Fort Hays State University > About FHSU > Academic Divisions > Forsyth Library > Kansas Heritage > Great Bend
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The Great Bend Town Company founded the town site of Great Bend in 1871. The town name was chosen because of the big bend of the Arkansas River at the site.
A hotel and several houses were built in 1871, and after the railroad came through in 1872, the town grew rapidly. Great Bend won the county seat after an election was held in the fall of 1871. Great Bend is the largest town in Barton County today.
The ethnicity of its settlers is unknown.
Harrington, Marge, Compiler. Barton County: Golden Heartland of Kansas. Great Bend: Great Bend Tribune, 1996.
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