Ellis, Kansas

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Ellis is a city in Ellis County, Kansas, United States.[2] The population was 1,873 at the 2000 census.[1]



The Kansas Pacific Railway built a water station at the site of present-day Ellis in 1867 and then purchased the site under the Homestead Act. Three years later, in 1870, the U.S. Post Office Department opened a post office at Ellis, marking the town's foundation.[3] Kansas Pacific laid out the town in 1873, establishing a depot, a hotel, and a few shops.[4] That same year, settlers from Syracuse, New York, and later from Louisville, Kentucky, arrived to work for the railroad.[5] The first church opened in Ellis in 1873, the first school in 1874. Starting in 1875 and for the rest of the 1870s, Ellis was a cowtown, serving as a shipping point for cattle herds from the south.[3] Bukovina Germans began settling in the area in 1886.[6] Ellis incorporated as a city in January 1888.[3]


Ellis is located at 38°56′10″N 99°33′33″W / 38.93611°N 99.55917°W / 38.93611; -99.55917 (38.936211, -99.559269),[7] at an elevation of 2,119 feet (646 m).[2] It lies on the western edge of the Smoky Hills region of the Great Plains.[8] Big Creek, a tributary of the Smoky Hill River, runs east through the city and has been dammed to form a long, narrow reservoir, Big Creek Lake. Ellis is in northwestern Kansas on Interstate 70 roughly 13 miles (21 km) west-northwest of Hays, the county seat.[9] It is approximately 146 miles (235 km) northwest of Wichita and 260 miles (419 km) west of Kansas City.[10]

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