Hays, Kansas: Wikis


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Hays, Kansas
—  City  —
Ellis County Courthouse in Hays
Location of Hays in Kansas
Coordinates: 38°52′46″N 99°19′20″W / 38.87944°N 99.32222°W / 38.87944; -99.32222
Country  United States
State  Kansas
County Ellis
Founded 1867
Incorporated 1885
 - Total 7.6 sq mi (19.7 km2)
 - Land 7.6 sq mi (19.7 km2)
 - Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation [1] 2,021 ft (616 m)
Population (2000)
 - Total 20,013
 - Density 2,635.9/sq mi (1,017.7/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 - Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP codes 67601, 67667
Area code(s) 785
FIPS code 20-31100[2]
GNIS feature ID 0475182
Website www.haysusa.com

Hays is a city in and the county seat of Ellis County, Kansas, near the intersection of Interstate 70 and U.S. Highway 183. As of the 2000 census, the city population was 20,013. Hays is home to Fort Hays State University and the Hays Larks, champions of the Jayhawk Collegiate League for most of the 21st century.



In late 1866, anticipating the construction of the Kansas Pacific Railway as far west as Fort Hays, a party from St. Louis, Missouri led by one William Webb selected three sections of land for colonization near the fort.[3] In June 1867, to better serve the railroad, the U.S. Army relocated Fort Hays to a site near where the railroad was to cross Big Creek, a tributary of the Smoky Hill River. Seeing a business opportunity, Buffalo Bill Cody and railroad contractor William Rose founded the settlement of Rome, Kansas near the fort's new location. Within a month, the population of Rome grew to over 2,000. Webb, meanwhile, established the Big Creek Land Company and then surveyed and platted a town site, which he named Hays City after the fort, roughly one mile east of Rome. The railroad reached Hays City soon thereafter and constructed a depot there. The railroad's arrival, combined with a cholera epidemic that hit Rome in the late summer of 1867, drove Rome businesses and residents to relocate to Hays City. Within a year, Rome was completely abandoned.[4][5] As the western terminus of the railway, Hays City grew rapidly, serving as the supply point for territories to the west and southwest.[3][6]

In its early years, Hays City was a violent frontier town characteristic of the American Old West. More than 30 homicides occurred in or near the town between 1867 and 1873, and it was the location of the original Boot Hill. Several notable figures of the Old West lived in Hays City at points, including George Custer and his wife Elizabeth, Calamity Jane, and Wild Bill Hickok who served a brief term as sheriff in 1869. By the mid-1870s, the rougher elements of the populace had left following the completion of the railroad to points further west, and the town became more civilized.[7] Hays City became the county seat of Ellis County in 1870.[8] In 1885, the town was incorporated, and "City" was dropped from its name.[7][8]

Volga Germans began settling the area in 1876, having found land suitable for the lifestyle and type of farming and they had practiced in Russia.[9] They brought with them Turkey Red Wheat, a type of winter wheat whose cultivation contributed to the agricultural transformation of the region.[8] Bukovina Germans began settling in the area in 1886. These groups had a tremendous impact on the local way of life, establishing Hays as a regional center of ethnic German culture.[7]

Fort Hays closed in 1889. In 1900, the Kansas delegation to the U.S. Congress secured the fort's land and facilities for educational purposes. The following year, the Kansas Legislature established the Fort Hays Experiment Station, part of Kansas State Agricultural College, on the Fort Hays reservation and set aside land for the Western Branch of Kansas State Normal School, which opened in 1902. The Western Branch eventually became Fort Hays State University. Fort Hays opened as a museum in 1955 and was later acquired by the Kansas Historical Society. In 1967, it became the Fort Hays State Historic Site.[4]

Several disasters have struck Hays in the course of its history. In 1895, fire destroyed 60 buildings downtown. Severe floods occurred in 1907 and 1951. In 1919, three Standard Oil gasoline tanks exploded, killing eight and injuring approximately 150 people. In 1935, the city experienced violent dust storms as part of the Dust Bowl.[4][10]

Hays Regional Airport opened in 1961.[10] Interstate 70 reached Hays in 1966.[7] In the 1980s and 1990s, businesses moved away from downtown while the business district along U.S. Route 183, further north and closer to I-70, continued to grow.[10]

Today, Hays is a commercial and educational center for western Kansas.[8]


Hays is located at 38°52′46″N 99°19′20″W / 38.87944°N 99.32222°W / 38.87944; -99.32222 (38.879399, -99.322277)[11] on the western edge of the Smoky Hills region of north-central Kansas. Big Creek, a tributary of the Smoky Hill River, runs through the southwestern part of the city. Chetolah Creek, a tributary of Big Creek, flows south through eastern Hays to its confluence with Big Creek immediately south of the city.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 7.6 square miles (19.7 km²), all of it land.


