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Ellis County Kansas

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History of Ellis County Kansas

Extracted from “Cutlers History of Kansas”- 1883. Historical and Biographical sketches.

Topic Headings are:

  • Location and Natural Features
  • Population (census #s)
  • General History
  • Schools Manufactories Etc.
  • Statistics of Progress
  • Hays City
  • Crimes and Criminals
  • Local Matters
  • Biographical Sketches
  • Ellis
  • Biographical Sketches
  • Victoria
  • Biographical Sketch

     38 pages

  • ...begin sample page...

    which he threw him into an empty box car and fastened up the door. Another time he was going up the street, and meeting a quiet, inoffensive youth, named Estes, who was about eighteen years of age, told him to throw up his hands. The youth begged that he would not kill him, but the villain, deaf to all such appeals, placed a revolver to the boy's breast and sent a bullet through his heart, stepped over his dead body and walked away.


    This cowardly act aroused the citizens, and they then determined to protect themselves, and to deal out summary and condign punishment upon all offenders against life and property. This action on the part of the people had the effect of driving many of the evil-doers from the place, but notwithstanding this, a great deal had to be accomplished before the better class of the citizens could depend upon the law for protection.


    While many of the worst characters had decamped and followed the railway to Sheridan, the majority of the bagnios and saloons, with their inmates, remained, and in these took place many a bloody encounter. In the spring of 1872, a row occurred one evening in front of "Old Man" Kelly's saloon on North Main Street. At that time Peter Lanahan was Sheriff of the county, and hearing of what was going on went down to quell the disturbance. Pistols were being freely used and upon the Sheriff undertaking to interfere, one Charles Harris, who at that time, was bar-tender for one Thomas Dunn, commonly known as "Tommy," fired at him, inflicting a mortal wound in the abdomen. upon the Sheriff being shot and wounded by Harris, one Em. Bowen, the proprietess of a noted bagnio, ran out with two revolvers which she gave to the Sheriff, whereupon he immediately commenced firing, killing Harris instantly. Mortally wounded as he was, the Sheriff, after killing Harris, went in the saloon of "Old Man" Kelly, where the shooting became general. Another Kelly who kept a saloon in another part of the town was a participant in the melee, and when the Sheriff commenced firing in the saloon, this younger Kelly crept under the table, and while there Lanahan reached over and fired four shots at him, but becoming weak and unsteady from the wound he had received himself, his aim was uncertain and Kelly escaped unhurt. Lanahan, becoming exhausted, sank to the floor and was carried into the bagnio of Em. Bowen, where some parties undertook to render him the best assistance they could. While there, the younger Kelly, who had escaped from "Old Man" Kelly's, returned with a


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