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About the Delano Neighborhood Association

March 27, 2017 - 08:00

We are Delano!

The Delano Neighborhood Association exists to enhance the livability of the area by establishing and maintaining an open line of communication with Delano citizens and liaison among the neighborhoods, other agencies and associations, public, private and governmental, who are doing business to achieve a similar or related purpose.

The Delano neighborhood is one of the oldest and most well-established neighborhoods in the City of Wichita.  It is located immediately west of central Wichita. The neighborhood boundaries include: the Arkansas River on the north and east, Meridian Ave. on the west and US Highway 54 on the south (map).

The rich history and cultural heritage of Delano provides essential elements to be drawn upon to preserve and promote the future of our neighborhood.

Prairie Pioneers

Kansas became a state on January 29th, 1861. In the aftermath of the Civil War, the cattle trade boosted the national economy and created cowtowns. The first herds came North along the Chisholm Trail in August of 1867. Samuel Hughes founded Elgin in February of 1871. Due to another Elgin in Chautauqua County, ours was renamed Delano after former Secretary of the Interior, Columbus Delano, on March 24, 1871. The plat was confirmed on May 17, 1871. In 1880, Wichita annexed Delano and it became known as West Wichita.

Boomtown

Lawman Wyatt Earp was hired by (East) Wichita on April 21, 1875.  Until the annexation, Wichita forced most of the saloons, brothels and gunfights into Delano.  In the 1880s, early real estate developers took advantage of an economic boom by building brick buildings and paved streets. An economic downturn in the early 1890s caused many of them to go bust. In 1898, James Davis, a member of the Religious Society of Friends, purchased Friends University's grounds from the failed Garfield University.

Aviation Pioneers

In December of 1925, Clyde Cessna, Walter Beech, and Lloyd Stearman broke away from the E. M. Laird Airplane Company to form Travel Air Manufacturing Company in the 500 block of West Douglas. In 1927, the Cessna Aircraft Company was founded at the 900 block of West Second St.. The company's airstrip was at the site of the current West Side Athletic Field.

Delano has continued to be integral to the entrepreneurial spirit from the aircraft industry to NuWay Restaurants and many more.

Revitalization

The Delano Neighborhood Association was formed in May of 1996. Many neighborhoods became organized around this time to combat increased crime trends.  The 2001 Delano Neighborhood Plan recognized the 3 "D"s: Delano Clergy, Delano Business, and Delano Neighborhood associations. Delano United, Inc. formed in 2010 as a CDC to foster economic growth.   We are seeing a gradual increase in neighborhood involvement. A remodeled Senior Services headquarters and new central library improve the quality of life for all Wichitans.  With a proposed hotel and three new large apartment complexes in the past five years, we should have enough economic draw to attract a neighborhood grocery store.  It has been very encouraging to have our city leaders actively solicit our opinions for the ways we want our community to grow. The 2018 Delano Neighborhood Plan provides improvement goals to guide development decisions in Delano for the next 15 years.

Further Reading

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