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Founded largely by Russian Mennonite immigrants, the City of Halstead was incorporated in 1877 and named in honor of journalist Murat Halstead. With the hard red winter wheat (Turkey Red) they brought from Russia, the Mennonites established Halstead as a farming community, and built the Bernard Warkentine Mill at the confluence of the Little Arkansas River and Black Kettle Creek. A famous "pow wow" between the frontiersman Kit Carson and the Native American Chief Black Kettle had taken place some years earlier at this same confluence.