Saline River Valley

Ellis County, KS

Late 1860s 2009

Boundaries used

West by Trego Co. Line

East by Russell Co Line

North by Rooks Co Line

South line ends between the roads known today as Homestead Road & St. John/St. Andrew Ave.



History Stories Maps Pictures


Compiled by

Jackie Slimmer Langholz


Information gathered from history books, maps, newspapers, family histories, and word of mouth.

Pictures were borrowed, scanned & printed with permission of owners and/or photographers.  I hope that this will help others in their quest to find out about the history and their families that helped form this great area known as the Saline River Valley area.  I also apologize for any unintentional errors and would like you to know that I have tried my best to be as accurate as possible.


I would like to thank the many who helped & supported me in this project. Jackie Slimmer Langholz




A Bit of History



          The Saline River Valley, named for the Saline River that runs west to east through a valley that is outlined on the north and south by bluffs. The Saline River does not start and stop in Ellis County, but for this narrative, Im only concerned with the Ellis County part of the Saline River Valley. Before the Saline River Valley became part of a county known as Ellis, Indians and wildlife aplenty inhabited it.  The Indian Tribes at different times being; Apache, Arapaho, Crow, Cheyenne, Comanche, Delaware, Kiowa, and Pawnee.  Buffalo roamed in great herds across the Kansas prairies, providing food and clothing for Indians. The Indians were not the only ones that hunted buffalo, by 1840s The American Fur Co was purchasing buffalo robes/hides in the amount of thousands per year.  The gold strike at Cherry Creek in the Rocky Mountains brought more people through Kansas.  The Butterfield Overland Dispatch started freight service to Denver, which caused several forts to be established by the fall of 1865.  One such Fort was located south of the Saline River Valley area, known as Fort Fletcher, later known as Fort Hays.  The railroad reached Hays City in October of 1867, bringing many construction crews.  These crews had to be fed, buffalo was supplied to the railroads, by many buffalo hunters. In the east a new tanning method was used to tan the buffalo hides, which made it profitable to hunt buffalo during any season of the year.  The buffalo were becoming scarce around the Hays area by 1873 and both the fate of the Indians and the buffalo were almost extinct by 1880.


          This part of the country was an unorganized territory until 1867, when the Kansas Legislature defined its boundaries and named it Ellis County.  Ellis County named for Lt. George Ellis (1832-64), of the 12th Ks. Infantry, who was injured at a battle along a stream called the Saline River at Jenkins Ferry, Arkansas, and died on May 1, 1864.  Ellis County is exactly 30 miles square, first having only 2 townships Ellis & Big Creek; soon it consisted of 4 townships Ellis Twp, Big Creek Twp, Victoria Twp, and Walker Twp.  Saline Twp was formed in 1877 from part of Big Creek Twp.  Most of the history of Saline River Valley was in Saline Twp., which was reduced in size by the formations of the following Townships.  1878 Catherine Twp, 1880 Hamilton Twp, 1889 Buckeye Township, and in 1917 Riverview Township.  Finally in 1971, Saline Twp was disorganized and added to Catherine & Herzog Townships.  


          There were at least 20 plus colonies established in Ellis County during the years between 1870 and 1879, some of those established themselves in the Saline River Valley area.  One settlement of Irish cattlemen settled along the Saline River, among them were the family names of McCarty, Cox, Henches, McGurey, Nolan, McKinney, Martin, Dean, Cotton, Hamilton, Keagy, Lamb and Murphy.  In 1872 coming from Freeport, IL by wagon train were Daniel Thurston, Wellington Morris, George Rumsey & John Rumsey.  They had been in Ellis County earlier as buffalo hunters, when the hunting was good.  In 1876, families from Tennessee settled Turkville.  In this group of families were the family names of Turk, Brumitt, Hopper and joining them was Rev. A.L King, who founded the First Baptist Church in Ellis County.  Today, the Saline River Valley of Ellis County consists of the northern parts of Ellis Twp, Buckeye Twp, Catharine Twp and Herzog Twp. 

Saline River Valley Post Office Information and Maps

Saline River Valley School Information and Maps

Saline River Valley Church Information and Photos

Saline River Valley Landmark's Information and Photos

Saline River Valley -Norman Cemetery a.k.a. Turkville Cemetery a.k.a. Saline Cemetery Headstone Photos

Saline River Valley Tornado

Saline River Valley Indian Ghost

Saline River Valley News Items

Saline River Valley Oil Field Information and Pictures


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