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Ellis County Kansas Historical Markers

 
Ellis' Original Main Street Marker image, Touch for more information
By William Fischer, Jr., February 19, 2012
Ellis' Original Main Street Marker
Kansas (Ellis County), Ellis — Ellis' Original Main Street
Officially organized and founded as a city in 1870, the first street laid out and used was known as Edwards Street (now west 9th). The heart of Ellis' business district started and grew here offering such services as hotels, saloons, general . . . — Map (db m59173) HM
Kansas (Ellis County), Ellis — History of The Walter P. Chrysler Boyhood Home
The Walter P. Chrysler Home was built in 1889 by Walter's father Henry, his brother Ed, and Walter himself. Walter lived in the home from 1889 to 1897. During this period, the Kansas Pacific Railway employed Walter as an engine wiper and later as . . . — Map (db m59064) HM
Kansas (Ellis County), Ellis — Praying John HorriganThe kneeling figure of Ellis folklore who stumped the curious — and became a legend in his own time
Though little is known of John's life prior to his arrival in Ellis during the 1870's, it is known that he worked as an Army muleskinner and also spent some time working on the Mississippi. In Ellis, John supported himself working as a stonemason . . . — Map (db m59175) HM
Kansas (Ellis County), Ellis — Settlers from Bukovina, Austria
In memory of the settlers from Bukovina, Austria who stepped off the train at this location. Beginning in 1886 the German speaking immigrants brought a strong Christian faith and work ethic to build a future for their families in the New World. . . . — Map (db m59174) HM
Kansas (Ellis County), Ellis — The Ellis House"All Kansas Pacific Trains Take Meals at the Ellis House"
Built in 1872 of native limestone from a quarry 2 miles east of Ellis, The Ellis House was the scene of colorful functions and dances drawing people from a radius of up to 100 miles. Centrally located halfway between Kansas City and Denver, it . . . — Map (db m76615) HM
Kansas (Ellis County), Ellis — The Grand Army Hall
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, . . . — Map (db m59204) HM
Kansas (Ellis County), Ellis — The Hickey Building
Owned by Patrick Hickey, the first Hickey Building was a collection of wooden structures that served as the M.M. Fuller law office, the printshop for the Ellis Headlight newspaper, Ramsey's Barber Shop and the A.J. Cromb Candy & Notions store. . . . — Map (db m59176) HM
Kansas (Ellis County), Ellis — War Memorial
World War I Albert D. Baughman · Bernard Coleman · William Leach · Alex Pfannenstiel · Aaron A. Platner World War II Joseph A. Augustine · Ralph Bemis Jr. · John L. Herbert · Harold E. Hurt · Orville H. Kingsley · Richard A. . . . — Map (db m59169) WM
Kansas (Ellis County), Hays — “Dog” Kelley’s Faro House
James H. "Dog" Kelley, who ran a saloon and gambling hall on this site, was involved in the assault upon Sheriff Peter Lanahan on July 16, 1871, at Henry "Lon" Kelly's Saloon west of here. When Lanahan's bullets nearly hit him, "Dog" was so enraged . . . — Map (db m96512) HM
Kansas (Ellis County), Hays — Avenue of Flags

In Memory of Departed Comrades — Map (db m95635) WM

Kansas (Ellis County), Hays — Bake House
The foundation before you marks the stone bake house, where all the fort's bread was baked. The inner rectangular foundation at the east (right) end marks the oven, while the foundation of the pantry is in the west (left) end. The original wooden . . . — Map (db m59749) HM
Kansas (Ellis County), Hays — Band Barracks
A regimental band was located where there were regimental headquarters. The 18th U.S. Infantry band is pictured here. The band's quarters, located between the blockhouse and post trader's store, consisted of two buildings. One was the barracks and . . . — Map (db m59787) HM
Kansas (Ellis County), Hays — Blockhouse
This hexagonal building, made of native limestone quarried three miles west of here, was the first building constructed at Fort Hays. The blockhouse was intended as a barracks for soldiers. When it was finished wooden barracks had been built, so . . . — Map (db m59767) HM
Kansas (Ellis County), Hays — Chapel
The Fort Hays chapel, acquired in 1872, stood directly behind this sign. The officers' wives wanted a dance hall, but army regulations prohibited the use of military labor and resources to build one. But there was no such regulations regarding . . . — Map (db m59789) HM
Kansas (Ellis County), Hays — Col. Wm. F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody

Co-founder, with William Rose, in 1867, of the town of Rome, predecessor of Hays.

