Wednesday, April 9, 2014

H is for Hayes City, Kansas

My theme for A- Z is the year my book takes place: 1881. I'll be posting about people, places, and random facts about the year as it relates - however distantly - to my book.



Hays City (now known simply as Hays) was established in 1866 by William Webb in anticipation of the construction of the Kansas Pacific Railroad. Like other frontier towns, it was a violent place; between 1867 and 1873 more than 30 people were murdered. And this was a town whose population was only 1,000 people in the late 1860s. 

Among the famous or infamous who lived in Hays City were General George Custer, Calamity Jane, and Wild Bill Hickok, who acted as Sheriff briefly and killed two soldiers, two citizens, and wounded several other people during his short time in office. 

In West of Paradise, Hays City serves as a stopping point for my two main characters, Jack and Katherine. If you look closely at the picture you can see the drugstore they pop into after getting off the train  where they buy some carbolic spray.


12 comments:

  1. Sounds like Hickok as sheriff was worse than the outlaws.

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  2. It makes sense to me that all of those western towns were populated with folks quick on the trigger. It was a dangerous place. Only people willing to flirt with danger were willing to live that far west. It was akin to putting a bunch of flammables together... you are bound to get fire.

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  3. I wouldn't survive there long

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  4. What a great photo. I couldn't help but laugh a little about Hickok killing/wounding so many people when he was the sheriff! Definitely glad I didn't live in these times.

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  5. It would be interesting to visit this place and know some more about it! Thats an awesome old photograph!

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  6. Cool how you incorporated it into your story. Scary place to live, though.

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  7. Plenty of famous folks there! How long before the TV series?

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  8. I remember Hays being mentioned on Gunsmoke a number of times. I'm really enjoying your posts.

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  9. Wow! Hays sounds like it would have been a rough town to live in. I love books and movies about Calamity Jane and Wild Bill Hickok!

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  10. Calamity Jane? Seriously? I had no idea. That's so cool.

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  11. Cool! I love that you're doing your theme on people, places and such from your book. Sounds like such an exciting time period, which I'm sure makes a great backdrop for your novel! Looking forward to reading it! Very soon! :)

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