The world's first Pizza Hut restaurant opened in Wichita, Kansas in 1958.

Wilson County, Kansas has a rich history that stretches back to the early 1800s. The area was originally inhabited by several Native American tribes, including the Osage and Kaw, who used the land for hunting and gathering. European settlement began in the 1850s with the arrival of pioneers seeking a new life on the frontier.

In 1865, the county was officially established and named after Colonel Hiero T. Wilson, a Union officer who was killed in the Civil War. The town of Fredonia was selected as the county seat. During this time, the economy of Wilson County was primarily based on agriculture, with farming and livestock raising being the main sources of income for settlers.

The late 19th century saw a boom in coal mining in Wilson County. With the discovery of vast coal deposits, mining operations flourished, attracting immigrants from Europe to work in the mines. This period of economic growth led to the establishment of several new towns, such as Altoona and Buffville, to support the mining industry.

However, the coal mining industry eventually declined in the early 20th century, and Wilson County experienced a shift toward other industries, including oil and gas production, manufacturing, and agriculture. Today, Wilson County is known for its agricultural production, particularly in crops like wheat, corn, and soybeans.

Throughout its history, Wilson County has remained a close-knit community with a strong sense of pride in its heritage. The county has preserved its historical sites and landmarks, such as the Fredonia Opera House and the Wilson County Historical Society Museum, which provide insights into the region's past.

  • 1854 - Wilson County is established as a county in the Kansas Territory.
  • 1861 - Wilson County is officially organized.
  • 1867 - The first post office is established in Fredonia, the county seat.
  • 1870 - The population of Wilson County reaches 3,276.
  • 1871 - The first railroad, Kansas City, Fort Scott and Gulf Railroad, is built in the county.
  • 1873 - The town of Neodesha is founded and becomes a railroad junction.
  • 1881 - A major flood devastates the county and causes widespread damage.
  • 1887 - The town of Altoona is incorporated.
  • 1910 - Oil is discovered in Wilson County, leading to an oil boom and economic growth.
  • 1930s - The Great Depression hits Wilson County, causing widespread poverty and unemployment.
  • 1960s - The county experiences a decline in population due to the decline of the oil industry.
  • 1978 - The Wilson County Historical Society is established to preserve the county's history.
  • 2010 - The population of Wilson County is recorded as 9,409.