Street name added to honor Wichita’s 1st Jewish mayor

The City of Wichita revealed the over-naming of East Rockhill Lane, southeast of 21st and...
The City of Wichita revealed the over-naming of East Rockhill Lane, southeast of 21st and Woodlawn, to Sol Kohn Lane in honor of the city’s first Jewish mayor.(KWCH)
Published: Jun. 8, 2022 at 7:02 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - A northeast Wichita street now includes a name that honors a man who served as Wichita’s mayor more than 140 years ago and celebrates the city’s diversity.

Wednesday, June 8, the City of Wichita revealed the over-naming of East Rockhill Lane, southeast of 21st and Woodlawn, to Sol Kohn Lane in honor of the city’s first Jewish mayor.

The Mid-Kansas Jewish Federation said Sal Kohn signed the city charter in 1868 and helped recruit the railroad and cattle industries to the area. In 1879, Kohn briefly served as mayor of Wichita.

Wichita Mayor Brandon Whipple said the sign over-naming followed the opening of the nearby Joan S. Beren Wichita Jewish Community Center last year.

“During that time, we thought about, ‘what can we be doing more to celebrate Wichita’s diversity and the contributions that our Jewish neighbors have made to the city of Wichita,” Whipple said.

He said Kohn was a trailblazer and the street renaming is “just a very small way” to honor him and the Jewish community for their historical contributions to Kansas and Wichita.

“Wichita’s strength is our diversity, and we have folks who are from different beliefs, different walks of life, different backgrounds, who have contributed so much to the city of Wichita,” Whipple said. “And this is an opportunity to not only celebrate that, but to talk about that so that folks can see themselves as part of our Wichita history.”

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