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The City of Arkansas City strives to provide a high quality of life for its citizens by furnishing a variety of efficient services in a professional, courteous manner.

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Art & Interesting Sites

Art and Interesting Sites in and around Arkansas City, Kansas
Public Art
Scripture Hill
Stan Herd Mural
Congregational Church
Henry's "Better Made" Candies
Ireland Hall


Congregational Church

This building is one of the oldest buildings in town, and it was dedicated in the spring of
1893 as the Pilgrim Congregational Church.  It still stands today as a reminder of the beautiful architecture that was used at the time, and is home to the Vinelife Family Church.

church 2

Earle Wright Gallery

The Brown Center on the Cowley College campus houses the Earle Wright Gallery.  Various art exhibits can be seen during the year in this beautiful gallery.  The campus itself is worth visiting just to see the many pieces of sculpture that landscape the exterior.
125 South 2nd Street – 620-442-0430

Henry's "Better Made" Candies

Visit Henry's for a taste-tempting experience.  Over 100 different kinds of candy are made here by hand ranging from hard candy to soft chocolates.  Candy-making has been in the Henry family for generations.  Tom Henry invented the O’Henry candy bar while working in Arkansas City around 1919.  The original recipe was sold to Curtis Candy Co. in the 1920’s.  After a few years the new owners changed the recipe a little and changed the original name of Tom Henry to O’Henry.

The third and fourth generation of Henry’s is now into the candy-making operation.  Evelyn Henry Pudden and her daughters, Tammie and Robyn, are currently running the business.

Sunday afternoons from August until the first of December, they make hard candies with designs in the center and other fancy items that are interesting to watch.  Be sure to try the original Tom Henry bar called Mama Henry now, and the Papa Henry bar.

Highway K-15-Dexter, Kansas
Telephone: (620) 876-5423
Open 7 days a week 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Specialty candy made while the public can watch - Demonstrations at 12:30 & 2:00 p.m. Sundays
Tours for 15 or more-Need 3 week notice

Ireland Hall

The old Arkansas City High School building, built from 1890 to 1893, joined the National Register of Historic Places in November 1974.  Built of Hand-cut, white Silverdale stone, and set with red mortar, the structure cost $38,000 and accommodated 450 students.  The red mortar, when rained on, has given the building its pinkish tint.  It was used as the high school until 1922, was bought in 1968 by Cowley county Community College and named Ireland Hall.  It now houses part of the College.

Ireland Hall


Public Art  

            Sculptures can be seen around Arkansas City, many done by local artists.

  • “Point of Light” by Gary Kahle– Cowley College Campus
  • Cherokee Strip Land Rush Mural by Stan Herd – 100 block of North Summit
  • Flag and eagle sculpture by Gary Kahle – Country Mart Parking lot on Summit
  • Musicians – Brown Center on Cowley College Campus
  • Metal Art depicting historical figures of Ark City – scattered throughout downtown
  • Train engineer – wood sculpture in Wilson Park – 700 block N. Summit
  • Native American sculpture – corner of Summit and Kansas Avenue
Ellen Snell, Denton Art Center –620-442-5895

Scripture Hill

Passengers on the northbound Santa Fe out of Arkansas City, Kansas, seeing for the first time the huge stone letters on the hill west of the tracks are attracted to the words CHRIST DIED FOR THE UNGODLY. Then in smaller letters they read the Bible reference to the place in the book of Romans where these words are found.

People have grown accustomed to the hillside wonder because none but the very old can remember when the words were not there. Legend has grown up around the place, and the one man responsible. By common consent it is accepted as a monument to his name. This man did not intend to build a monument to himself; he looked upon the hills and wondered how they could be used to the glory of their Creator. He lived his religion every day and the Bible verse that has stood on Scripture Hill for over 95 years testifies to his beliefs.

Begun in 1897, the text took seven months to build and whitewash so as to be seen from the railroad tracks. It was rebuilt three times over a 30 year period to get it the size and shape it is.  Fred Horton was a young dispatcher who came here with his bride when the Santa Fe line into Oklahoma was nine years old. In 1889, he came to be the assistant to the chief dispatcher of the Oklahoma Division.

Each letter is 18 feet high, 12 feet wide, and three feet deep. It is about 475 feet long, and is built of stone from the hillside in which it stands.

After Mr. Horton's failed health, a railroad organization took over the care of keeping weeds down and the letters whitewashed. Later the Auxiliary to the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers undertook the project of having the text set in cement. Currently, the Junior Chamber of Commerce has taken it as their perpetual project.

Mr. Horton is quoted as saying, "For several years my attention was attracted to those hills north of the city. I wondered how they might be utilized to the service of the Lord. Knowing that the word of God is quick and powerful, far sharper than a two-edged sword, I decided to put a portion of His word, His life-giving word, in the conspicuous place there, where the traveling public and the railroad boys might come in contact daily with that which would remind them of the reality of eternity. CHRIST DIED FOR THE UNGODLY was selected because it directs the attention immediately to the Lord Jesus Christ who came all the way from Glory to seek and save that which was lost."

This is believed to be the earliest and probably the largest message in stone in existence

Scripture Hill
Scripture Hill

Stan Herd Mural

North Side of a Downtown Business
100 Block of North Summit

Painted by Stan Herd in 1992, this mural stands as a great tribute to the Cherokee Strip Land Rush. The mural was painted in commemoration of the Cherokee people and the Cherokee Strip Run. A well-known artist and land muralist, Stan Herd hails from Lawrence, Kansas. Arkansas City is fortunate to be the home of another of Stan Herd's works - Prairie Man.
The Cherokee Strip Mural is 13' by 52' and located on the north side of a downtown business in the 100 block of North Summit. The mural "portrays two Cherokee representing the deep Cherokee heritage; cattle herd to represent the Cowboys leasing and renting the Cherokee Strip Land; a surveyor representing the mapping of the land for pioneer settlement; and families, horses, and wagons in a cloud of dust to represent the start of the Cherokee Strip Run."