Hays in Ellis County, Kansas — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
The Sporting Palace
Hays City, Kansas
Erected by City of Hays Kansas Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & Commerce • Notable Places. A significant historical year for this entry is 1881.
Location. 38° 52.351′ N, 99° 19.96′ W. Marker is in Hays, Kansas, in Ellis County. Marker is on West 10th Street west of Fort Street, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 209 West 10th Street, Hays KS 67601, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Jim Curry’s Restaurant (within shouting distance of this marker); White's Barber Shop (within shouting distance of this marker); Cy Goddard’s Dance Hall (within shouting distance of this marker); The Perry House (within shouting distance of this marker); Walsh’s Gambling Hall (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Kansas Pacific Depot (about 300 feet away); Town & County Jail (about 300 feet away); Union Pacific House (about 300 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Hays.
More about this marker. Now the Sip N Spin Bar and Grill.
Regarding The Sporting Palace. While many of the worst characters left and followed the railroad to Sheridan, Kansas, the majority of the brothels and saloons remained, and in these took place many a bloody encounter. In the spring of 1872, a dispute occurred one evening in front of Kelly's Saloon on North Main Street. At that time, Peter Lanahan was the County Sheriff, and upon hearing of what was going on, went down to quell the disturbance. Pistols were being freely used and when the sheriff tried to interfere, a man named Charles Harris, who at that time, was working as a bartender for a man named Thomas Dunn, fired at him, hitting the lawman in the abdomen. With the sheriff shot and wounded, a woman named Em Bowen, the proprietress of a noted brothel, ran out with two revolvers which she gave to Sheriff Lanahan. The lawman then immediately commenced firing, killing Harris instantly. Though mortally wounded Lanahan then went into the Kelly’s Saloon where the guns were blazing.
Another man named Kelly, who kept a saloon in another part of the town, was a participant and when the sheriff commenced firing, this younger Kelly crept under a table, and while there Lanahan reached over and fired four shots at him. However, the lawman was becoming weak and unsteady from his wound, his aim was uncertain and Kelly escaped unhurt. Lanahan, becoming exhausted, then sank to the floor and was carried into Em Bowen’s brothel, where several people rendered him the best assistance they could. While there, the younger Kelly, who had escaped from Kelly's Saloon, returned with a rifle, and placing himself in front of the brothel where Lanahan lay dying, commenced firing into the house, wounding a man named May in the knee. The sheriff was then carried to the courthouse where he died the following day.
From the Legends of Kansas
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Credits. This page was last revised on August 6, 2016. It was originally submitted on August 1, 2016, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 293 times since then and 26 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on August 1, 2016, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.