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city, seat (1859) of Saline county, central Kansas, U.S. It lies on the Smoky Hill River. Founded in 1858 by an antislavery group headed by William A. Phillips, it was named for the Saline River, which enters the Smoky Hill just to the east. The town's growth was slow until the arrival of the Union (later Kansas) Pacific Railroad in 1867. The city was rebuilt after having been largely destroyed by floods in 1903.
a playa, or dried-out desert lake, especially one containing high concentrations of precipitated dry, glistening salts. The term is generally limited to flats in the western United States, the most famous being the Bonneville Salt Flats (q.v.) west of Salt Lake City, where automobile speed records are set