Lansing is named for James William Lansing, a business man born in New York. Formerly William Lansing Taylor, James changed his name upon his enlistment in 1862 as a hospital steward in the 7th Regiment of the Kansas Volunteer Cavalry. Following the Civil War, he earned a position at the new state penitentiary in Kansas as a hospital steward. He later resigned and opened a general mercantile store, which held the post office and an apothecary business, in the area called “Town of Progress”. “Doc Lansing”, as he became known, and his friend John C. Schmidt became co-owners of ninety acres of land that was platted into town lots in 1878; they named the area “Town of Lansing”. Lansing did not become an incorporated city until 1959.
The Kansas State Penitentiary, later renamed the Lansing Correctional Facility, was authorized by the Kansas Constitution in 1859; it is the state's largest and oldest facility for detention and rehabilitation of male adult felons. With the opening of the coal mine at the prison the town became an important shipping point for this product.
The Early History of Lansing
by Frank W. Blackmar (1912)
Lansing, one of the larger towns of Leavenworth county, is situated in the southeastern portion on the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe, the Missouri Pacific and the Union Pacific railroads, 5 miles south of Leavenworth. The state penitentiary was located here in 1863 and the town has grown up around it, several of the houses in Lansing being the homes of officers of the penitentiary. With the opening of the coal mine at the prison the town became an important shipping point for this product. It is a town with churches, a good public school system, stores which handle all lines of merchandise, a number of beautiful homes, banking, express and telegraph facilities, a money order postoffice and in 1910 had a population of 712.
Lansing is located at 39°14'55N, 94°53'31W (39.248689, -94.891880). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 22.4 km² (8.6 mi²), of which 22.1 km² (8.5 mi²) is land and 0.3 km² (0.1 mi²), or 1.50%, is water.
Lansing's population was estimated to be 10,214 in the year 2005, an increase of 920, or +9.9%, over the previous five years.
As of the U.S. Census in 2000, there were 9,199 people, 2,435 households, and 1,913 families residing in the city. The population density was 416.9/km² (1,080.1/mi²). There were 2,548 housing units at an average density of 115.5/km² (299.2/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 80.95% White, 12.46% Black or African American, 1.22% Native American or Alaska Native, 1.33% Asian, 0.15% Pacific Islander, 1.34% from other races, and 2.55% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.85% of the population.
There were 2,435 households out of which 42.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 65.0% were married couples living together, 9.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 21.4% were non-families. 18.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.79 and the average family size was 3.17.
In the city the population was spread out with 22.0% under the age of 18, 8.8% from 18 to 24, 38.5% from 25 to 44, 23.1% from 45 to 64, and 7.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 164.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 184.9 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $60,994, and the median income for a family was $65,639. Males had a median income of $36,326 versus $28,315 for females. The per capita income for the city was $21,655. About 1.9% of families and 2.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 1.5% of those under age 18 and 3.5% of those age 65 or over.
The Lansing school district (USD 469), with four schools, serves more than 2,000 students.