The townsite of Rome is one mile west of this point (West 12th St., extended), north of the R.R. track and along the west bank of Big Creek. A permanent . . . — Map (db m95621) HM

Kansas (Ellis County), Hays — Commanding Officer's House
This single-family residence, built in 1867, was at the center of officers' row. It contained a parlor, dining room, kitchen, and two bedrooms downstairs, and upstairs four bedrooms, a servant's room, and lumber room (storage room). The house . . . — Map (db m59720) HM
Kansas (Ellis County), Hays — Commissary Warehouse
The commissary warehouse, which stored the fort’s food supply, was located behind this sign. The commissary officer was responsible for food storage and preventing loss from theft and spoilage. Bars on the windows kept out enlisted men trying to . . . — Map (db m59714) HM
Kansas (Ellis County), Hays — Cy Goddard’s Dance HallHays City, Kansas
Cy Goddard’s Saloon and Dance Hall is one of several places reported to have been the spot where General Custer's brother Tom and some troopers of the Seventh Cavalry tangled with "Wild Bill" Hickok on July 17, 1870. After wounding two soldiers, one . . . — Map (db m96404) HM
Kansas (Ellis County), Hays — Ed Goddard’s Saloon
The Goddard brothers - Cyrus F., George W. & Edwin F. - who had run the city restaurant in Leavenworth before coming to Hays City, opened a provisioning store for freighters, plainsmen, railroaders and others on this site under the curious name of . . . — Map (db m96509) HM
Kansas (Ellis County), Hays — Enlisted Barracks
Four enlisted barracks were hastily assembled during the winter of 1867-1868. They faced the parade ground on three sides. Each barrack held a company of 60 to 100 men and consisted of two squad rooms, a room for the first sergeant, and a small . . . — Map (db m59715) HM
Kansas (Ellis County), Hays — First Presbyterian Church
Hays City's first years were marked with bloodshed, lawlessness, and feuds. Eight Presbyterians sought to form a church that would help create law, order, and decency in the community. Under the leadership of a dauntless woman, "Grandma" Annie . . . — Map (db m59795) HM
Kansas (Ellis County), Hays — 41 — Fort Hays
This noted U.S. Army post was established in 1865 as a headquarters for troops given the task of protecting military roads, guarding the mails and defending construction crews on the Union Pacific Railway. Fort Hays also served as a major supply . . . — Map (db m59207) HM
Kansas (Ellis County), Hays — Fort Hays
As settlement increased in the West during the 1850s and 1860s, the U.S. Army built and maintained a series of frontier forts, usually on major transportation routes. Trail traffic and railroad expansion came into conflict with native people who . . . — Map (db m59794) HM
Kansas (Ellis County), Hays — Fort Hays - Fort Dodge Road Trailhead1867 - 1872
Used to transport military supplies from Fort Hays to Fort Dodge 75 miles southwest Used by civilians until 1879 — Map (db m59716) HM
Kansas (Ellis County), Hays — Fort Hays Military Cemetery
Often times soldiers who died while fighting were buried where they fell. Most who died at or near the post were buried at the fort's military cemetery, approximately one mile northwest of here. Nearly 25 of the 175 buried here were civilians. . . . — Map (db m59724) HM
Kansas (Ellis County), Hays — Fort Hays State University War Memorial
"The people who know war, those who have experienced it...I believe are the most earnest advocates of peace in the world." President Dwight D. Eisenhower This memorial is dedicated to those of the Fort Hays State University family who have . . . — Map (db m59810) HM
Kansas (Ellis County), Hays — Gospel Hill
The Armes Dance Hall, originally named the Globe Theater, was built on this site in 1867 by Major George Armes with money raised by his younger brother in Leavenworth, ostensibly to erect an Episcopal church. Later the building was moved to Fort . . . — Map (db m96491) HM
Kansas (Ellis County), Hays — Guardhouse
The native limestone guardhouse replaced an earlier wooden structure in 1872. It included a room for the non-commissioned officer of the guard, the guardroom, and the military prison, which included three solitary cells. Most prisoners were . . . — Map (db m59747) HM
Kansas (Ellis County), Hays — Hangman's BridgeHays City, Kansas
Beneath the wooden trestle which originally stood on the site of the railroad bridge north of here, lynch mobs hanged at least four persons in the wild days. In the wee hours of January 7, 1869, Luke Barnes, Lee Watkins and James Sponder, . . . — Map (db m96385) HM
Kansas (Ellis County), Hays — Icehouse
The icehouse was built 300 yards behind this sign during the winter of 1870-1871. It was built into a hillside, which offered much insulation. The icehouse could store 1,000 tons of ice harvested and hauled from Big Creek. Soldiers occasionally . . . — Map (db m59788) HM
Kansas (Ellis County), Hays — James Butler "Wild Bill" Hickok(1837 - 1876) — The Law in Hays Kansas in 1869

