First Presbyterian Church of Liberal
About Liberal, KS
The First Presbyterian Church is located in the southwest corner of Kansas in a small town called Liberal, home to just over 20,000 people. Flourishing at the crossroads of major US highways 83 and 54, Liberal's roots are buried in hospitality.
In 1885, a man by the name of S.S. Rogers came to southwest Kansas. He dug a deep water well and as people would pass by, he offered them water for their families and their livestock. The travelers would attempt to pay for the water, but he'd just shake his head and say that the water was always free. "That's mighty liberal of you," they'd say as he refused payment. And so the town was named Liberal after Mr. SS Roger's kind and liberal actions.
Liberal has many other resources besides water (replenished by the massive Ogallala Aquifer), such as natural gas and oil. Natural gas was discovered west of Liberal in the area which would eventually become part of the Panhandle-Hugoton Gas Field in 1920 and just over thirty years later, oil was discovered southwest of Liberal. In 1963, the largest helium plant in the word, National Helium, was opened in the Liberal area.
Today Liberal is a small but flourishing town. The beef industry, which includes feed lots, ranches located just outside the city, and of course the massive packing plant National Beef, is the biggest source of employment in Liberal. Outside of the city in Seward County, agriculture and natural resources drive the economy.
The Liberal Public School System, USD 480, has several newly constructed schools around town that were built to adapt to the growing number of students. Liberal is also home to Seward County Community College/Area Technical School, a 2-year college which offers both associates degrees and technical degrees.