At the turn of the 20th century, Emerson Carey was one of the state's most powerful men.
As founder of one of the nation's largest salt companies, he financed area civic projects and helped shape state politics.
Carey established and donated a 141-acre park in South Hutchinson. He also was a state senator and championed the Kansas State Fair's permanent home in Hutchinson.
During World War I, he served as the state fuel administrator and determined the rationing process and hours Kansas businesses could be open.
Carey came to Kansas from Indiana in 1878. He was 15.
He started his career working for a Hutchinson coal, building supply and hide merchant. In 1886, he opened his own business supplying ice in Hutchinson. In 1900, he founded the Carey Salt Co.
Underground salt mining had begun in the Hutchinson area in the late 1880s, and he had more than two dozen competitors. But he soon dominated the field, and the Carey name became synonymous with salt.
His company had two large salt plants in Hutchinson, one on Main Street and the other at the eastern edge of the city. They not only mined salt, but housed ice and provided cold storage.
Largely because of Carey's efforts and the presence of other leading companies such as Morton Salt and Barton Salt, Hutchinson was nicknamed the Salt City.
The salt deposit under Hutchinson is one of the largest in the world, the remains of an old salt sea. The deposit in some places is more than 400 feet thick.
Question: Carey's business interests went beyond salt. He was always an advocate for Hutchinson. So what did he help promote in Hutchinson?
Answer to Friday’s question: As governor, Capper authorized the city manager form of government in Kansas. The first city to convert was Wichita on June 15, 1917. El Dorado became the second two weeks later.
Check back on Kansas.com Sunday for the answer to today’s question.