Ellsworth in Ellsworth County, Kansas — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
Joe Brennan Saloon
Historical Plaza Walking Tour Stop 12
Nicknamed "Gambler's Roost", Brennan's Saloon on the south side of this street was a favorite of the sporting crowd. One of the most notorious gunmen in the west, Ben Thompson, ran the Faro tables here. Dick Clark was considered the premier gambler of his time and found a ready-made crowd of challengers. Others included Jim Moon, who once nearly killed a soldier with his bare fists, One-Legged Jim Goodwyn, and John Sterling, who played a predominant role in the events that led to the shooting of Sheriff Whitney. From the street, John Sterling and lawman "Happy Jack" Morco challenged the Texans to "get your guns and fight." The "No Gun" Law was in effect in Ellsworth. Ben Thompson's guns were checked at Jake New's Saloon (17) so he went out the back door and down the alley to retrieve his own guns. The fight eventually moved back to the front of Brennan's. As Ben fired at Happy Jack, brother, Billy Thompson, stumbled and accidentally shot Sheriff Chauncey Whitney in the chest with a shotgun blast. Whitney fell to the street. He called for his wife and declared that the shooting was an accident. Sheriff Chauncey B. Whitney died three days later.
Erected by Ellsworth County Economic Development, Ellsworth-Kanapolis Area Chamber of Commerce, Ellwsorth County Historical Society, et al. (Marker Number 12.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & Commerce • Settlements & Settlers.
Location. 38° 43.676′ N, 98° 13.886′ W. Marker is in Ellsworth, Kansas, in Ellsworth County. Marker is on South Main Street near Lincoln Street, on the right when traveling west. 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. Beebe General Store (a few steps from this marker); Kansas Pacific Railroad Depots (a few steps from this marker); Nick Lentz Saloon (within shouting distance of this marker); The Old Reliable House (within shouting distance of this marker); Jake New's Saloon (within shouting distance of this marker); Grand Central Hotel (within shouting distance of this marker); North Main Street (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Ellsworth, the Cowtown and Fort (about 300 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Ellsworth.
Also see . . .
1. The Wickedest Cowtown of the West. Smoky Hill Chapter DAR entry (Submitted on December 3, 2020, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York.)
2. Ellsworth County in Cutler's History of the State of Kansas, 1883. (Submitted on April 6, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
Credits. This page was last revised on December 6, 2020. It was originally submitted on April 6, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 467 times since then and 19 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on April 6, 2012, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.