Important historical marker stolen from Midtown

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WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

A plaque that memorialized the first home formally built in Wichita was stolen from Midtown.

Jacob Karber of the Historic Midtown Citizens Association says that he filed a police report and is hoping the plaque is recovered.

“It represents the beginning of Wichita,” Karber said. ”It represents sharing that history in the community...that this is the first spot where it all began.”

“It was taken right off. I don't know what happened, but we would sure like it back.”

A similar plaque is missing from Riverside Park. At that location, some of the mounting hardware was left on the ground.

Karber first wanted to suspect that the plaques were removed for maintenance by the City of Wichita, but after a few phone calls he found out that was not the case.

“I haven't found any evidence that it is supposed to be missing,” he said.

After filing a police report, he is now pleading for people to be on the lookout for the metal plaque. Karbers’ concern is that the thieves will try and sell the bronze memorial for metal scrape.

“[It] would be a very small fraction of what it would cost to replace or to put there,” Karber said.

The plaque in Midtown was put in place in 1993. It read:
“’Wichita: The Beginning Of A City’ In 1868, the Wichita town company formed and send Darius Munger to this area to establish Wichita. Munger laid the foundation when he filed for a 160-acre land grant on the southwest corner of 9th and Waco after congress, by joint resolution, opened the Osage Country for homesteading. Munger’s house, the first residence, was built of cottonwood obtained from an island in the Arkansas River. 300 Feet west was Durfee’s Trading Post, built in 1867, it was the first trading post in Wichita and became the hub of growth and the catalyst for attracting settlers to the area. Durfee printed pamphlets to promote the area – this was the first time Wichita was named in print. The sign on Durfee’s post was the first sign in Wichita. On the northeast corner of this intersection was the Vigus or Buckhorn Hotel; built in 1869, it was the first hotel in Wichita although the Munger house was used often as a hotel because there were no other accommodations for travelers. By November of 1870, Wichita had 175 buildings and a population of 800 on July 21, 1871. Wichita was officially incorporated.”

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