From Wikipedia: In 1870 when the Leavenworth, Lawrence & Galveston Rail Road (later the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe, now the BNSF Railway) crossed the Missouri, Kansas and Texas line within the limits of Neosho county four rival towns sprang up, in the vicinity of the junction: 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 Octave 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 to end the bickering. On January 1, 1873 the towns merged and became chartered as the City of Chanute.
With the Southern Kansas Railroad locating a division headquarters in Chanute, the city began to flourish. In 1887, Chanute boasted a rapid growth in flourmills, grain elevators, banks, drug and hardware stores, and natural gas. In 1903, the City of Chanute established the electric utility, and in the years to follow, established the gas, water, wastewater,refuse utilities. Ash Grove Cement Company, the sixth largest cement manufacturer in North America, and the largest US-owned cement company, commenced cement manufacture in 1908 in Chanute. In September 2011 Spirit AeroSystems announced the expansion of an assembly facility which will grow to 150 employees in five years and boost the local economy. Chanute is one of only a handful of remaining full-service cities in the State of Kansas.