When Ellis County's elected officials failed in mid-1869 to maintain law and order, the "Better Class of Citizens" hired well-known gunfighter James Butler Hickok to act as "Sheriff". Sam Strawhun and Bill Mulvey resisted Hickok and were soon . . . — Map (db m95604) HM

Kansas (Ellis County), Hays — Jim Curry’s Restaurant
On December 28, 1867, Charles DeCropper shot and killed Cornelius Doyle in the corner doorway of Henry P. Fields Star Restaurant, which stood on this site. Fields later sold the lot to Miss Ida May, who turned it over to Jim Curry. Alleged slayer of . . . — Map (db m96517) HM
Kansas (Ellis County), Hays — Judge Joyce’s Court
Marcellus E. Joyce, Union spy during the Civil War and well-known journalist of this day, presided from 1867 to 1868 as justice of the peace for most of the western Kansas. “Chief Justice” Joyce legends unanimously suggest that he . . . — Map (db m96510) HM
Kansas (Ellis County), Hays — Kansas Pacific Depot
The first depot on this site was completed in November 1867. Here on September 18, 1869, Deputy U.S. Marshal John Bridges arrested Bob Connors, an accused murderer, who was fleeing on an east-bound train. Bridges jailed him at Fort Hays because of . . . — Map (db m96497) HM
Kansas (Ellis County), Hays — Kate Coffey’s Saloon
Kate Burns and Mike Coffey ran a saloon on this site, probably as early as 1869. On the very day J.B. “Wild Bill” Hickok became Sheriff of Ellis County, August 23, 1869, Father Sebastian Favre united Kate and Mike in matrimony at Hays . . . — Map (db m96505) HM
Kansas (Ellis County), Hays — Laundress' Quarters
The four wooden frame buildings that comprised "Sudsville" or "Laundress Row," were located approximately 100 yards behind and to the left of this sign. Each building housed four laundresses and their families in two 12' by 12' rooms. Laundresses . . . — Map (db m59752) HM
Kansas (Ellis County), Hays — Merci Train Boxcar

This 40&8 boxcar is one of forty-nine cars that comprised the Merci or Gratitude Train, a gift to the American People from the Citizens of France. The 40&8 boxcars, so named because of their capacity to hold either 40 men or 8 horses, . . . — Map (db m95638) HM

