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.
Halstead, which occupies a land area of just over one square mile, is located approximately ten minutes west of Newton, Kansas, via US-50 and K-89 highways; about 25 minutes east of Hutchinson on US-50; and about 30 minutes northwest of Wichita, which is a metropolitan area of approximately 400,000 in population. The 1999 population of Halstead was 2,077. Halstead is a city of the second class under Kansas statutes, but has retained the city of the third class governance plan that provides for an elected mayor who serves a two-year term, and five council members elected at-large for two and four-year terms, which are determined by the vote outcome. Management of the city is delegated to a city administrator, hired by the governing body.
Municipal services include: water, wastewater, gas utility, weekly curbside refuse collection and bi-weekly curbside recycling collection. The city also operates a large municipal cemetery and a mausoleum.
Electric service is furnished through Westar Energy, the cable television server is Cox Communications, and local-call internet service is available through various providers.
All public service departments including EMS, Fire, & Police are equipped with up-to-date and sophisticated vehicles and other equipment.
A volunteer board oversees the operation of the Halstead Library (located at 3rd & Main) which provides a full range of services including internet access.
The City also operates a new outdoor swimming pool (316-835-3377) located on the north edge of town and Wedgewood Golf Course, a nine-hole, public golf course, (316-835-2991) located approximately three miles northeast of town.
The Recreation Commission (employing a full-time director), 316-835-2517, directs many programs including: youth baseball and basketball, youth softball and soccer, adult softball and volleyball.
Other citizen boards and commissions appointed by the governing body include: Planning Commission (Halstead's Comprehensive Plan was completed in 1990), Halstead Housing Authority ( a full-time director and staff oversee three housing projects), Tree Board (Halstead has been a Tree City for many years), Old Settlers Committee and a Library Board.
Halstead is served by an active Chamber of Commerce. Annual events sponsored by the chamber are: City wide garage sale in the spring; a Chili Cook-off in October; the Fine Arts & Crafts Festival, 3rd Saturday in October; a Christmas promotion in December and the Old Settlers Celebration.
The older residents of Halstead enjoy many activities at the Halstead Senior Citizens Center located at 523 Poplar, phone number 316-835-2283.
Since 1902, when Arthur Hertzler, the Horse and Buggy Doctor, established his clinic and hospital, the city has been widely known as a medical community. This facility was recently purchased by the Valley Hope Association, a nationally recognized, nonprofit organization dedicated to providing quality alcohol and drug addiction treatment services.
Other medical services available in Halstead are Halstead Place, a 30-unit assisted living facility located at 715 W. 6th Street and Halstead Health and Rehabilitation, a 60-resident skilled nursing facility located at 915 McNair.
For many years, Halstead was home to a semi-pro baseball team, the Halstead Cowboys, and produced many fine ball players, including Larry Gura. Halstead is the boyhood home of the late Adolph Rupp, legendary basketball coach of the Kentucky Wildcats. Halstead High School has hosted the annual Adolph Rupp Invitational Tournament since 1972. Conrad Nightingale, a HHS graduate, competed in the 1968 Olympics. Since 1971 Halstead High School has hosted the Conrad Nightingale Invitational Track Meet.
Halstead is served by Unified School District 440. Grades K through 3 are located in the neighboring community of Bentley, eight miles south of Halstead. Grades 4 through 12 have attendance centers located in Halstead. Halstead High School is in the class 3A category, and competes in the mid division of the Mid-Central Kansas League.
Halstead has a three-block, true downtown business district which includes the following businesses: restaurants, banks, historical society, interior decoration, veterinarian, meat market, grocery store, convenience store, beauty & barber shops, a satellite dish dealer, a chiropractic clinic, weekly newspaper, motel, hotel, a water news publication, hardware store, insurance office, realtor, dental office, bakery, video store, flower and gift shops, tax accounting firm and post office.
For a special shopping event which would include unique gift ideas, be sure to stop at The Old Hardware Store, Tortoise Gallery & Art Center Halstead Floral & Gifts, and Troy's True Value and Designs By John Florals.
Businesses off Main Street include: a convenience store, a funeral home, a photography studio, a gold and silver recovery shop, an auto repair shop, a car/truck wash, and various building related contractors. One mile west of town is a climate controlled storage facility. Within 3 miles of town are 2 auto repair shops and an auto body shop.
Halstead is proud of its industrial and commercial business sectors. Major industries in Halstead include: Legg Company, which manufactures agricultural and industrial belting and the Farmers Co-op, which sells grain, feeds, fertilizer, etc. Other growing companies include a welding/ machine shop, a cabinet making company, and a maker of wooden pallets. Located in an industrial park on the west edge of Halstead are: E & V Motors, Halstead Trailer Sales an seller of large trucks and grain trailers; Forest Green, self-storage units; Patrick Industries, a supplier of mobile home components; a KGE substation; the Co-op's ammonia plant, and Sem Materials, an asphalt blending facility. Please see our web page for more information on the Halstead Industrial Park.
Halstead is proud of its city parks, one of which has a Hollywood connection. The famous 1955 Columbia movie Picnic starring Kim Novak, William Holden and Cliff Robertson, was filmed primarily in Halstead's Riverside Park, located at the river confluence that marks the city's earliest beginnings. The Old Settlers Picnic, held in Riverside Park is the oldest continuous celebration in Harvey County and has been held every August, rain or shine, since 1887. Scout Park is a well-developed one-block square park located near the center of town. Williams Park, located at the southwestern-most edge of the city, is currently under development.
An $11 million federal flood control project, completed in 1994, now protects the city from the periodic flooding which had caused serious problems throughout the history of Halstead.
Halstead is home to the well-known and highly-respected Kansas Learning Center for Health, LearningCenter.org formerly known as the Kansas Health Museum, which features Valeda, the talking glass lady. It is located at 6th and Main, phone number 316-835-2662.
Halstead was originally a Mennonite community, but later German Catholic immigrants made their home in the community as well. Today the City of Halstead and surrounding areas are home to the following church denominations: First Mennonite Church, Sacred Heart Catholic Church, First United Methodist Church, First Presbyterian Church, Halstead Baptist Church, Grace Mennonite Church, and Gardenview Mennonite Church.
Recently completed City projects include the Halstead Industrial Park on the west edge of the city; a water acquisition and consolidation project in cooperation with the cities of Newton, North Newton and Sedgwick; planning and development of Cedar Meadows, a new residential housing subdivision; and a walking trail along the top of the levee.
Halstead is clearly a city on the move. It has an active Chamber of Commerce. Community leaders are positive and energetic. Truly a city of the future, Halstead has the livability of a bygone era. Life in Halstead consists of a wonderful blend of small-town friendliness, safety, and family, while also providing access to services and amenities normally associated with communities much larger.
Want to learn more about Halstead? Please use the "Contact Us" tab on the main page and we will be happy to help you.
HALSTEAD - THE BIGGEST LITTLE CITY IN KANSAS