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Holcomb, Kansas

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Title: Holcomb, Kansas  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Charles Plymell, Finney County, Kansas, In Cold Blood (film), Kansas, Holcomb
Collection: Cities in Finney County, Kansas, Cities in Kansas, Populated Places on the Arkansas River
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Holcomb, Kansas

Holcomb, Kansas
Location within Finney County and Kansas
Location within Finney County and Kansas
KDOT map of Finney County (legend)
KDOT map of Finney County (legend)
Country United States
State Kansas
County Finney
 • Total 1.35 sq mi (3.50 km2)
 • Land 1.35 sq mi (3.50 km2)
 • Water 0 sq mi (0 km2)
Elevation 2,884 ft (879 m)
Population (2010)[2]
 • Total 2,094
 • Estimate (2012[3]) 2,118
 • Density 1,600/sq mi (600/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code 67851
Area code(s) 620
FIPS code 20-32575 [4]
GNIS feature ID 0471611 [5]

Holcomb is a city in Finney County, Kansas, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 2,094.[6]


  • History 1
    • 1959 murder 1.1
  • Geography 2
    • Climate 2.1
  • Demographics 3
    • 2010 census 3.1
    • 2000 census 3.2
  • Education 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • Further reading 7
  • External links 8


Holcomb was the name of a farmer.[7] The city was a station and shipping point on the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway.[8] The first post office in Holcomb was established in December, 1909.[9]

1959 murder

The town of Holcomb was thrust into national and, eventually, international notoriety on November 15, 1959, when four members of the prominent Clutter family—Herbert, 48; his wife Bonnie, 45; their youngest daughter, Nancy, 16; and son Kenyon, 15—were found bound and shot to death in various rooms of their home, on the family's River Valley Farm on the outskirts of Holcomb.

Two ex-convicts, Richard ("Dick") Eugene Hickock and Perry Smith, were soon arrested, tried, and convicted of the killings. It started when both Hickock and Smith were released from prison and, acting on jailhouse information by a fellow cellmate of Hickock's named Floyd Wells (who had worked for Mr. Clutter in 1948), made plans to rob the Clutter household under the mistaken belief that Mr. Clutter, according to Wells, kept thousands of dollars in cash in a safe at the residence. There was no Clutter safe, nor any substantial amount of cash in the home. Upon this discovery, and after killing the captive family to eliminate any witnesses, the pair fled with around $42, a portable radio, and one pair of binoculars. They were arrested on December 30, 1959, in Las Vegas. Following their convictions and several appeals, Hickock and Smith were hanged for first-degree murder on April 14, 1965.

The murders, arrests and convictions of Hickock and Smith were the basis for author Truman Capote's acclaimed book, In Cold Blood, which was serialized in The New Yorker magazine in 1965 and first published in book form in 1966. Capote actually began work on the book several days after he read a news article in a New York paper in 1959 about the murders.

The best-selling book, in turn, spawned several filmed versions of the story: director Richard Brooks' theatrical feature film In Cold Blood in 1967 starring Robert Blake, Scott Wilson and John Forsythe, and a two-part 1996 TV miniseries adaptation starring Eric Roberts, Anthony Edwards and Sam Neill that aired on network TV in 1996. Portions of the 1967 theatrical film were shot on location in and around Holcomb and nearby Garden City, including the actual house where the crimes occurred.

The 2005 movie Capote, directed by Bennett Miller, is also about the author Capote, and provides great insight into Mr. Capote, his writing of the novel, and the crimes in Holcomb. The 2006 film Infamous, starring Toby Jones as Capote, covers much of the same material.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.35 square miles (3.50 km2), all land.[1][10]


According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Holcomb has a semi-arid climate, abbreviated "BSk" on climate maps.[11]


2010 census

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 2,094 people, 654 households, and 521 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,551.1 inhabitants per square mile (598.9/km2). There were 680 housing units at an average density of 503.7 per square mile (194.5/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 86.6% White, 0.3% African American, 0.4% Native American, 0.2% Asian, 9.2% from other races, and 3.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 32.5% of the population.

There were 654 households of which 56.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 61.8% were married couples living together, 12.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.8% had a male householder with no wife present, and 20.3% were non-families. 16.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.20 and the average family size was 3.62.

The median age in the city was 28.9 years. 37.8% of residents were under the age of 18; 8.2% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 28.9% were from 25 to 44; 21% were from 45 to 64; and 4.1% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 50.0% male and 50.0% female.

2000 census

As of the census[4] of 2000, there were 2,026 people, 592 households, and 515 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,730.1 people per square mile (668.6/km²). There were 608 housing units at an average density of 519.2 per square mile (200.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 80.80% White, 1.09% African American, 0.89% Native American, 0.30% Asian, 13.28% from other races, and 3.65% from mixed race.

There were 592 households out of which 65.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 64.9% were married couples living together, 17.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 13.0% were non-families. 10.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 2.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.42 and the average family size was 3.62.

In the city the population was spread out with 41.7% under the age of 18, 8.5% from 18 to 24, 32.7% from 25 to 44, 14.8% from 45 to 64, and 2.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 25 years. For every 100 females there were 97.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.5 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $47,115, and the median income for a family was $48,587. Males had a median income of $31,250 versus $22,652 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,264. About 7.6% of families and 10.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.4% of those under age 18 and 26.5% of those age 65 or over.


The city is served by Holcomb Unified School District Number 363. Residents are zoned to either Holcomb Elementary School (grades 4-5) or Wiley Elementary School (Preschool-3). All residents are zoned to Holcomb Middle School and Holcomb High School.

See also


  1. ^ a b "US Gazetteer files 2010".  
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder".  
  3. ^ "Population Estimates".  
  4. ^ a b "American FactFinder".  
  5. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names".  
  6. ^ "2010 City Population and Housing Occupancy Status". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved September 5, 2011. 
  7. ^ "Profile for Holcomb, Kansas".  
  8. ^ Blackmar, Frank Wilson (1912). Kansas: A Cyclopedia of State History, Embracing Events, Institutions, Industries, Counties, Cities, Towns, Prominent Persons, Etc. Standard Publishing Company. p. 862. 
  9. ^ "Kansas Post Offices, 1828-1961 (archived)". Kansas Historical Society. Retrieved 10 June 2014. 
  10. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990".  
  11. ^ Climate Summary for Holcomb, Kansas
  12. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 

Further reading

  • The Story of the Marking of the Santa Fe Trail by the Daughters of the American Revolution in Kansas and the State of Kansas; Almira Cordry; Crane Co; 164 pages; 1915.

External links

  • City of Holcomb
  • Holcomb - Directory of Public Officials
  • USD 363, local school district
  • Holcomb City Map, KDOT
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