Kansas (Ellis County), Hays — Monarch of the Plains
Herds of 60 million buffalo once roamed the prairie until reduced to 300 and near extinction. They were the basis of Indian economy; food for the emigrant, railroad worker and soldier. — Map (db m59713) HM
Kansas (Ellis County), Hays — Officers in Tents
Sometimes officers shared quarters on officers' row, three or four men to a house. Housing was assigned by rank and seniority within that rank. If a higher-ranking officer was transferred to the fort, he could bump a lower ranking officer out of . . . — Map (db m59722) HM
Kansas (Ellis County), Hays — Officers' Row
A series of 10 houses on the south side of the parade grounds was built between 1867 and 1870. Starting to the left of this house and moving right were the chaplain’s quarters, three partial duplexes for officers’ quarters, the commanding . . . — Map (db m59717) HM
Kansas (Ellis County), Hays — Otero & Sellar's Warehouse
Originally this was the site of the warehouse of a large shipping firm which ran bull trains to Mexico during the days when Hays City was "the end of the line." The owner, Miguel Antonio Otero, had acted as Territorial Governor of New Mexico in . . . — Map (db m59797) HM
Kansas (Ellis County), Hays — Parade Ground
The field before you is the parade ground. Approximately the size of two football fields, the parade ground was bordered on four sides by roads whose ditches are still visible. The parade ground was a hub of activity at the post. Soldiers . . . — Map (db m59718) HM
Kansas (Ellis County), Hays — Post Hospital
The post hospital was prefabricated in St. Louis, shipped to Fort Hays by rail, and erected in November 1867. Initially a 36-bed hospital, it was enlarged in 1870 to accommodate 44 beds. A picket fence later enclosed the hospital complex, . . . — Map (db m59793) HM
Kansas (Ellis County), Hays — Post Surgeon's Quarters
Records are unclear as to the exact date of construction of the surgeon's quarters. It was a one-story, four-room, frame residence. Prior to its construction the surgeon was housed on officers' row. As part of his medical duties, the surgeon kept . . . — Map (db m59790) HM
Kansas (Ellis County), Hays — Post Trader's Store
Each post had its trader or sutler that sold general merchandise to soldiers. The trader was the only civilian allowed to operate a business for profit on a military fort. The trader's store at Fort Hays was located 50 feet behind this sign. . . . — Map (db m59768) HM
Kansas (Ellis County), Hays — Quartermaster's Complex
The massive quartermaster's complex was located 100 yards behind the sign. The complex included offices, noncommissioned staff quarters, warehouses, shops, and wagon shed. The quartermaster was in charge of all equipment, supplies, transportation, . . . — Map (db m59792) HM
Kansas (Ellis County), Hays — R. W. Evans’ Grocery Store
One of Hays City’s earliest post offices was in Evans’ grocery store. Here on June 23,1869, clerk A. B. Webster, afterwards mayor and marshal of Dodge City, shot and killed Joseph N. Weiss. Joe was proprietor of the local Omaha Saloon, a former . . . — Map (db m96501) HM
Kansas (Ellis County), Hays — Replica of the Statue of Liberty
With the faith and courage of their forefathers who made possible the freedom of these United States The Boy Scouts of America dedicate this replica of the Statue of Liberty as a pledge of everlasting fidelity and loyalty . . . — Map (db m95332) HM
Kansas (Ellis County), Hays — Santa Fe Mail Company Depot
When the Union Pacific Railway, Eastern Division reached Hays City in October, 1867, this site became the temporary starting point of the Santa Fe Trail until mid-1868. The Five-Mule Concord Coaches of the Santa Fe Mail Company left here daily on . . . — Map (db m96493) HM
Kansas (Ellis County), Hays — Sentinel Hill
The hill approximately two miles south of the guardhouse was known as Sentinel Hill. As part of the Fort Hays military reservation, a sentry (guard) posted at this location could have seen several miles in all directions. The legend of . . . — Map (db m59723) HM
Kansas (Ellis County), Hays — St. Joseph ChurchBuilt 1901 - 1904

Constructed by local parishioners, most of them German immigrants from the Volga region of Russia

