Emporia is strategically located at the intersection of I-35, I-335 and U.S. Highway 50 in east central Kansas, which is 50 miles from Topeka, 85 miles from Wichita and 108 miles from downtown Kansas City, Missouri.
A regional manufacturing, educational, transportation, medical and agricultural center provides economic diversity to the largest city in Lyon County and east central Kansas. This important cross roads center has a trade area of approximately 85,000 persons.
Pulitzer Prize winner William Allen White, editor and owner of the Emporia Gazette put Emporia on the national and world map with his editorial “What’s the Matter with Kansas” on August 15, 1896. Today Emporia’s native son Clint Bowyer, champion of the 2008 Nationwide Insurance NASCAR series, continues to bring notoriety to his home town.
The Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad mainline passes through Emporia. It is a major corridor with intermodal freight from Los Angeles and Long Beach, California. General aviation has access to a 5,000 foot runway at the Emporia Municipal Airport which accommodates most corporate aircraft.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 10 square miles (25.8 km) of which 9.9 square miles (25.6 km) of it is land a 0.1 square mile (0.2 km) is water.
The city averages about 60 rainy days per year, 59 days with high temperatures of 90°F (32°C) or higher, and 124 days with low temperatures below freezing. The average temperature in January is 29°F (2°C), and in July it is 79°F (29°C). Annual snowfall averages 10.2 inches (25.9 cm).
The Neosho River flows along the northern side of the city. The Cottonwood River, one of its tributaries, flows along the city’s southern edge and two large city parks, Peter Pan and Soden’s Grove; the two rivers meet near the eastern boundary of Emporia and flow southeast to join the Arkansas River in Oklahoma.