Hudson, Kansas is among 17 U.S. communities named Hudson. Located in central Kansas 100 miles northwest of Wichita, the town describes itself as an "incorporated, rural, agricultural based community ... in the midst of prime hunting areas."
As one of the communities in the Visit 17 Hudsons in 2017 Challenge, the Kansas town has the distinction of being the smallest municipality in the Challenge. The town's land area is just 0.13 square miles. Its' population is 125, with a total of 59 households. Median household income is $60,400, well above the national average of $53,500.
In 1887 Daniel and Margaret Updegraff came to Kansas as homesteaders from New York state. They built themselves a sod house. Daniel platted the area and secured a town charter on June 7, 1887. He named the town after his former employer, the Hudson Bay Company. Within a Hudson Post Office was established along with a one room school house. The school expanded to two rooms in 1906.
By 1908 the population had grown to 250 and a large number of businesses were located in the town, including the Royal Hotel. Disaster befell Hudson in 1910 when nearly the entire business district was destroyed by fire. Phone service first came to Hudson in 1908, followed by electricity in 1919, sewers in 1951, and natural gas in 1962.
Hudson High School opened in 1926, only to be shuttered in 1968 due to declining enrollment. The town's schools were merged into the Unified School District #350, which is located in nearby town of St. John.
Hudson is governed by a mayor and elected council and served by volunteer fire department. Hudson's first fire station wasn't constructed until1966.
Today, town residents have a choice of two non-denominational churches and only one restaurant, the Wheatland Caf. There is also a bank in town. Between 1911 and 2008 there were 5 bank robberies, including one shooting and a kidnapping. Local organizations include a 4-H Club, a senior citizens group, and a community development club, whose function is to plan events. Among Hudson's annual events is the Chicken Ride, which involves a 50 mile bike ride on surrounding farm roads.
The Stafford County Flour Mills Co. is Hudson's major employer. The company was founded in 1904 by German immigrant Gustav Krug. It still produces the brand "Hudson Cream Flours." With the installation of a wind turbine in 2015, the Stafford Mill became the first U.S. flour mill powered exclusively by sustainable energy.
A short drive from Hudson is the 22,135 acre Quivira National Wildlife Refuge established in 1955. The refuge provides a vital habitat for migratory waterfowl in both a rare inland salt marsh and sand prairie.
The Kansas town of Hudson is 1,097 miles west of Hudson, Ohio. Information about the Visit 17 Hudsons in 2017 Challenge is available at the Hudson Visitor Center, 27 E. Main St., or online at desinationhudson.com. Co-sponsors of the Challenge are Hudson's Restaurant and the Hudson Hub-Times.