Skip to Main Content

Community Profile

History of Parsons, Kansas

Named for the president of the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railroad, Levi Parsons, Parsons has been one of the most dynamic communities in Kansas since it was incorporated in 1871. Rapid expansion and civic improvements made Parsons a thriving frontier town, boasting a solid income from railroads and agriculture.

By the turn of the century a business college and a state hospital had been founded in Parsons. The City's prosperity helped it to weather economic trends that damaged other towns in the area. Homes of the grandest design and most elegant detail were constructed, many of which survive today and contribute to the City's beauty.

Throughout its history, Parsons has continued to identify progressive goals and to work to meet them. The Kansas Ordnance Plant was located here in 1941 to back the war effort. When the need for physicians and medical facilities became apparent in the late 1960s, Parsons began a construction and recruiting program that resulted in the most complete medical services in the surrounding area.

In the 1970s, a massive urban renewal program was undertaken to benefit the municipal facilities and the business district. Today, the cumulative effects of a proud history of fulfilled ambitious projects have made Parsons the showcase of Southeast Kansas.