Andover’s first church was what is known today as the United Methodist Church. The church started as a Sunday school in 1873. The original Post Office was established at Minneha in November of 1877. Isaac Grant was the postmaster. A branch was moved to ‘Cloud City’ in March of 1880.
In January of 1880, Mr. & Mrs. Waggoner deeded 40 acres to Charles Glancey. Mr. Glancey platted the original townsite in February of 1880. The legally established townsite was known as Cloud City, named after Mr. Cloud, A well-respected citizen and railroad engineer. He helped built the St. Louis-San Francisco Railroad through town.The name of the town was changed from Cloud City to Andover on June 7, 1880, when Mr. Cloud had a ‘falling out’ with residents of the area.
A trading post which sold all types of merchandise was the first known business in Andover. The first hotel was operated in 1881 by J.C. Lines. The front part of the hotel was a general store operated by G.W. Harris. In 1882, the Richland school house was moved to the present Meadowlark Elementary School location at a cost of 2,000 dollars, and became the city’s first school. Professor Haskin was the first principal and enrollment was 86 students.
Early businesses during the 1882-83 period was a hotel, a grocery & lumber company, a shoemaker, a business that handled livestock, coal and grain, a general store, a meat market, two other grocery stores, and the railway agent. In 1883, the population of Andover, Kansas was about 150 people. The first passenger train went through Andover in 1885 and the last passenger train in October 1960.
The best known historical event was a train robbery at 10:00 P.M., on July 17, 1898. After being forced to flag the train, Depot Agent, S.B. McClaren escaped and ran to the nearby Methodist Church (where an ice cream social was being held), to spread the alarm. Will Belford, 28 years old, was shot while trying to stop the bandits, and died five weeks later. The robbers escaped, but were captured on August 12, 1898 in Maize, Kansas. Both were tried in Butler County Court. Sam Smith was charged with first degree murder and hanged. Thomas Wind, was charged with second degree murder and sent back to prison.
The class of 1914 was the first class to graduate from Andover High School. The class of four students to receive diplomas were Josie Boyer, Virgil Grier, Ola Peacock, and Perry Hiskin. The school itself started in the fall of 1909 as a consolidated school which had been formed by combining four school districts, and qualified as an accredited high school.
Andover did not incorporate into a third class city until February 4, 1957. The population of the city proper was 166. Up until this time, Andover was a small unincorporated town surrounded by farmland. Homes began to spring up south of the original townsite.
At the first city election on April 2, 1957, Hugo Epp won by one vote over Charles Clay for the position of mayor. The form of government is mayor-council, with the mayor elected every four years, and five council members at large every two years. Robert Dodge was elected Police Judge. Councilmen elected were Roy Allison, Orland Wolf, Ual Baker, Roger Moore and Clair Mohler.
A major annexation in 1968, not only increased the area of the city, but the population grew from 500 to 2,000. The first Greater Andover Days Celebration was held in 1967. Andover has two golf courses within a mile of each other and one in the southernmost part of the city that, in 2005-2006, was rated the 43rd best golf course in the country by Golf Digest Magazine.
On April 26, 1991, the F5 Andover Tornado left a trail of destruction through parts of Kansas, including south Wichita and Andover. Widening to nearly one-half mile, with winds over 250 M.P.H., the deadliest blow was to Andover. The twister ripped through the town, killing 13 of the city’s residents. A third of the city’s 4,300 residents were left homeless. Over 300 of the cities homes, 10 businesses and two churches were destroyed. The Golden Spur Mobile Home Park and the St. Vincent De Paul Catholic Church were leveled.
The Andover Historical Society, Inc. was legally organized in August of 1992.
Andover has two high schools: Andover High and Andover Central High. Andover High has the Trojans as their mascot, sporting blue and white for their colors. Andover Central is the newer of the high schools, established in 2001. Their mascot is the Jaguars and the school colors are black and gold. Both schools have outstanding athletic, music, drama, and art programs.
In 2000, Andover passed a bond issue allowing the school system to double in size. Andover grew to two high schools, two middle schools, and 4 elementary schools.
In 2005, Andover passed a sales tax increase to contribute to the building of a new Andover Public Library. The current library is filled to capacity and has 5 full-time employees. The new Library will be built at Central Park, breaking ground should be late summer 2006. Residents also approved in an election, to build three new elementary schools. The first of which is scheduled to be open in the fall of 2007, with the others following in Fall of 2008.
Andover is known for one of the best educational systems in Kansas.
Butler County Community College
Public Schools (USD 385)
Andover Central High School
Andover High School
Andover Central Middle School
Andover Middle School
Cottonwood Elementary School
Meadowlark Elementary School
Robert Martin Elementary School
Sunflower Elementary School
Andover is located at 37°41'28N, 97°8'13W (37.691165, -97.137043).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 17.8 km² (6.9 mi²). 17.7 km² (6.8 mi²) of it is land and 0.1 km² (0.04 mi²) of it (0.29%) is water. It is located in Butler County, Kansas (the largest county in Kansas). Butler County is larger than the state of Rhode Island.
Andover has two public parks, Andover Park and Andover Central Park. Both are spacious areas where people can fish and camp.
As of the census of 2000, there were 6,698 people, 2,274 households, and 1,766 families residing in the city. The population density was 377.5/km² (978.0/mi²). There were 2,456 housing units at an average density of 138.4/km² (358.6/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 95.13% White, 0.52% African American, 0.55% Native American, 1.05% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 1.03% from other races, and 1.70% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.39% of the population.
There were 2,274 households out of which 48.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 64.6% were married couples living together, 9.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 22.3% were non-families. 19.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.86 and the average family size was 3.30.
In the city the population was spread out with 33.4% under the age of 18, 6.3% from 18 to 24, 30.0% from 25 to 44, 19.9% from 45 to 64, and 10.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 92.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.3 males.