St. Joseph Parish began in 1876

Two earlier parish churches stood on this property

St. Joseph is the oldest church in continuous use . . . — Map (db m95640) HM

Kansas (Ellis County), Hays — St. Joseph Parochial School

This property is listed in the National Register of Historic Places by the United States Department of the Interior — Map (db m95641) HM

Kansas (Ellis County), Hays — The Perry House
The first hotel in Hays City was moved here by J.D. Perry in 1867 from Rome, the little town W.F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody and others tried to start a mile to the west. Cody and his wife resided at the Hays Perry for a time, and Tom Custer's name appears . . . — Map (db m96518) HM
Kansas (Ellis County), Hays — The Pioneer Store
County Commissioner Dennis Ryan and County Treasurer Mike Caplice ran the Pioneer Store, a general outfitting firm on this corner from 1867 to 1870. Their wagon driver, Allmeyer, was gravely wounded by a man named Cole on October 8, 1869. After a . . . — Map (db m96513) HM
Kansas (Ellis County), Hays — The Sporting PalaceHays City, Kansas
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 . . . — Map (db m96395) HM
Kansas (Ellis County), Hays — The Volga Germans
The Justus Bissing, Frederick Karlin, and Frederick Koerner families stayed on this site from March 1 till April 8 of 1876, while they were building their sod dugouts in nearby Katherinenstadt (Catherine). These people were the first of . . . — Map (db m96490) HM
Kansas (Ellis County), Hays — Time Capsule
In commemoration of Hays Centennial - 1967 Plastic capsule buried May, 1967 - to be exhumed 2067 Buried 10' 0" below this marker. The Time Capsule is to provide historical reference on the progress of Kansas family farmers working with . . . — Map (db m59719) HM
Kansas (Ellis County), Hays — Tommy Drum's Saloon
This was the favorite gathering place of soldiers from nearby Fort Hays, British Colonists from Victoria, such famous personages as "Wild Bill" Hickok, "Buffalo Bill" Cody and Generals George A. Custer, Phil Sheridan and Nelson A. Miles. Three . . . — Map (db m96506) HM
Kansas (Ellis County), Hays — Town & County JailHays City, Kansas
Hays City and Ellis County cooperated in building a jail on this corner in 1868 and J.B. “Wild Bill” Hickok occupied the sheriffs office from August 1869, to January, 1870. Here on August 22, 1872, accused horse thief “Pony” . . . — Map (db m96389) HM
Kansas (Ellis County), Hays — Townsite of Rome1867
A statue of "Buffalo Bill" Cody the founder stands on the court house square in Hays, 1 mile East ———› — Map (db m96486) HM
Kansas (Ellis County), Hays — Union Pacific House
This second largest house built in 1867 was run by George Boggs and Thomas Ranahan, who sold the hotel in 1868 to Bob Wright, post trader at Fort Dodge. Later that year,Ranahan was one of only 20 Hays citizens who signed up with the famous Forsyth . . . — Map (db m96496) HM
Kansas (Ellis County), Hays — United States Land Office
Built as a dry goods store by Hill P. Wilson in 1874, this stone building was the home of the Government Land Office from 1875 till 1877, and possibly as late as 1879, when the office was moved to WaKeeney. Thousands of pioneers filed homestead . . . — Map (db m59796) HM
Kansas (Ellis County), Hays — Veterans MemorialLest We Forget

In memory of all who served their country in time of need

[Rolls of Honored Dead]

World War I • World War II Korean Conflict • Vietnam Afghanistan Died in Service — Map (db m95639) HM

Kansas (Ellis County), Hays — Walker Army Air Field

With the development of the B-29 Superfortress bomber, it became necessary to establish air fields at which air and ground crews would be trained. Four of these fields were built in Kansas, one each at Salina, Pratt, Great Bend, and . . . — Map (db m95623) HM

Kansas (Ellis County), Hays — Walsh’s Gambling HallHays City, Kansas
Paddy Walsh killed Charles Blunt, an ex-policeman from Leavenworth, in a barroom fight in Ellsworth on September 25, 1867. By November he was in Hays City, located on South Fort Street. Within nine months it was reported that Walsh had shot and . . . — Map (db m96402) HM
Kansas (Ellis County), Hays — War Memorial

