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

The Sporting Palace

Hays City, Kansas

The Sporting Palace Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Mark Hilton, August 1, 2016
1. The Sporting Palace Marker
Inscription.  More than a dozen brothels lined this and Fort Streets during Hays City’s untamed years, 1867-1874. On this site stood a house owned at various times by the notorious Jim Curry, by his girl friend, Miss Ida May, and A.J. Peacock, who later fought Bat Masterson at Dodge City and by Miss Emma Bowen. In 1871, when Sheriff Peter Lanahan was shot by Bill Harris in a saloon brawl, Emma Bowen tossed him a gun with which he killed his assailant. The dying Lanahan was carried into Emma's house. Later Nettie Baldwin, Bill McClellan's girl, resided at this site.
Erected by City of Hays Kansas Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceNotable 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);
The Sporting Palace Marker in front of the now Sip n Spin Bar. image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Mark Hilton, August 1, 2016
2. The Sporting Palace Marker in front of the now Sip n Spin Bar.
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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
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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
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker.
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 436 times since then and 28 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on August 1, 2016, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.

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Mar. 30, 2023