USD 465 - Winfield Public Schools is located approximately 40 miles southeast of Wichita. Winfield is a rural community of about 12,000 people with easy access to Wichita. Winfield Public Schools has a 4A high school, a middle school, an intermediate school for 5th and 6th grade students, four K-4 elementary schools and Webster Early Learning Center for pre-school students. Approximately 2,300 students attend Winfield Public Schools.
USD 465 is the sponsoring district for the Cowley County Special Services Cooperative. CCSSC provides services to special needs students who attend school in USD 470-Arkansas City, USD 462-Central of Burden, USD 285-Cedar Vale, USD 471-Dexter, USD 463-Udall, and USD 465-Winfield.
(Source- USD 465-www.usd465.com)
Selected as #56 in an edition of “The 100 Best SMALL TOWNS in AMERICA”, Winfield maintains a progressive philosophy while preserving a sense of its history and natural beauty.
Winfield has its own special mix of commercial, recreational and residential development. From the charm of the historic downtown to its internationally known industries and Fortune 500 companies, Winfield strives to be a part of the global economy while retaining that comfortable small town feel.
(Source- City of Winfield-www.winfieldks.org)
Highway US-160 and US-77 both run through Winfield making for quick commutes. Arkansas City is less than 20 minutes from Winfield and Wellington is under 30 minutes away. Downtown Wichita is less than an hour from Winfield.
Winfield Local Attractions/Activities
Located in the rolling hills of southeast Kansas and edging the Kansas Flint Hills, Winfield is home to excellent restaurants, extraordinary outdoor recreation, exciting history, exceptional shopping, fantastic education including Southwestern College, and the internationally-known Walnut Valley Festival. With an inspiring view of the prairie, the natural landscape introduces visitors to the magnificence of the Flint Hills. The Cowley County seat boasts 12,000 residents and during the school year over 1,000 additional students call Winfield home. Winfield is situated just off Interstate 35, 45 miles south of Wichita.
(Source- City of Winfield-www.winfieldks.org)
Winfield – History
Purchased from Chetopah, Chief of the Osage, in January 1870, Colonel E. C. Manning chose the Winfield Town Company site in the Walnut River Valley “for its general beauty, pure water, abundant wildlife and fertile river bottom soil.” Situated between Timber Creek and the Walnut River, Winfield is surrounded by blue stem country and is located in the heart of the Kansas Flint Hills. An important part of regional history lies just a short walk southwest of downtown Winfield. First used as a trail by Native Americans and later white settlers, the “Old California Trail” was one of the main trails taken by southerners who were making the 1849 gold rush to California.
Enormous growth prompted the first City Council to be set in 1873, to “satisfy pressing needs that ranged from regulating destitute itinerants, sanitation and fire protection to plain old lawlessness.” Organizing a new city takes a lot of doing as early city fathers soon found out. A great deal of credit for the prosperity of early Winfield is given to the arrival of the railroads. All goods had to be shipped in or out of the area by wagon over rough, almost impassable trails to Emporia or Independence.
The first train pulled into town on September 30, 1879. The Santa Fe line ran from Winfield to Wichita. Telegraph communication had started on September 25 and the first mail left by rail on October 1. By 1887, 5 rail lines had arrived. With these, the life blood of the city began to flow and Winfield was on its way! By 1900 the population had grown to 5,554 and Winfield had become the business hub of the area with several railroads, flour mills, stores, elevators, newspapers, banks, churches and schools, along with various kinds of small manufacturing plants.
Winfield was known throughout the state and nation as a cultural center. For many years the Chautauqua was in Island Park. The Opera House brought entertainment to the community and the School of Music was highly rated for many years. Southwestern College and St. John’s College added their support to this fine cultural atmosphere. Successful oil exploration and the discovery of helium near Dexter allowed Winfield to prosper in the post WWI era. By 1925 there were eight distinct oil fields near Winfield and production was greater than any other county in Kansas. “Farming took a mechanized turn with the introduction of tractors and, wonder of wonders, the new combined harvester/thresher put out by International Harvester Company”.
The Depression years were hard everywhere and Winfield felt the pinch of the times too. But the age-old determination of its citizens held fast to faith in their town, and once again they came through with flying colors. Things picked up again with the advent of WWII. The War Department took over the joint Winfield-Arkansas City Municipal Airport and built Strother Field in 1941. All area towns were “home base” for the many US Air Force aviation cadets and their families. At the peak of operation there were approximately 3,400 Air Force personnel and 400 civilian employees at the field. The influx of combat veterans continued until the field was closed at the end of WWII.