Ellsworth in Ellsworth County, Kansas — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
Ellsworth, the Cowtown and Fort
When the Union Pacific built through here in 1867 this was buffalo country. As the engines chugged on west, the Hays newspaper reported: "Passengers on the cars between here and Ellsworth have almost daily fine sport shooting at buffalo, immense herds of the huge beasts constantly entering for races with the locomotives." Ellsworth, founded in 1867, was a main terminus of the Texas cattle trade in Kansas, 1871-1875. As such it was one of the wildest of the cowtowns. There were shootings and even a fabled tour down Main street by one of the dancehall girls in the costume of Lady Godiva. South of Ellsworth was the Mother Bickerdyke Home for old soldiers and their families, named for Mary Bickerdyke, famed Civil War nurse and social worker.
Fort Ellsworth was established four miles southeast of this marker in 1864. Two years later it was renamed Fort Harker and in 1867 was moved northeast to present Kanopolis where four of its stone buildings may still be seen. Here General Sheridan planned the winter Indian campaign of 1868-1869. Other famous generals, including Grant, Sherman, Hancock, Miles and Custer, visited or were quartered at
Erected by Kansas State Historical Society and State Highway Commission. (Marker Number 89.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Animals • Forts and Castles • Railroads & Streetcars • Settlements & Settlers. In addition, it is included in the Kansas Historical Society series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1867.
Location. 38° 43.706′ N, 98° 13.934′ W. Marker is in Ellsworth, Kansas, in Ellsworth County. Marker is at the intersection of Douglas Avenue (State Highway 14) and Main Street, on the right when traveling south on Douglas Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Ellsworth KS 67439, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Historical Plaza Walking Tour (a few steps from this marker); Jake New's Saloon (within shouting distance of this marker); Hodgden House (within shouting distance of this marker); Powers Bank (within shouting distance of this marker); The Old Reliable House (within shouting distance of this marker); North Main Street (within shouting distance of this marker); Mueller's Boot Shop (within shouting distance of this marker); Nick Lentz Saloon (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Ellsworth.
Also see . . .
1. Ellsworth, Kansas Another Wicked Cowtown. Legends of America website entry (Submitted on March 4, 2022, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York.)
2. Extinct Towns in Ellsworth County. "Legends of Kansas" website entry (Submitted on October 13, 2015, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
3. Ellsworth County History Bibliography. Kansas Historical Society website entry (Submitted on March 15, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
4. Ellsworth County in Cutler's History of the State of Kansas (1883). (Submitted on March 15, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
Credits. This page was last revised on March 4, 2022. It was originally submitted on March 15, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 737 times since then and 50 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on March 15, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. 4. submitted on February 11, 2018, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.