Lansing History

Early History
Lansing’s founding father, William Lansing Taylor, was born on October 30, 1831, in New York. During his youth, he studied both law and medicine. He was involved in business in Missouri when the Civil War started. He joined the Seventh Missouri Infantry. Soon after, he was captured and taken prisoner. Taylor was later paroled after agreeing he would not take up arms against the South again. He broke this contract in 1862 by enlisting as a hospital steward in the 7th Regiment of the Kansas Volunteer Cavalry under the name of James William Lansing. After the Civil War, he continued using his new name. He earned a position at the new state penitentiary in Kansas as a hospital steward.

After resigning this position, he opened a general mercantile store in the area called “Town of Progress,” which held the post office and an apothecary business. As a result of the long period he spent as a hospital steward and running the drug store, he became known as “Doc Lansing” - even though he was not a doctor nor was his last name really Lansing.

James William Lansing and his friend John C. Schmidt became co-owners of ninety acres of land that was platted into town lots in 1878. The two partners donated the streets for public use and named the area Town of Lansing. Both the area named Town of Lansing on the west side of the road and the Town of Progress on the east side became known as Lansing. Doc Lansing died in Lansing on March 20, 1886, and was buried at Mount Muncie Cemetery in Lansing.

Lansing became an incorporated city in 1959. Lansing’s population is currently 10,691. The Lansing population was 9,199 in 2000. In 1990, Lansing had a population of 7,120. For the past forty years, Lansing’s population has increased by nearly 2,000 residents every ten years. In 1960, Lansing was made up of 1,261 individuals. Lansing is called “The City with a Future” as a result of its rapid and constant growth.

Lansing Correctional Facility (LCF) has played an active role in Lansing’s history and continues to help serve the community. LCF, formerly named the Kansas State Penitentiary, is the State’s largest and oldest facility for detention and rehabilitation of male adult felons. The Kansas Constitution authorized LCF in 1859. At the present time, LCF covers 2,538 acres. There are currently around 2,500 inmates housed in LCF. As Lansing’s largest employer, LCF has 1,009 employees.