Victoria, Kansas

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Victoria is a city in Ellis County, Kansas, United States.[2] The population was 1,208 at the 2000 census.[1]



A group of English and Scottish colonists led by a Scotsman named George Grant founded Victoria in 1873 on land he had purchased from the Kansas Pacific Railway. They named the settlement after Queen Victoria. Grant intended for Victoria to be a ranching community and was purportedly responsible for bringing the first Aberdeen Angus cattle to the United States. Most of the colonists, however, were remittance men more interested in sports and dancing than in raising livestock. Their families soon learned of this and reduced the remittances, driving most of the colonists to leave by 1880. Some returned to Britain; others left for South America.[3][4][5]

In 1876, Volga Germans from villages near Saratov, Russia established the settlement of Herzog one half mile north of Victoria. Herzog's Roman Catholic settlers built a series of churches which culminated in the construction of St. Fidelis Catholic Church, known as the "Cathedral of the Plains," in 1911. Herzog grew rapidly and later absorbed Victoria, eventually adopting the older settlement's name. Herzog was officially renamed Victoria in 1913.[6]

Interstate 70 reached Victoria in 1966, passing north of the city.[4]


Victoria is located at 38°51′13″N 99°8′51″W / 38.85361°N 99.1475°W / 38.85361; -99.1475 (38.853588, -99.147456),[7] at an elevation of 1,926 feet (587 m).[2] It lies about 9 miles (15 km) north of the Smoky Hill River in the Smoky Hills region of the Great Plains.[8] The city sits on the east side of North Fork Big Creek, a tributary of Big Creek roughly 5 miles (8.5 km) to the south, itself a tributary of the Smoky Hill River. Victoria is on Kansas Highway 255 (K-255) 1 mile (1.7 km) south of Interstate 70 in northwestern Kansas. The city is approximately 9 miles (14.5 km) east of Hays, the county seat.[9] Victoria is 129 miles (208 km) northwest of Wichita and 243 miles (392 km) west of Kansas City.[10]

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