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Delano Exhibit

Date: 2/25/2021
Contact: James Vannurden |

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Originally known as Elgin and then West Wichita, Delano is the neighborhood located directly west of downtown Wichita on the west side of the Arkansas River.  Founded in 1871, Delano has a long history of commerce and success, mainly on West Chicago Avenue (now West Douglas Avenue).  Delano was later annexed as the 5th Ward of Wichita in 1885.

We tell the story of many businesses that helped Delano succeed.  Some of these highlighted include a doctor, druggist, grocer, bank, and even an ice company. 

The west side of the river also had large city block buildings that rivaled their east side counter parts.  These buildings included the Palace Block, Martinson Block, Sunflower Block, Garfield University, and the Wichita Watch Factory. 

Learn the stories of the founders of Delano, men like Robert Lawrence, Enoch and Almon Dodge, and Ola Martinson. 

St. Joseph's Catholic Church and Dodge Avenue Presbyterian Church provided the necessary spiritual wellbeing for its citizens. 

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(Photo courtesy of St. Joseph Parish)

Franklin School and All Hallows/Mt. Carmel Academy gave children in the area a place for learning and growth.

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(Photo courtesy of Wichita Public Library)

Read the tale of competing saloon owners "Rowdy" Joe Lowe and Edward "Red" Beard and how their story came to a deathly end.

Incorporating artifacts from the museum's collection, this exhibit tells the great history of the men and women who successfully grew the area west of the river.