Kansas Counties
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Kansas Counties

Kansas has one hundred and five counties. Originally 33 counties were organized by the Territorial Legislature in 1855. The Chase County Courthouse in Cottonwood Falls, Kansas was built in 1873 and is the oldest operating courthouse in Kansas. As of January 1, 2009 Greeley County and the city of Tribune unified to form the Unified Government of Greeley County..

Ellis County, Kansas

Ellis County Education, Geography, and HistoryEllis County, Kansas Courthouse

Ellis County is a county located in the state of Kansas. Based on the 2010 census, the county population was 28,452. Ellis County was created on February 26, 1867. The county seat and most populous city is Hays. The county is named in honor of 1st Lieutenant George Ellis of Company I, Twelfth Kansas Infantry, killed in action 30 April 1864 at Jenkins Ferry, Arkansas.

The Hays, KS Micropolitan Statistical Area includes all of Ellis County.

Etymology - Origin of Ellis County Name

The county is named for Lieutenant George Ellis, of the Twelfth Kansas Infantry, who fought Quantrill's raiders in 1863 at Lawrence, Kansas and who was killed April 30, 1864, during the Civil War in a battle at Jenkins' Ferry, Arkansas.


County QuickFacts: CensusBureau Quick Facts

Ellis County History

Ellis County, located in the third tier of counties south of the State of Nebraska and the sixth east of Colorado, was created by the act of Feb. 26, 1867, with the following boundaries: "Commencing where the east line of range 16 west intersects the second standard parallel, thence south to the third standard parallel, thence west to the east line of range 21 west, thence north to the second standard parallel, thence east to the place of beginning."

The boundaries as thus established are the same as at the present time, giving the county an area of 900 square miles. Popularly speaking, it is bounded on the north by Rooks county; on the east by Russell; on the south by Rush, and on the west by Trego. It was named for Lieut. George Ellis of Company I, Twelfth Kansas infantry, who was killed at the battle of Jenkins' Ferry, Ark., April 30, 1864.

Geography: Land and Water

As reported by the Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 900 square miles (2,300 km2), of which 900 square miles (2,300 km2) is land and 0.5 square miles (1.3 km2) (0.05%) is water

 Ellis county is located close to the center of Kansas. The county is basically the same as that of all western Kansas, one wide stretch of prairie, with but little natural timber growth. The northern portion the Saline river flows in an easterly direction, and the southern part is watered by the Smoky Hill river and its tributaries, the largest of which is Big creek. Timber consist of maple, cottonwood, black walnut, ash, box-elder and hackberry.  Magnesium limestone is abundant. Limestone of a finer quality is found along the Smoky Hill river and clay fit for brick making is abundant near Hays. Gypsum is known to exist in some areas, and there are a few salt marshes in the county.

Neighboring Counties

Bordering counties are as follows:

  • Rooks County (north)
  • Osborne County (northeast)
  • Russell County (east)
  • Rush County (south)
  • Ness County (southwest)
  • Trego County (west)


Unified School Districts

Ellis USD 388
Victoria USD 432
Hays USD 489

Private schools

Holy Family Elementary in Hays
St. Mary's Elementary in Ellis
Thomas More Prep-Marian High in Hays

Universities and Colleges

Fort Hays State University
North Central Kansas Technical College

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