Ellis, KS


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Ellis is a city in Ellis County, Kansas, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 2,062.
The Kansas Pacific Railway built a water station at the site of present-day Ellis in 1867 and then purchased the site under the Homestead Act. Three years later, in 1870, the U.S. Post Office Department opened a post office at Ellis, marking the town's foundation. Kansas Pacific laid out the town in 1873, establishing a depot, a hotel, and a few shops. That same year, settlers from Syracuse, New York, and later from Louisville, Kentucky, arrived to work for the railroad. The first church opened in Ellis in 1873, the first school in 1874. Starting in 1875 and for the rest of the 1870s, Ellis was a cowtown, serving as a shipping point for cattle herds from the south. Bukovina Germans began settling in the area in 1886. Ellis incorporated as a city in January 1888.
Ellis is located at 38°56′10″N 99°33′33″W / 38.93611°N 99.55917°W / 38.93611; -99.55917 (38.936211, -99.559269), at an elevation of 2,119 feet (646 m). It lies on the western edge of the Smoky Hills region of the Great Plains. Big Creek, a tributary of the Smoky Hill River, runs east through the city and has been dammed to form a long, narrow reservoir, Big Creek Lake. Ellis is in northwestern Kansas on Interstate 70 roughly 13 miles (21 km) west-northwest of Hays, the county seat. It is approximately 146 miles (235 km) northwest of Wichita and 260 miles (419 km) west of Kansas City.