Ellis County History
A New Centennial History of Kansas, Charles Tuttle, 1876:
Ellis County, named in honor of an officer killed at Jenkins'
Ferry, when Gen. Steele was retreating from Camden to Little
Rock, Ark., was organized in 1867. It has an area of 900 square
miles, and a population of 940, having decreased about 400 in five
years, in consequence of stock raising and grazing having become
the chief pursuit. Males preponderate by 116; mines and manufactures employ 23 per cent., and a like proportion prevails in
agriculture; trade and transportation employ nineteen per cent.
Bottom lands average 15 per cent, of the area, and forest one only.
The principal streams are the Smoky Hill, the Saline and Big
creeks. There are but four springs, but well water is found at
depths varying from twenty to sixty feet. Coal has been found,
but the vein is thin and poor so that it is little used. Magnesian
limestone abounds. The Kansas Pacific has main stations at
Hays City, the county seat, and at Ellis; that is the only railroad
in the county at the present time. Hays City is 196 miles westerly from Topeka, half a mile from Fort Hays, and 289 miles
west from Kansas City. The architectural embellishments consist
of a county court house and a large school house. The population of Hays City is 320, and the Sentinel is published weekly
here. There is a bank at the county seat. There are no manufactures reported; the Saline and Big Creek give good water
powers, but they are not utilized. There are two organized school
districts and three school buildings, valued inclusive at $10,280.
Church organizations show an aggregate property of over $2,000.
Ellis suffered from the locust plague considerably.
This website created May 15, 2011 by Sheryl McClure.
© 2011 Kansas History and Heritage Project