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Newton, KS

About NewtonNewton's history began in 1870 when the site was chosen as a location for a new Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway terminal. Its position on the Chisholm Trail made the site a logical location. When the railroad pushed on to Dodge City and Wichita, so did Newton's wild and wicked cow town image.

As pressures against their beliefs mounted, Russian Mennonites looked to the North American prairies for a new home. Bernhard Warkentin visited central Kansas in 1872; his favorable reports elicited a wave of immigration. As a result, Newton and the surrounding area constitute the largest Mennonite settlement in the United States.

Mennonite farmers brought with them Turkey Red winter wheat seeds, which had flourished on the central European steppes. Warkentin built a gristmill at nearby Halstead and began promoting the use of this hardy new grain, which was well-suited to conditions in Kansas. His efforts at establishing hard winter wheat helped make Kansas known as the “wheat capital of the world.” Warkentin's residence still stands at 211 E. First St.

Visitor Centers Newton Convention and Visitors Bureau 201 E. Sixth St. Newton, KS 67114. Phone:(316)284-6015

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Newton, KS

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