Hays sits near the climatic triple point between the humid subtropical climate (Koppen Cfa), humid continental climate (Koppen Dfa) and temperate semi-arid climate (Koppen BSk) and has features of all three climates. It has hot summers with variable humidity and cool winters. The average temperature in Hays is 54 °F (12 °C), and the average relative humidity is 64%. Annually, Hays experiences extremes of heat and cold. Temperatures exceed 90 °F (32 °C) an average of 67 days a year and drop below 32 °F (0 °C) an average of 150 days a year. On average, Hays receives 22.9 inches (580 mm) of precipitation annually and experiences 47 rainy days a year. Snowfall averages 19.6 inches (490 mm) per year. Due to its geographic location at a climatic boundary, severe weather is common with tornadoes a major threat, especially in the spring and early summer months.[12] On average, January is the coolest month, and July is both the warmest and wettest month. The hottest temperature recorded in Hays was 117 °F (47 °C) in 1934; the coldest temperature recorded was -26 °F (-32 °C) in 1905.[13]

Weather data for Hays, Kansas, USA
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Record high °F (°C) 79
Average high °F (°C) 39
Average low °F (°C) 15
Record low °F (°C) -26
Precipitation inches (mm) 0.52
Source: The Weather Channel[13] 6 Nov 2009


Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1870 320
1880 850 165.6%
1890 1,242 46.1%
1900 1,136 −8.5%
1910 1,961 72.6%
1920 3,165 61.4%
1930 4,618 45.9%
1940 6,385 38.3%
1950 8,625 35.1%
1960 11,947 38.5%
1970 15,396 28.9%
1980 16,301 5.9%
1990 17,767 9.0%
2000 20,013 12.6%

As of the census[2] of 2000, there were 20,013 people, 8,230 households, and 4,674 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,635.9 people per square mile (1,018.1/km²). There were 8,772 housing units at an average density of 1,155.3/sq mi (446.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 95.43% White, 1.09% Asian, 0.79% African American, 0.24% Native American, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 1.43% from other races, and 0.98% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.63% of the population.

Ellis County attracted nearly 1000 Volga German immigrants in the 1870s; for the 2000 census, over 45% of Hays residents identified their ancestry as German.

There were 8,230 households out of which 27.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.9% were married couples living together, 8.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 43.2% were non-families. 32.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.30 and the average family size was 2.96.

In the city, the population was spread out with 21.5% under the age of 18, 22.2% from 18 to 24, 24.6% from 25 to 44, 18.5% from 45 to 64, and 13.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 30 years. For every 100 females there were 94.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $31,501, and the median income for a family was $45,552. Males had a median income of $30,022 versus $21,793 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,565. About 6.7% of families and 14.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.6% of those under age 18 and 9.6% of those age 65 or over.


Fort Hays State University, the fourth-largest state university in Kansas, is located in Hays. North Central Kansas Technical College, a technical school in Beloit, Kansas, has a campus in Hays.

USD 489 Hays Public Schools provides public primary and secondary education with ten schools in Hays:[14][15]

  • Lincoln Elementary School (Grades Pre-K-5)
  • O'Loughlin Elementary School (Pre-K-5)
  • Roosevelt Elementary School (Pre-K-5)
  • Washington Elementary School (Pre-K-5)
  • Woodrow Wilson Elementary School (Pre-K-5)

There are four Christian schools in Hays:[14][16]


Interstate 70 and U.S. Route 40 run concurrently southeast-northwest immediately north of Hays. U.S. Route 183 runs north-south through Hays, intersecting I-70 immediately north of the city. A U.S. 183 bypass route runs around Hays to the west from U.S. 183 immediately south of the city to I-70 northwest of the city.

Hays Regional Airport, located just southeast of the city, hosts commercial air service and general aviation.

A Union Pacific Railroad line runs southeast-northwest through downtown Hays in the southern part of the city.




