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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Ellis in Ellis County, Kansas — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

The Grand Army Hall

 
 
The Grand Army Hall Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., February 19, 2012
1. The Grand Army Hall Marker
Inscription.

Following the end of the American Civil War veterans from both the Union and Confederate forces formed the veterans organization the G.A.R. or the Grand Army of the Republic. On 28 March 1883, the George Ellis Post 171 was established in Ellis, and the first formal meetings were held in the basement of the old stone schoolhouse located south of Washington Street.

Later, the G.A.R.s meetings were moved to the building along Jefferson Street that at that time was the largest meeting hall in town. In addition to it being a meeting place for the veterans, the wood frame building with its elevated stage also served as a location for church services, social events, July 4th gatherings, sporting events, graduationís [sic], and even election headquarters. The G.A.R. band and color guard led many local parades. The first motion pictures ever shown in Ellis were shown by “Doodle” McDonald in the hall.

Eventually, local tinsmith, Andrew Kastner purchased the building and the proceeds were used to place a veteransí memorial at Mount Hope Cemetery. In the mid-1920ís the hall was demolished by Kastner and Herman Erbert who replaced it with the building that stands today. It has been used as a tin shop by Kastner, an auto dealership operated first by Erbert, then Loflin, and finally Fondoble Motors. It it [sic]
The Grand Army Hall Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., February 19, 2012
2. The Grand Army Hall Marker
now used by the VFW Hall, Ellis city offices and the fire department.

The last remaining member of the Ellis G.A.R. Post, G.G. Jackson, died 26 April 1934, 51 years after the postís establishment.

Dedicated to the memory of Americaís Veterans – Past, present and future.
 
Location. 38° 56.355′ N, 99° 33.691′ W. Marker is in Ellis, Kansas, in Ellis County. Marker is on Jefferson Street, on the right when traveling north. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 813 Jefferson Street, Ellis KS 67637, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 7 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Hickey Building (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Settlers from Bukovina, Austria (about 400 feet away); The Ellis House (about 400 feet away); Ellis' Original Main Street (about 400 feet away); War Memorial (about 500 feet away); Praying John Horrigan (about 600 feet away); History of The Walter P. Chrysler Boyhood Home (approx. 0.2 miles away).
 
Regarding The Grand Army Hall. The marker incorrectly states that the G.A.R. was open to Union and Confederate veterans. In reality, membership was limited to honorably discharged veterans of the Union Army, Navy, Marine Corps or the Revenue Cutter Service who had served between
The Grand Army Hall Photo on Marker image. Click for full size.
By Unknown, circa pre/1930
3. The Grand Army Hall Photo on Marker
April 12, 1861 and April 9, 1865.
 
Also see . . .  Brief History of the Grand Army of the Republic. (Submitted on September 5, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
 
Categories. Fraternal or Sororal OrganizationsMan-Made FeaturesPatriots & PatriotismWar, US Civil
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 345 times since then and 2 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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