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The city of Hutchinson was founded in 1871. It was named after Edward Hutchinson, a Kansas Supreme Court justice. The first post office in the area had been established three years earlier under the name "Salt City", but it closed down before Hutchinson's incorporation due to financial difficulties and general lack of business interest at that time. In 1886, William Trousdale bought out his partners and became sole owner of both salt mines as well as several businesses including two hotels, two banks (the Bank Saloon Building is now home to the Kansas Cosmosphere), a newspaper called "The Salt City News" which later became known as "Hutchinson News", plus other saloons and brothels such as The Gem Theater (now demolished). He also built an opera house which hosted performers such as Harry Houdini during its heyday from 1895-1905; it burned down on June 11th 1905 due to faulty electrical wiring while being used for storage by local merchants who were preparing for their annual Fourth Of July celebration.