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Clay Center, Kansas

Clay Center, Kansas

In 1862 John and Alonzo Dexter came to what is now Clay Center. The Dexter's selected almost the exact center of Clay County for the town and hoped it would become the county seat. Their hopes were realized in 1866.

As was the common practice, the Dexter brothers used "center" as part of the name, hoping this would help give the city the county seat. Original spelling was Clay Centre.

The county was named for Henry Clay, the famous U.S. statesman, so Clay Center implies the center of Clay County. For one day in its history, Clay Center was called Reynolds for General Reynolds.

Clay Center is a traditionally built community with an historic center that surrounds the Clay County Courthouse. The core area is still pedestrian friendly which allows one to park and walk anywhere within a matter of minutes. With its increasingly vibrant downtown business and entertainment district, Clay Center is a unique place. While many communities of the 60's and 70's were spoiled by the unsightly sprawl development of big box discount retailers, fast food chains and parking lots fronting miles of highway, Clay Center was not. Clay Center's design resembles that from which many of neo-traditional communities are being patterned.

Attractions and Upcoming Events

Band Shell

The Clay Center Municipal Band Shell was built in 1934, it is a W.P.A. project and is on the Kansas Register of Historic Places. The Band Shell hosts many City Band Concerts throughout the year.

Clay Center, KS Historic Buildings

Clay Center Recreation

Swimming pool, 8 bowling lanes, 6 tennis courts, Sumner recreation program, 5 parks and playgrounds including the zoo, country club with 9 hole golf course, public golf course, and Milford Reservoir and Tuttle Creek within minutes for camping, swimming, and boating.

Clay Center, KS Recreation

Vietnam War Memorial

The Vietnam War Memorial, dedicated in 1997, was created by Sandy Scott and stands in tribute to those veterans at the West entrance to the historic courthouse in downtown Clay Center.

Clay Center, KS Memorials

Carnegie Library

Circa 1912, the Library is on the National Register of Historic Places

Clay Center, KS Carnegie Libraries

Civil War Memorial

The Civil War Memorial erected in 1911 is dedicated to those who fought in the war between the states, and proudly graces the courthouse square on the west side of the historic courthouse.

Clay Center, KS Memorials

Things to do near Clay Center, KS

Santa Fe Trail Ruts

Still etched in the prairie, the 175-year-old Santa Fe Trail ruts carved their niche in our nation's history by helping move ...