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Clay Center

Clay Center Tickets

Clay Center
Located in Kansas, USA, Clay Center is a city in Clay County on the east bank of the Republican River. It is a traditionally built community with an historic center that surrounds the Clay County Courthouse. The county was named for Henry Clay, the famous U.S. statesman, so Clay Center implies the center of Clay County. For one day in its history, Clay Center was called Reynolds for General Reynolds. John and Alonzo Dexter came in 1862 to what is now Clay Center. They selected almost the exact center of Clay County for the town and hoped it would become the county seat. Their hopes were realized in 1866. The town grew very slowly at first, scarcely averaging one house a year, until 1866, when it became the county-seat. Its growth was very slow from this time until 1870. In 1873, when the Junction City & Fort Kearney Railroad reached Clay Centre, it seemed to take a new start, a revival of business commenced which has not since abated, but steadily increased. Its population has increased, since then, from about 200 to 3,400. The arrival of the Kansas Central in 1880 added but little to its growth.

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Clay Center

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The first schoolhouse in Clay Centre was built in 1865. The building cost about $50, and there were about fifteen pupils at the first school. The number of pupils has increased quite as rapidly as the population, until there are now about 700 in the city. A new building, the finest in Central Kansas, has just been completed, at a cost of $25,000, equal to 500 similar to the first. This building, situated on the most elevated block in the town, is built of brick with stone trimmings and has an attractive and commanding appearance. The schools are graded and are noted for the thoroughness of work undertaken and the excellent discipline maintained. There are six organized religious denominations in Clay Centre -- White and colored Methodist Episcopal, white and colored Baptist, Presbyterian and Catholic. All have church buildings except the colored, which, however, are now making preparations to build. There are also a number of very fair hotels and three reliable banking houses in Clay Centre.
The broad valley extending far to the southeast and the northwest, with its low, rounded, bordering hills, with others beautifully rolling rising behind them, and the serpentine course of the broad river, traced by its trimming of forest trees and the silver sheen appearing here and there, produce a charming picture. The core area is still pedestrian friendly which allows one to park and walk anywhere within a matter of minutes. With its increasingly vibrant downtown business and entertainment district, Clay Center is a unique place. Its design resembles that from which many of neo-traditional communities are being patterned. However, it wasn?t spoiled by spoiled by the unsightly sprawl development of big box discount retailers, fast food chains and parking lots fronting miles of highway like many communities of the 60's and 70's. The residence portion of the town is remarkable for the neatness of its dwellings, and the air of comfort and convenience that surrounds them. The cottages and elegant residences have that genial air of home about them which reminds one of much older towns. The business portion of the place is rapidly improving, the small frame building of the village giving place to the large, substantial stone or brick block of the city. This indicates the general prosperity of her business men, which has earned for Clay Centre the name of being one of the best and most promising commercial points in the great Republican valley.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.7 km? (2.6 mi?), all land. As of the censusGR2 of 2000, population was 4,564. Estimated population in July 2006 is 4,339; it is estimated that in the first 5 years of this decade the population of Clay Center has declined by about 4%. The racial makeup of the city was 97.98% White, 0.64% African American, 0.33% Native American, 0.20% Asian, 0.07% from other races, and 0.79% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino were 0.53% of the population. The average household size was 2.24 and the average family size was 2.83. The median age was 43 years. For every 100 females there were 94.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.7 males. The median income for a household in the city was $31,531, and the median income for a family was $45,567. Males had a median income of $29,526 versus $16,149 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,128.
The number of violent crimes recorded by the FBI in 2003 was 9. The number of murders and homicides was 0. The violent crime rate was 2 per 1,000 people. Local festivals include Clay County Fair - July 11-16, 2007 and Piotique Fall Festival - Sept. 29, 2007. Clay Centre has made a rapid, but a permanent growth. It is surrounded by a rich country; has an abundance of water-power, and has a class of intelligent and energetic citizens. These advantages will certainly make of Clay Centre a large and flourishing city.