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You are Here > About Downtown > History

History Timeline

1867 Hays City is Founded.

1870 Ellis County population is 1,336. Hays becomes the county seat.


1872 Hays has 3 general stores, 3 boarding houses, one bakery, several saloons and billiard halls, 2 blacksmith shops, one wheelwright, 2 barbershops, one hotel and numerous dwelling houses.

1874 Ellis County population is 925. Limestone building at 8th and Main is built as a dry goods store, later used as a land office and becomes the Phillip Hardware store in 1894.

1876 Germans from Russia move into the area, bringing Turkey Red winter wheat with them.

1881 First National Bank is built.

1889 Fort Hays is abandoned.
1890 Population of Hays and Big Creek Township is 1,849.

1895 March 30th, fire destroys 60 buildings downtown.

1900 Population is 1,648.

1901 Fort Hays Experiment Station is started and first telephone         system in Hays.

1902 Western Branch of the Kansas State Normal School opened
        and St. Joseph’s church built.
1903 President Theodore Roosevelt comes to Hays May 2nd.

1907 July 14, Hays floods.
1908 O’Loughlin Garage opens on 12th St.

1909 Hays Flour Mills opens and St. Anthony’s Hospital founded.

1910 Population is 2,371.

1911 Hays Public Library building opens.

1913 A.A. Wiesner and Son department store is built.

1916 Strand Movie house is built.

1917 Dirt streets bricked and Basgall Grocery store built.

1919 Three gasoline tanks owned by Standard Oil exploded.
1920 Population is 3,918.
1926 Golden Jubilee of the Germans arrival from Russia.

1929 Downtown streets are renamed.
1930 Population is 5,181. Lamer Hotel opens.

1931 Frontier State Park is formed.

1935 February brought dust storms to Hays and Western Kansas
Rains came in May.
Palmer Stormkind oil field founded.

1940 Population is 6,674.

1943 Walker Army Air Field built adding 1500-2000 people to the population Hays.
1948 Hays Transit Company began a passenger busline.
        KAYS Radio went on the air.
        Record building boom.
1950 Populations was 9,378

1951 Flash flood hit Hays May, 22.

1953 New Mammel Food Store opens at 14th and Main.
Two hundred thirteen building permits issued.

1955 Old Fort Hays opened as a museum.

1958 KAYS Television went on the air

1961 Hays Municipal Airport opened.
1967 Centennial celebration — the 100th birthday of Hays.
1980 Throughout the 80s, new businesses continue to build up along Vine Street, and businesses move away from downtown.
1990s Downtown reaches record vacancies.

2000 DHDC formed to facilitate the restoration of downtown
- Thanks to:
Mary Ann Thompson, Kansas Room Librarian at the
Hays Public Library for this history.


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Chester

2700 Vine Street Hays,KS
dhdc@chestnutstreetdistrict.com
785.621.4171

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