Elkhart is one of the newest cities in Kansas. The deed from the Santa Fe Land Improvement Company for the town site was filed April 28, 1913 and the next day the first lots were sold. Tents were put up and Elkhart was established. At first, the founders were going to name the town Kanokla but it was given the name Elkhart by the engineer who surveyed the railroad and the town itself. E. H. Fisher was a graduate of Purdue University and a native of near Elkhart, Indiana. Fisher was an engineer. He had surveyed the railroad to Elkhart and also surveyed the town.
Elkhart is located at 37°0'11N, 101°53'53W (37.003108, -101.898085). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.8 km² (1.9 mi²), all land.
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,233 people, 854 households, and 610 families residing in the city. The population density was 466.0/km² (1,205.0/mi²). There were 977 housing units at an average density of 203.9/km² (527.2/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 89.34% White, 0.09% African American, 1.16% Native American, 1.25% Asian, 6.63% from other races, and 1.52% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 13.39% of the population.
There were 854 households out of which 36.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.9% were married couples living together, 7.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.5% were non-families. 26.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.55 and the average family size was 3.08.
In the city the population was spread out with 28.0% under the age of 18, 9.0% from 18 to 24, 27.4% from 25 to 44, 20.8% from 45 to 64, and 14.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 91.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.2 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $37,333, and the median income for a family was $43,548. Males had a median income of $33,333 versus $19,792 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,900. About 7.3% of families and 9.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.8% of those under age 18 and 4.7% of those age 65 or over.
Elkhart is the birthplace of two Olympic athletes:
Distance runner Glenn Cunningham, nick-named the "Elkhart Express", former world record-holder in the mile run and silver medalist in the 1500 meter run at the 1936 Summer Olympics.
Sprinter Walter Thane Baker, winner of Olympic medals at the 1952 Summer Olympics and 1956 Summer Olympics.
Elkhart is also the birthplace of standout women's basketball player Jamie Talbert who played for the 2002 Final Four women's basketball team at the University of Oklahoma.