A town rich in coal mining and railroad heritage, Arma is a community known for its friendly atmosphere. The town was incorporated in 1909 as a third class city. Prior to that time, Arma was a bustling coal camp known as Rust. Rust was about three blocks wide and four blocks long, bound on the east by the railroad. In 1909, Arma had a population of 379. The name Arma came from one of the owners of land north and east of the camp at the time of its incorporation — William F. Armacost.
Located just off U.S. Highway 69, the city now covers approximately one square mile and has a population of about 1,500. The city includes a strong school district, established local businesses, and recreation for children with several parks, the swimming pool and the ball fields. The city hosts what is thought to be the oldest “Victory over Japan” Homecoming Parade in the nation.
Cherokee is located along Highway 400 in the south portion of Crawford County. Between the years of 1999 to 2000, the city’s population rose significantly from 651 to 722 people. A reason for this strong increase in population is the city’s convenient location, in proximity of Parsons and Pittsburg. While close in location to the larger cities in the area, Cherokee maintains a rural setting with good schools, a low crime rate and an active city government.
Franklin began as a mining community in the early 1900s. It is located just off Highway 69 Bypass which is a major corridor between Kansas City and Pittsburg, Ks./Joplin, Mo. Franklin offers residents, visitors and businesses a clean, friendly, small town environment with a moderate climate.
A devastating tornado struck Franklin on May 4, 2003. There were approximately 217 families in Franklin with a population of about 476. Approximately 1/3 of the homes were completely destroyed by the storm and many more sustainined major and minor damage. The tornado came directly through the middle of the town destroying the U.S. Post Office and the Community Center.
The town of Frontenac is rich in history, diversity and economic growth. Over the past three years, Frontenac has witnessed a significant increase in population and residential housing. Frontenac residents come from a variety of heritages, such as Italian, French, German and Austrian. Frontenac is home to a one-of-a-kind training facility in the U.S.- the Harley Davidson Technical Training Facility. This unique facility attracts students from all parts of the nation. Frontenac was named after a French general who discovered rich coal deposits in 1886. Today, Frontenac residents represent 21 nationalities through a population of 3,064 and still growing.
With a population of 20,223, Pittsburg the largest city in Southeast Kansas. Pittsburg was established in 1876 by Col. E.H. Brown with the first home built that same year by J.T. Roach. The city’s first business was a general store started by G. W. Seabury and Co. Pittsburg was incorporated in 1879 as a third class city which sparked the population to grow. Between 1884 and 1890, the population grew from 4,000 to 6,697.
This increase was due to jobs created with coal mining and the railroad. Coal mining was the main occupation at the time, there were 11,835 miners employed by 55 different coal companies.
Both businesses and individuals continue to be attracted to Pittsburg’s economic growth. Recent years have seen a substantial increase in both retail services and housing construction.
On Pittsburg’s south end, Meadowbrook Mall and Meadowbrook Commons are at near-capacity and are within walking distance of the Pittsburg State University campus. In the middle of it all, Pittsburg’s historic downtown area has come alive thanks to matching façade grants that have complemented the substantial private investment made by many downtown business and property owners.