Lansing; the school district is the second largest. The median income of Lansing is $33,164; median family income is $88,603.

Demographics

Lansing has a population of 11,265. Zoning includes suburban residential, neighborhood commercial, agricultural, business and industrial. It features a mix of single- and multi-family homes, duplexes and mobile homes. The median home value of $170,800 reflects a growth of 53.46 percent since 2000. The median rent is $989. Public education is through an elementary, middle and high school in Lansing Unified School District No. 469.

Climate and Geography

Situated in eastern Leavenworth County, Lansing is part of the Kansas City Metropolitan Area. It covers 12.5 square miles and lies on the western bank of the Missouri River. Located close to four major highways, the city sits poised for growth through highway realignment, business park and aviation projects. Weather features average summer temperatures in the 70s and winter temperatures in the 20s. The city receives an average annual snowfall of 15.95 inches.

Area Attractions

Festivals and celebrations are among the activities offered in Lansing. The Lansing Historical Museum acknowledges the role the correctional facility has played in Lansing’s history. Walking or driving tours of Mount Muncie Cemetery highlight the resting place of notorious and famous historical personalities. Numerous dining, entertainment and athletic opportunities are available in nearby Kansas City.

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