Founded by a settler named S.S. Rogers who would give water away for free to travelers passing through, they would reply with, “That is mighty Liberal of you” hence our namesake of Liberal. Liberal, is the County seat of Seward County in Kansas. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 20,525.
Natural gas was discovered west of town, in what would become part of the massive Panhandle-Hugoton Gas Field in 1920. In 1952 oil was discovered southwest of town and in 1963 the largest helium plant in the world was opened called National Helium.
Liberal is located at the crossroads of Highway 83 and Highway 54. Liberal’s elevation is 2,835. The city spans 11.75 square miles. Temperatures average from 34.1 °F in January to 79.3 °F in July. On average, Liberal receives 20.15 inches of precipitation annually.
Energy and agriculture are the main economic drivers of the area. Natural resources include oil, natural gas, water, gravel, and sand. The beef industry (ranches, feed lots and packing plants) is Liberal’s largest source of employment. Hard winter wheat corn milo alfalfa and cotton are common crops. Trucking is a major industry. Dairies and pork processors are a growing business. The average household income for families is $54,606 and the average unemployment rate is around 2.5%.
Liberal Public Schools (Unified School District 480) operates ten public schools in the city. Liberal High School is ranked 7th in Kansas with opportunities for students such as taking Advanced Placement® courses, SCCC classes, internships/workstudys, and enjoy a unique flex mod schedule to allow students to focus on thier specific needs. There is one private school located in Liberal.
Seward County Community College/Area Technical School offers Associate degrees and Technical degrees.
There are 1 newspaper, two AM and three FM radio stations that are licensed to broadcast from the city.
U.S. Route 83 and 54 cross through Liberal, air transportation at Liberal Mid- American Regional Airport and the Tucumcari Line of the Union Pacific Railroad runs parallel to U.S. 54.