Fort Hays

          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.

Erected by the Kansas Historical Society and State Highway Commission
Historical marker on Bypass 183 in Hays

Ellis County


July 7, 1998 / Bob Walter / Wichita, Kansas /

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