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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.