The world's first Pizza Hut restaurant opened in Wichita, Kansas in 1958.
Reno County, Kansas, has a rich and diverse history that spans back thousands of years. The area was originally inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Kansa and Osage, who were agrarian societies that thrived along the Arkansas River.

In the early 1800s, European settlers began to establish trading posts in the region, hoping to profit from the lucrative fur trade. The area soon became a popular stop for pioneers traveling along the Santa Fe Trail and the Chisholm Trail, as it provided a reliable water source and offered fertile land for farming.

In 1872, the city of Hutchinson was founded in Reno County, named after Civil War General William Hutchinson. The city quickly grew and became a hub for trade and commerce, thanks to its strategic location along major transportation routes. It became known as the "Salt City" due to its booming salt industry, which was essential for preserving food in an era before refrigeration.

Over the years, Reno County and its cities faced numerous challenges and achieved notable milestones. The devastating floods of 1904 and 1921 caused significant damage to the region but ultimately prompted the construction of levees and flood control measures. The establishment of the Kansas State Industrial Reformatory in Hutchinson in 1911 brought jobs and economic growth. Today, Reno County continues to thrive, offering a mix of agricultural, industrial, and cultural opportunities for its residents and visitors.

This timeline provides a condensed summary of the historical journey of Reno County, Kansas.

  • 1803: The area that is now Reno County was acquired as part of the Louisiana Purchase.
  • 1869: Reno County was officially established and named after Major General Jesse L. Reno, who was killed in the American Civil War.
  • 1872: The city of Hutchinson was founded as the county seat of Reno County.
  • 1874: The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway reached Hutchinson, leading to rapid growth and development.
  • 1887: The first natural gas well was drilled in Reno County, leading to the establishment of the Kansas natural gas industry.
  • 1893: The Kansas State Fair, one of the largest annual events in the state, moved to Hutchinson.
  • 1907: The first radio station in Kansas, KFKB, began broadcasting in Hutchinson.
  • 1930s: During the Great Depression, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) built several parks and recreational areas in Reno County.
  • 1950s: The construction of the Hutchinson Naval Air Station brought economic growth and increased population.
  • 1997: The Underground Salt Museum, located in the underground tunnels of Hutchinson's salt mines, opened to the public.