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It is joined along its course by several tributaries all of which flow generally south.
The largest is the Little Arkansas River, which enters the city from the north and joins the Arkansas immediately west of downtown.
Business opportunities attracted area hunters and traders, and a new settlement began to form.
That summer, Mead and others organized the Wichita Town Company, naming the settlement after the Wichita tribe.
Conflict with the Osage in the 1750s drove the Wichita further south.
Claimed first by France as part of Louisiana and later acquired by the United States with the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, it became part of Kansas Territory in 1854 and then the state of Kansas in 1861.
Wichita began as a trading post on the Chisholm Trail in the 1860s and was incorporated as a city in 1870. aircraft production hub known as "The Air Capital of the World." Textron Aviation, Learjet, Airbus, and Spirit Aero Systems continue to operate design and manufacturing facilities in Wichita, and the city remains a major center of the American aircraft industry.
This triggered another economic boom in Wichita as producers established refineries, fueling stations, and headquarters in the city.Further east lies Chisholm Creek, which joins the Arkansas in the far southern part of the city.The Chisholm's own tributaries drain much of the city's eastern half; these include the creek's West, Middle, and East Forks as well as, further south, Gypsum Creek. Two more of the Arkansas's tributaries lie west of its course; from east to west, these are Big Slough Creek and Cowskin Creek.In 1934, Stearman's Wichita facilities became part of Boeing which would become the city's largest employer. By 1954, all non-military air traffic had shifted to the new Wichita Mid-Continent Airport west of the city.Wichita has been a focal point of national political controversy multiple times in its history.
In 1900, famous temperance extremist Carrie Nation struck in Wichita upon learning the city was not enforcing Kansas's prohibition ordinance.