In Memory of Our War Dead

Dedicated May 30, 1949 — Map (db m95634) WM

Kansas (Ellis County), Hays — Waters and Murray’s Saloon
Moses Waters (1841-1889) and Henry Murray opened a saloon on this site in 1869. In partnership with James Hanrahan, Waters operated a second saloon, the Occident, in Dodge City. Waters was post sutler at Fort Riley from 1875 to 1889. Jack Hill, one . . . — Map (db m96504) HM
Kansas (Ellis County), Hays — Well House
In the summer of 1867 four wells were dug on the Fort Hays grounds. The one before you serviced the post hospital. These wells provided limited quantities of water. Periodic contamination rendered the water undrinkable. As a result Big Creek . . . — Map (db m59748) HM
Kansas (Ellis County), Hays — White's Barber ShopHays City, Kansas
John White, a Black barber, operated his shop on this corner from 1868 until his death in 1879. On June 17, 1872, five-year-old Cy Goddard, Jr., was killed by a stray bullet, while seeking safety in White's barber chair during a street fight. The . . . — Map (db m96407) HM
Kansas (Ellis County), Hays — You Now Stand On The Original Boot Hill

Between 1867 and 1874 more than eighty persons were buried here. Dozens of them had died "with their boots on" as victims of knife, gun, or rope. Since the days when Wild Bill Hickok, Buffalo Bill, and Calamity Jane lived in Hays City, the . . . — Map (db m95671) HM

Kansas (Ellis County), Victoria — Capuchin - Franciscan Friars
have ministered to the Catholics of Ellis County since 1878. Saint Fidelis Friary, Herzog (Victoria), was established by Father Matthew Hau, O.F.M. Cap., and Father Anastasius Mueller, O.F.M. Cap., at the invitation of the Bishop of Leavenworth, . . . — Map (db m59815) HM
Kansas (Ellis County), Victoria — Cathedral of the PlainsSt. Fidelis Church — Capuchin-Franciscan Friars
Erected between 1908 and 1911 by German and German Russian Catholics, this native limestone edifice is one of the largest buildings on the Great Plains, its twin towers soar 141 feet above its 220 feet by 79 feet foundation. Placing of the . . . — Map (db m59842) HM
Kansas (Ellis County), Victoria — In Memory of the SETH SiblingsLost For A Time, But Never Forgotten

Left their home in Fife, Scotland to join the Victoria Colony. Contracted Typhoid Fever while traveling up the Mississippi River. ---Laid to rest here Summer 1873---

Margaret, 27 • William, 25 • Robert, 24 Thomas, 18 • Jane, . . . — Map (db m95692) HM

Kansas (Ellis County), Victoria — Pioneer Family
The first twenty-three families of Volga-Germans arrived in Victoria on April 8, 1876, and established the Village of Herzog in the area north of this point. The first religious activities of these settlers centered around the Village Cross. In . . . — Map (db m59814) HM
Kansas (Ellis County), Victoria — Union Pacific Employees Killed In Cheyenne Indian Raidon August 1, 1867

R. S. Ashley, Foreman (Wisconsin) Thomas Carney (Iowa) • Charles Watson (Canada) John Harrington (Kansas City) Pat Rafferty (Kansas City) • Hugh McDonaugh (Denver) . . . — Map (db m95693) HM

Kansas (Ellis County), Victoria — Veterans Memorial
Let the names of the battles forever be written in our history books... but let the memory of all those who served and died be forever etched in our hearts — Map (db m59816) HM
Kansas (Ellis County), Victoria — 40 — Victoria
Nowhere in America were two colonies more unlike than those that came here. Scarlet-coated Britishers who chased antelope on bob-tailed ponies were joined by frugal and hard-working German-Russian immigrants. A Scotsman, George Grant, with 69,000 . . . — Map (db m80424) HM

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