Historical Markers in
Ellis County, Kansas

Avenue of Flags Bake House Band Barracks Blockhouse Capuchin - Franciscan Friars Cathedral of the Plains Chapel Col. Wm. F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody Commanding Officer's House Commissary Warehouse Cy Goddard’s Dance Hall Ed Goddard’s Saloon Ellis' Original Main Street Enlisted Barracks First Presbyterian Church Fort Hays Fort Hays Fort Hays - Fort Dodge Road Trailhead Fort Hays Military Cemetery Fort Hays State University War Memorial Gospel Hill Guardhouse Hangman's Bridge History of The Walter P. Chrysler Boyhood Home Icehouse In Memory of the SETH Siblings James Butler "Wild Bill" Hickok Jim Curry’s Restaurant Judge Joyce’s Court Kansas Pacific Depot Kate Coffey’s Saloon Laundress' Quarters Merci Train Boxcar Monarch of the Plains Officers in Tents Officers' Row Otero & Sellar's Warehouse Parade Ground Pioneer Family Post Hospital Post Surgeon's Quarters Post Trader's Store Praying John Horrigan Quartermaster's Complex R. W. Evans’ Grocery Store Replica of the Statue of Liberty Santa Fe Mail Company Depot Sentinel Hill Settlers from Bukovina, Austria St. Joseph Church St. Joseph Parochial School The Ellis House The Grand Army Hall The Hickey Building The Perry House The Pioneer Store The Sporting Palace The Volga Germans Time Capsule Tommy Drum's Saloon Town & County Jail Townsite of Rome Union Pacific Employees Killed In Cheyenne Indian Raid Union Pacific House United States Land Office Veterans Memorial Veterans Memorial Victoria Walker Army Air Field Walsh’s Gambling Hall War Memorial War Memorial Waters and Murray’s Saloon Well House White's Barber Shop You Now Stand On The Original Boot Hill “Dog” Kelley’s Faro House
The first woman mayor in the United States, Susanna Salter, was elected in Argonia, Kansas in 1887.
Ellis County, located in the state of Kansas, has a rich and vibrant history that dates back to the 19th century. The area that is now Ellis County was initially inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Arapaho, Cheyenne, and Pawnee. In the early 1800s, European settlers began to explore and settle in the region.

The county's history took a significant turn in 1867 when the Kansas Pacific Railway established a station in present-day Hays, which would become the county seat. This led to an influx of settlers, and the population of Ellis County grew steadily. The railroads played a crucial role in the county's economic development, as they brought in commodities and opened up trading opportunities for the settlers.

Ellis County witnessed further growth with the establishment of Fort Hays in 1865. The presence of the fort attracted soldiers, merchants, and settlers to the area. The fort served as a vital protection against Native American attacks and contributed to the stability and growth of the region.

In the late 19th century, Ellis County became known for its agricultural endeavors. Farmers began growing wheat, corn, and other crops, while ranchers engaged in cattle and sheep husbandry. The county's fertile soil and favorable climate made it a prime agricultural region, leading to economic prosperity and the establishment of several small towns.

Today, Ellis County continues to thrive as an agricultural hub, while also being home to Fort Hays State University, a vibrant educational institution. The county's history, from its Native American roots to its railway and military influence to its agricultural heritage, has shaped its identity and contributed to its growth and development over the years.

This timeline provides a concise overview of the key events in the history of Ellis County, Kansas.

  • 1803: The area of present-day Ellis County, Kansas, is part of the Louisiana Purchase.
  • 1843: Fort Mann is established near present-day Dodge City to protect travelers on the Santa Fe Trail.
  • 1867: Ellis County is officially established as a county in the Kansas Territory.
  • 1870: The city of Hays is founded, becoming the county seat of Ellis County.
  • 1878: The railroad reaches Hays, bringing significant economic growth to the area.
  • 1900: Agriculture becomes a major industry in Ellis County, with the cultivation of wheat, corn, and livestock.
  • 1902: The Hays Army Airfield is established, becoming an important training base during World War II.
  • 1956: The construction of Interstate 70 through Ellis County brings improved transportation and tourism opportunities.
  • 1989: The Sternberg Museum of Natural History opens in Hays, showcasing the rich paleontological history of the region.