Population: 12301 (2010 Census data); 12258 (2014 Estimates)
Source: United States Census Bureau
City of Winfield
200 E. 9th Ave.
Winfield Area Chamber of Commerce
123 E 9th Ave.
Winfield Convention and Tourism
123 E. 9th Ave.
Winfield Main Street
103 E. 9th,
One of the “Best Small Towns in America”
Winfield is the county seat of Cowley County, with a population of approximately 12,000.
For tourism activities, attractions and events contact the Winfield Convention and Tourism.
Winfield has twice been rated as one of “The 100 Best Small Towns in America” in a nationwide guide.
Located among the rolling Flint Hills of south-central Kansas in the Walnut River valley, Winfield enjoys a lovely natural setting. The community combines regard for the past with a progressive attitude.
From the charm of its downtown to its “Fortune 500” companies, Winfield deserves to be labeled, as it sometimes is, “The best kept secret in Kansas.” The community considers itself part of the global economy and yet strives to keep a warm, small-town feel.
Though Winfield has a history of enterprise and education, it is the community’s charm that often captures visitors. Colorful flowers grace street corners downtown during much of the year.
A tour of Winfield’s Victorian homes points out turrets, towers, curved verandas, classic porches and delicate millwork — architectural treasures as lovely as they are historically important. Lovers of architecture are also drawn to the historic homes along Memorial Park, the four bank buildings at the intersection of Ninth Avenue and Main Street, and the buildings of the former St. John’s College, now Baden Square.
The City of Winfield operates one of the largest municipal electric and gas utilities in the state, as well as water, sewer and refuse services. Winfield has a city-manager form of government, with three commissioners elected at large, one of whom serves as a rotating mayor.
The universally-known orange Rubbermaid cooler is manufactured in Winfield, at the Newell-Rubbermaid plant. Several key employers, including Mead Westvaco Calmar and Winfield Consumer Products/Husky Liners, also produce plastic products. GE Engine Services occupies a facility in Winfield as well as a plant at nearby Strother Field. Recent expansions include S & Y Industries, a maker of circuit boards; Robotzone LLC, Galaxy Technologies and Fluid Kinetics.
Winfield’s flagship institution is Southwestern College, an independent, four-year school related to the Methodist Church. Southwestern has a total of 1,850 students on campus, at outreach centers in Wichita and Oklahoma City, and online. USD 465 school district enrolls over 2000 students K-12. Students consistently score above national average on standardized assessments and the district’s graduation rate remains above the state average.
Among other community assets are the Winfield City Lake, a 1,130-acre lake with marina, boat docks and sand beaches. Island Park, a long-time Chautauqua site into the 1920s, is found at the north end of Main Street. New hiking/biking paths begin there. The nearby aquatic center boasts a 50-meter pool with slide and sloped entrance for toddlers. Sculpture by a local artist celebrating Winfield’s music stands near the entrance.
Winfield is known for the music it makes. The town’s devotion to music is highlighted by the Walnut Valley Festival, a gathering of more than 10,000 fans from this country and abroad in the third week of September.
Winfield Main Street hosts a kinetic “music crawl” among restaurants in downtown on the eve of the Walnut Valley Festival — a sort of “Fat Tuesday” affair, though a little more civilized. Art is gaining fans in Winfield, where Art in the Park takes place annually in early October. Its many outdoor murals have earned Winfield the title “Mural Capital of Kansas.” Winfield Arts and Humanities offers children’s art classes and has a gallery at Baden Square.
Visitors to Winfield will want to stop at the Vietnam Memorial Wall — a replica of the one in Washington, D. C. — with the names of Kansans who died in the war. The Cowley County Historical Society Museum draws young and old to enjoy displays of clothing, photographs and household items from the community’s early days in the 1870s. The annual Steam & Gas Engine Show in takes place in August at the much-used Cowley County Fairgrounds, drawing crowds second only to those of the Cowley County Fair that follows. The fair, almost as old as the town itself, thrives on volunteer support.