United States Flag

Ellis County, Kansas
City of Hays

Kansas State Flag

The  Hays Convention & Visitors Bureau has a nice webpage with some history of Hays.

The city of Hays and Fort Hays were named after Major General Alexander Hays, a Union general of the Civil War who was killed in the Battle of the Wilderness. The original Fort Hays was located south of Victoria. A flood on about June 3, 1867 washed out the fort and the fort was relocated south of present day Hays across Big Creek on June 23, 1867. Hays City was established on November 23, 1867.

A note about Major General Alexander Hays

You may run across some documents which state that Fort Fletcher was renamed to Fort Hays in honor of Major General Issac G. Hays.  These documents appear to be in error.

The history of Hays is documented in The Golden Jubilee of German-Russian Settlements of Ellis and Rush Counties, Kansas, August 31, September 1 and 2, 1926

On July 4, 1876 the flag is hoisted over Fort Hays by Lieutenant Charles H. Brewster of the Seventh.  Soon after, a group of men from Fort Levenworth settled near by.  They were:

Piliny Moore
H. J. McGaffigan
P. W. Carrell
Fred Kruger
M. E. Joyce
Casper Hawkholst
Paddy Welch
M. Caplice
John Bauer
J. V. Macintosh

On October 28, 1867, Kansas Governor Samuel J. Crawford organizes Ellis County.  He appoints the following:

Pliny Moore, County Commissioner
William Rose, County Commissioner
Judson E. Walker, County Commissioner
Capt James G. Duncan, County Clerk

Hays was declared the temporary county seat at that time.

On September 24, 1867, Kansas Governor Samuel J. Crawford appointed M. E. Joyce as notary public.

In 1872, four buffalo hunters from Freeport, Illinois settled north of Hays. They included:

Daniel Thurston
Wellington Morris
George Rumsey
John Rumsey

In 1873 a colony from Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania settled near Hays. Among those settlers was:

Charles Grass
Joe Grass
George S. Grass
Cephas Grass
Adie Swires
John Legge
James Grippen
? Rogers
E. Blowers
William Shade
Tom Shade
William McAulty
I. M. Yost
A. K. Christman
Martin Gates
Henry Hundorff
George Brown
Harry Grass

In 1879 a colony from Brooklyn, New York settled north and west of Hays. Among those settlers was:

Henry Wade
William Hamilton
Ike Warren
? Cotton
Miss Greenleaf
William J. Haddock
Tom McNealy
Marion Hopkins
? Davenport
? Carpenter

A group from Medaryville, Indiana settled north of Hays in 1879. Included were:

H. L. Brown
Cal McConahay
Richard R. Freshour
Alfred Robinson
Fred Stire
George Freshour
Paris Freshour
Frank Dunn
John Saunders
J. C. Settles (might be Lettler)
Herman Schutte
John Schutte
? Sloan

Also in 1879, a group from Lorraine, Ohio settled east and north of Hays. They included:

John Fogle
Frank McLain
H. D. Shaffer
Morgan Huntington
Henry Reemsnyder
Joe Brosius
William McLain
D. E. Barnes
Mrs. Anna Shaw
Charles Bucius
Frank Moore
Huey Patton
? Bucius
Charles Moore
Menzie Moore
C. C. Brosius
Henry Tyler

A colony from Ripon, Wisconsin settled in Hays in 1878. They later left Hays for Larned. They were:

Henry Fox
William Moore
W. D. Radford
Jasen Fox
F. M. Hopkins
John W. Weisensee
Brad Fox


    Kansas GenWeb Project U.S. GenWeb Project