Documentary History of American Water-works

Introduction Historical Background Chronology Geography Biography Technology Ownership and Financing General Bibliography
Northwestern States
Kansas Emporia

Emporia, Kansas

Emporia was incorporated as a city in 1870. 

The city built a Holly water system that began operation on June 17, 1880.  The system originally took water from the Cottonwood River, but this proved unsatisfactory and the plant was moved to the Neosho River in 1886.

Water is provided by the city of Emporia.

1880 "The Emporia Water Works," Emporia Daily News, January 9, 1880, Page 1.

1882 Emporia, Engineering News, 9:58 (February 18, 1882)

1882 Emporia from "The Water-Supply of Certain Cities and Towns of the United States," by Walter G. Elliot, C. E., Ph. D.

1883 History of the State of Kansas, by William G. Cutler
Page 848: Holly Water Works. - The first official action taken by the city In relation to a system of water works was June 12, 1879, when the feasibility of the project was discussed. October 25, 1879, a special election was ordered held for the purpose of voting $50.000 in bonds for the water works. The election was not held until November 4, 1879, when the bonds were carried by 464 for to 140 against. A special committee on location, appointed in December, 1879,reported in favor of locating on the Neosho River. The report was adopted by the Council. January 8,1880, it was decided to locate on the Cottonwood River. January 15, 1880, a final decision was made and the works located on their present location. Work on the project was Immediately commenced, and completed and opened June 17, 1880, at a cost of $66.893.17. Number of feet of main used, 62,781; number of gallons of water pumped annually. 62,000,000; estimated daily consumption, winter months, 151,200 gallons; summer months, 240,000 gallons. The city is at present well supplied with the water privilege, which is constantly increasing.

1888 "Emporia," from Manual of American Water Works, Volume 1.

1890 "Emporia," from Manual of American Water Works, Volume 2.

1891 "Emporia," from Manual of American Water Works, Volume 3.

1897 "Emporia," from Manual of American Water Works, Volume 4.

1929 History of Emporia and Lyon County, by Laura M French
Page 47:  Waterworks bonds to the amount of $50,000 were issued following the city eletion of 1879.  The water-works was formally opened in June, 1880 - the first in the state.  Water at that time was obtained from the Cottonwood River, the plant being located south of town at the foot of Congress Street.  The water-works plant was moved to Neosho in 1886.
Page 57:  The waterworks location on the Cottonwood had proved unsatisfactory, and the city and the owner of the water rights, W. T. Soden, could not come to terms. After much deliberation, it was decided to move the plant from the Cottonwood to the Neosho, and in 1886 Emporia voted bonds to the amount of $162,000.00 for the removal to and the establishment of the waterworks plant in its present location. The change was beneficial in many ways, and particularly so in that the water of the Neosho, rising in the sandstone of Morris County, is comparatively soft, while that of the Cottonwood, which has its source in the lime rock of McPherson County, is extremely hard.
Pages 260-262:  City Water System

2020 Morris A. Pierce