Wellington celebrates its 150th Birthday at Heritage Park and the community appreciates its history
WELLINGTON, Kansas - People gathered at Heritage Park on Saturday, June 5th, to celebrate the 150th Birthday of Wellington and to appreciate the history of the City.
There were free cupcakes provided by the city, street chalking provided by the Wellington Young Professionals, food trucks and the presentation of the new city flag.
"Today was great," smiled Executive Director of the Wellington Chamber and Commerce Valerie Earl. "The excitement at the flag presentation, seeing people have fun, enjoying the food and celebrating our community on such a beautiful day, it couldn't have been any better."
In 1870, Robert A. Davis traveled up the Chisholm Trail and settled with other pioneers to build a town. That town became Wellington; named after the conqueror of Napoleon, the Duke of Wellington.
In 1871, Wellington was platted onto the map. Then, in 1872, Wellington became the designated seat of Sumner County.
Trading with cattlemen was an important economic factor for the town. Today, the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad passes through Wellington as a crew switch point. The Union Pacific Railroad has a mainline running north-south through the city.
Wellington has been a city known for aircraft parts plants due to their proximity to Wichita, known as the Air Capital of the World.
In 1892, Wellington was a thriving city with a population of more than 12,000, but a tornado struck the city and caused extensive damage with 11 people killed and 29 injured. A few years later, a fire destroyed some buildings. The two disasters ended the momentum of growth the city was experiencing.
Notable people to come from Wellington have been people like 1951 seventh overall NBA Draft selection Ernie Barrett, Second Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Dakota Territory, Ara Bartlett, gold medal winner in the Pan American games and Wichita State softball player, Ryleigh Buck, and many others.
Wellington has been the host for two major events. One of them continute the Kansas Wheat Festival, which will be happening July 6th-10th. The other was the Sumner County Aviation Festival.
"As we've prepared for this celebration, I've gotten to learn so much," said Earl. "Not being from Wellington, I've truly appreciated the history of this city. I hope people can realize that the history of Wellington and this milestone is special."