  • The Ellis County Star, weekly[17]
  • The Hays Daily News, daily[18]
  • The University Leader, weekly, the Fort Hays State University student newspaper[19]


The following radio stations are licensed to Hays:


Frequency Callsign[20] Format[21] Notes
1400 KAYS Oldies -


Frequency Callsign[22] Format[21] Notes
88.9 KPRD Christian -
89.7 KHYS Christian -
91.7 KZAN Public NPR; Satellite of KANZ, Garden City, Kansas[23]
98.5 KCCC-LP Contemporary Christian -
99.5 KHAZ Country -
103.3 KJLS Hot Adult Contemporary -
105.7 KRMR Talk -


The following television stations are licensed to Hays:

Digital Channel Analog Channel Callsign[24] Network Notes
7 - KBSH-DT CBS Satellite of KWCH-DT, Wichita, Kansas
16; 9 (Virtual) - KOOD PBS Broadcasts from Bunker Hill, Kansas
- 25 K25CV ABC Translator of KAKE-TV, Wichita, Kansas

Notable natives and residents


  1. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. http://geonames.usgs.gov. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. http://factfinder.census.gov. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  3. ^ a b Cutler, William G. (1883), "Hays City", History of the State of Kansas, Chicago: A.T. Andreas, http://www.kancoll.org/books/cutler/ellis/ellis-co-p3.html#HAYS_CITY  
  4. ^ a b c Weiser, Kathy (August 2009). "Hays, Kansas - Lawless in the Old Days". Legends of Kansas. http://www.legendsofkansas.com/hays.html. Retrieved 2010-01-02.  
  5. ^ "Ellis County, Kansas - City of Rome". KSGenWeb Project. http://skyways.lib.ks.us/genweb/ellis/rome.html. Retrieved 2010-01-02.  
  6. ^ Blackmar, Frank W., ed. (1912), "Hays", Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc., 2, Chicago: Standard, p. 832, http://skyways.lib.ks.us/genweb/archives/1912/h/hays.html  
  7. ^ a b c d "History & Trivia". City of Hays, Kansas. http://www.haysusa.com/html/history___trivia.html. Retrieved 2010-01-09.  
  8. ^ a b c d Thompson, Mary Ann. "Hays, Kansas History". Kansas History Web Sites. http://www.kansashistory.us/hayshist.html. Retrieved 2010-01-09.  
  9. ^ The Germans from Russia: Children of the Steppe, Children of the Prairie, Prairie Public Television. Accessed 2007-09-12.
  10. ^ a b c Thompson, Mary Ann. "History Timeline". Welcome to Downtown Hays, Kansas. Chestnut Street District. http://www.chestnutstreetdistrict.com/leisure/history.html. Retrieved 2010-01-10.  
  11. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2000 and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2005-05-03. http://www.census.gov/geo/www/gazetteer/gazette.html. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  12. ^ "Historical Weather for Hays, Kansas, United States of America". Weatherbase. http://www.weatherbase.com/weather/weatherall.php3?s=18157&refer=&units=us. Retrieved 2009-12-19.  
  13. ^ a b "Average weather for Hays". The Weather Channel. http://www.weather.com/outlook/travel/businesstraveler/wxclimatology/monthly/graph/USKS0255?from=36hr_bottomnav_business. Retrieved 2009-11-06.  
  14. ^ a b "Hays, Kansas". City-Data.com. http://www.city-data.com/city/Hays-Kansas.html. Retrieved 2010-01-16.  
  15. ^ "Schools". USD 489. http://www.hays489.k12.ks.us/Schools.htm. Retrieved 2010-01-16.  
  16. ^ "Schools & Education". City of Hays, Kansas. http://www.haysusa.com/html/schools-education.html. Retrieved 2010-01-16.  
  17. ^ "About this Newspaper: The Ellis County star". Chronicling America. Library of Congress. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84029717/. Retrieved 2009-09-13.  
  18. ^ "About this Newspaper: The Hays daily news". Chronicling America. Library of Congress. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84029704/. Retrieved 2009-09-13.  
  19. ^ "FHSU University Leader". Mondo Times. http://www.mondotimes.com/1/world/us/16/917/2378. Retrieved 2010-01-10.  
  20. ^ "AMQ AM Radio Database Query". Federal Communications Commission. http://www.fcc.gov/mb/audio/amq.html. Retrieved 2009-09-13.  
  21. ^ a b "Station Information Profile". Arbitron. http://www.arbitron.com/radio_stations/station_information.htm. Retrieved 2009-09-13.  
  22. ^ "FMQ FM Radio Database Query". Federal Communications Commission. http://www.fcc.gov/mb/audio/fmq.html. Retrieved 2009-09-13.  
  23. ^ "HPPR Signal Map". High Plains Public Radio. http://www.hppr.org/map.html. Retrieved 2009-09-13.  
  24. ^ "TVQ TV Database Query". Federal Communications Commission. http://www.fcc.gov/fcc-bin/audio/tvq.html. Retrieved 2009-09-13.  

External links

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