Orial Hunt Farm

Wichita Urban Native History Tour

Orial Hunt Farm

Wichita, Kansas 67203, United States

Created By: Wichita History Walk


Nestled 6 miles west of Douglas and Main and 2 miles south of what is now Cannonball Road (Maple), within the vicinity of Pawnee Prairie and the Sedgwick County Conservation Parks, the 240-acre Grandview farm stood as a testament to innovative agricultural practices and the rich history of Native American entrepreneurship. This farm was once owned by Orial A. Hunt, a member of the Osage Nation.

Before his tenure in Wichita, Hunt managed a sprawling ranch in Osage County, having embarked on his agricultural journey at the age of 14 working as a cowboy in Oklahoma. He would continue to become a successful rancher and at one time managed over 1,000 head of cattle in the Flint Hills.

In 1922, Hunt acquired the land from R.F. Meeker for $75,000, an investment worth about $1.3 million in today's currency. Dubbed a "model farm," Grandview was at the forefront of agricultural innovation. Hunt applied scientific principles to enhance soil fertility and implemented crop diversification to boost yields. These advancements were funded by oil dividends, a benefit received by members of the Osage Nation.

A full-page profile on Hunt was included in a 1925 Sunday edition of the Wichita Eagle, highlighting the farm's operation, including its 16 Holstein cattle, 1,000 chickens, and 140 acres of wheat. The profile also lauded the farm's modernity, particularly its farmhouse, which boasted indoor plumbing, hot water, and electricity—amenities rare in rural settings of the era. The dairy barn was equally advanced, featuring concrete floors, a pressurized wash system, and a mechanical conveyer system for manure removal, setting new standards in farm design and operation.

In 1926, Hunt traded the farm for property in the Woodrow Court addition of Wichita. The Grandview land would eventually be gifted to the City of Wichita and Sedwick County government and become home to Pawnee Prairie Park and the Sedgwick County Conservation Area.

Hunt would go on to be a prominent member of Wichita society and was involved in several professional organizations. Hunt would eventually return to Oklahoma in the 1930s and in 1934 Orial Hunt died at the age of 45 after a prolonged illness. He was survived by his Osage wife and 3 children. His obituary praised him as an innovator of livestock management.

This point of interest is part of the tour: Wichita Urban Native History Tour


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