Wilson, Kansas

 Czech Capital of Kansas

Wilson Chamber of Commerce
2407 Avenue E
Wilson, Kansas 67490
(785) 658-2211


Wilson Czech Opera House at left
Midland Hotel was in the movie Paper Moon
The Midland Hotel is on National Register of Historic Places

Wilson, Kansas began with a Butterfield Overland Express station in 1865 and the Union Pacific Railroad Station in 1868, but wasn't officially named Wilson until 1874. The community markets itself at the "Czech Capital of Kansas" and has an annual Czech Fest the final weekend in July, but I am more impressed with the more than 2 dozen limestone buildings dating from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

One of the best known buildings in town is the Wilson Czech Opera House which was once the social hall for the community. Until September of 2009 the Opera House was still used for community events it has a small museum, dining area, ballroom, and stage, but a fire severely damaged the building at that time and it is close.

The Midland Hotel was originally named the Power Hotel and built in 1889. Although it was severely damaged in a 1902 fire, the interior was completely replaced and in the early 1900s it was one of the finest hotels in Kansas. After being vacant for 10 year, the hotel was modernized and reopened in 2003 with 28 rooms and a full service restaurant. The Midland Hotel was one of the sets in the 1972 movie Paper Moon starring Ryan and Tatum O'Neal. Sadly, the Midland Hotel has now permanently closed its doors.

The upper story of the Wilson City Jail was a water tank, with the lower level used by the town constable to hold prisoners until they could be transported to the county jail.

WIlson City stone jail
Old City Jail and water tower (~1911)


Wilson State Bank Building (1886) appears in the movie Paper Moon


Parish House Methodist Church (1888)

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