Chanute is a city in Neosho County, Kansas, United States. Founded on January 1, 1873, it was named after railroad engineer and aviation pioneer Octave Chanute. The city's population was 9,411 at the 2000 census. Chanute is the largest city in Neosho County.
According to KANSAS: A Cyclopedia of State History, Embracing Events, Institutions, Industries, Counties, Cities, Towns, Prominent Persons, Etc., "In 1870 when the Leavenworth, Lawrence & Galveston R. R. (now the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe) crossed the Missouri, Kansas and Texas line within the limits of Neosho county four rival towns sprang up, in the vicinity of the junction. They were New Chicago, Chicago Junction, Alliance and Tioga. Two years of the most bitter animosity ensued until the four were consolidated in 1872, and the name of Chanute given it in honor of Octavius Chanute, a railroad civil engineer"
Though Chanute was not founded until 1873, settlers had begun populating the area as early as 1856. With the LL&G Railroad set to arrive shortly thereafter, the early residents of the towns of Tioga, Chicago Junction, Alliance, and New Chicago needed an innovative solution to an escalating dispute over which town would claim the right to house the LL&G Railroad’s new land office. The towns were unable to settle their differences until an individual by the name of Octave Chanute came to town. Octave was the Chief Engineer and General Superintendent of the LL&G Railroad. In 1872, he suggested the towns merge together to end the bickering. On January 1, 1873 the towns merged and became chartered as the City of Chanute.