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.