History of Ellsworth

Once called "The Wickedest Cattletown in Kansas", the city is named for Fort Ellsworth, which was built in 1864. Due to speculation on imminent railroad construction, the population of Ellsworth boomed to over two thousand by the time it was incorporated in 1867.  It has since been said, "Abilene, the first, Dodge City, the last, but Ellsworth the wickedest."

Ellsworth was a bustling cattle town for a time during the late 1860s, when the Kansas Pacific Railroad had a stop and stockyards there. Cattle were driven up from Texas to this point, and then shipped to major markets.

Ellsworth honors its heritage each summer during the Ellsworth Cowtown Days festival, including the reenactment of a famous shooting between a mild mannered Sheriff and two renegade outlaws.  

Beyond the Ellsworth County Lines

The Ellsworth Area Chamber office is located in downtown Ellsworth, but is proud to serve members in Salina, Hutchinson, Great Bend, and Hays, along with our county friends in the communities of Kanopolis, Lorraine, Wilson, and Holyrood.  We are here to serve our members and our community's needs.

download (2).png
download (3).jpg

Nestled in the beautiful Smoky Hills of Kansas, Ellsworth County's communities of Ellsworth, Wilson, Holyrood, Kanopolis and Lorraine are each unique with a rich heritage and a celebration of culture.  Ellsworth County is filled with breaktaking scenic opportunities.  We are located between two beautiful lakes, Wilson and Kanopolis, and are on the Prairie Trail Scenic Byway.  In Ellsworth County, here are just a few of our "must-see-to-appreciate opportunities":

  • Ellsworth County Historical Society Museum, including the Hodgen House and Fort Harker Museum

  • Ellsworth Golf Course

  • Holt Park & Swimming Pool

  • Krizek Park

  • Disc Golf - Krizek Park & Wilson Economic Development Course

  • Preisker Park with Kiwanis Splash Pad

  • Recreation Complex Ball Fields - Ellsworth & Wilson

  • Ellsworth Plaza Walking Trail

  • Wilson World's Largest Czech Egg

  • Wilson Midland Railroad Hotel

  • Wilson PRIDE Splash Pad

  • Wilson Heritage Museum

  • Kanopolis Drive-In Theatre

  • Mushroom Rock State Park

  • Kanopolis Lake & State Park

  • Holyrood Park & Splash Pad

  • Holyrood Santa Fe Depot

  • Holyrood Lake

  • Lorraine Park