This noted frontier post was established in 1865 to
protect military roads, guard the mails and defend
construction gangs on the Union Pacific, which arrived
in 1867. "Buffalo Bill" Cody, supplying meat for railroad
crews received his nickname here. At this post he was
made chief scout of the 5th Cavalry after a ride of 350
miles in 60 hours with military dispatches. Generals
Miles, Sheridan and Hancock served at Fort Hays, and
from here Gen. George Custer led his 7th cavalry against
marauding Indians. In 1889 the fort was abandoned but
the stone block and guard houses are still to be seen
south of town.
Hays City was established in 1867. Free-spending soldiers, freighters, and railroad workers soon brought dance halls, saloons, and gambling houses. A brief career as the most lawless town on the frontier resulted in 50 "boot hill" burials. For a time, "Wild Bill" Hickok served as town marshal.