Ellsworth, KS

L to R: Jay Everett, UP Denver Service Unit superintendent; Tim Vandall, Ellsworth Administrator; Ellsworth MayorSteve Bahan; Marvin Bush, Local Train Expert; Carol Kratzer, Ellsworth-Kanopolis Area Chamber of Commerce Director; Ben Jones, UP director-Public Affairs

L to R: Jay Everett, UP Denver Service Unit superintendent; Tim Vandall, Ellsworth Administrator; Ellsworth MayorSteve Bahan; Marvin Bush, Local Train Expert; Carol Kratzer, Ellsworth-Kanopolis Area Chamber of Commerce Director; Ben Jones, UP director-Public Affairs

Ellsworth became a town in 1867 on the banks of the Smokey Hill River just about the same time that the Kansas Pacific Railroad was building track west from Kansas City. It was rumored that Ellsworth was to become a western terminal for the train, which brought thousands of people from all walks of life into town. Both North and South Main Streets of Ellsworth run alongside the railroad tracks.

Between 1871 and 1875, Ellsworth became one of the largest cattle towns, with the largest cattle pens, in the state. The pens had seven chutes to load cattle on seven cars at a time. More than 10,000 head were shipped from Ellsworth during that time frame.

The Kansas Pacific Railroad became the Union Pacific on February 12, 1880. Ellsworth continued to be an important railroad town for many years, and both the Frisco and Union Pacific transferred freight in Ellsworth. The Frisco lines were torn down in 1987, and the two bridges in Krizek Park were made from those materials.

Ellsworth has a rich train history and today trains travel through Ellsworth on a daily basis.