EARLY in May, 1869, a man named Fitzpatrick came to Ellsworth from Sheridan, Kan., having been warned that it would not be healthy for him to remain longer in the latter place. He secured employment in one of the saloons in Ellsworth. During the evening of May 11, Fitzpatrick began firing his gun on the street. While on this rampage, he stopped several people, put his pistol against them, and threatened to shoot, scaring them most to death. When the east-bound train came in he fired a shot through the cars and then went into the saloon where he was employed.
He found a man named William Bryson  asleep in the room. He shook the sleeping man and when he awakened, asked him how he got in there. Bryson, in the habit. of sleeping there, answered that he came in through the window. Thereupon Fitzpatrick struck him on the head with his revolver, and when the man tried to escape he fired a shot, striking him in the groin. The victim died about eight o'clock the next morning.
The coroner's jury found Fitzpatrick guilty of murder in the first degree. The news spread through the village. At one o'clock that afternoon the citizens turned out en masse, took the murderer from the jail to the river bank and hanged him to the historic old cottonwood which became famous because of the number of persons who were strung up on its branches by vigilance committees. Before being hung, Fitzpatrick gave his age and residence and confessed that he had stabbed a "great many men." His people lived in St. Louis.
The night Fitzpatrick ran amuck, someone fired a shot into Judge Westover's residence, wounding one Mrs. Brown in the arm; the same shot. grazed the arm of the little Westover boy who was asleep in his bed. The citizens searched the town and surrounding country for the villain. No record is extant showing that he was captured, but if he was, his body adorned a strong branch of the old cottonwood.
Ira W. Phelps, a local grocer and dealer in provisions who wrote up the details of these shooting affrays for the press, stated that Ellsworth had the assurance of the Texas cattle trade and that the
citizens were determined to have law and order "if they have to fight it out on this line all summer." 
How much time elapsed between the opening of this campaign against lawlessness and the establishment of the cattle market in Ellsworth is not known. Nor are figures on the drives to this point in 1869 and 1870 available. However, Ellsworth was not an important market during those two years. 
A total of 161,320  head of cattle were transported over the Kansas Pacific Railroad in 1871, an increase of 30,000 over the shipments for the previous season. Ellsworth received a fair share of this traffic. According to the most reliable figures available, there were shipped from that market during the fall months 1,340 cars of cattle, averaging eighteen head to the car, making a total of 24,121; and for the entire season the shipments amounted to more than 1,900 carloads of longhorns.  These animals were sold to firms in Kansas City, Leavenworth, Chicago, and St. Louis.
The northern drive reached its height in 1871. According to Joseph G. McCoy, fully 600,000 head of cattle arrived in western Kansas that year. The season was a rainy one, causing the grass to be coarse and spongy and to lack the nutrition needed to make tallow. The severe storms caused the cattle to stampede badly. As the season advanced the animals became poorer in flesh and, furthermore, there were comparatively few buyers. As a result of the condition of the cattle and the lack of a market, 300,000 head were put in winter quarters, most of them having been driven west into the buffalo-grass region. Upwards of 140,000 longhorns were wintered on lands belonging to the Kansas Pacific.
Scarcely had the herds arrived in the short-grass country when a severe rainstorm set in, followed by a cold wind which froze the water. The grass became covered with a sheet of ice two or three inches thick. A furious gale blew for three days and nights. Many men and horses were frozen to death and thousands of cattle perished. The winter was a severe one. It is estimated that several
hundred cow ponies and a quarter of a million head of cattle died before spring. Wealthy cattlemen were made bankrupt by the losses which mounted into millions of dollars. 
There were 640,000 acres of rich grazing land in Ellsworth county. More than 80,000 head of Texas cattle were put in winter quarters in the county in 1871- 1872. The losses were terrific, at least half of the animals dying as a result of the cold and stormy weather. In May, 1872, a writer made the following statement in the local paper:
I believe that I am safe in saying that fully fifty percent of the stock in Ellsworth county (no doubt the best stock county in western Kansas) died from exposure and want the past winter; of the domestic and wintered stock a less percent, of those brought from Texas last year a greater percent. Not less than thirteen thousand hides have been shipped from Ellsworth since last November . . . . 
After 1871 Abilene ceased to be an important market. In February, 1872, a circular notifying the drovers not to return to Abilene was prepared by the enemies of the traffic and sent to Texas.
A considerable portion of the cattle men drove their herds to Ellsworth that season, and some of the business men and others deserted Abilene and followed the trade. J. W. Gore and M. B. George tore down part of the Drovers' Cottage and moved it to the new market place. Jac. (Jake) Karatofsky, the young Russian Jew who owned the Great Western Store on the corner of Cedar and Texas streets, went to the new cow town with a stock of general merchandise about May 1. J. W. (Brocky Jack) Norton, who had served on Abilene's police force in 1871, was employed as a peace officer in Ellsworth and later became city marshal. The gamblers, roughs, courtesans, and hangerson, who had infested Abilene, flocked to the new longhorn metropolis to ply their nefarious occupations.
The population of Ellsworth was about one thousand. The chief business was the trafficking in cattle and trade with the cattlemen. The main street ran along both sides of the railroad, making an exceedingly wide street, or two streets, called North Main and South Main. The business section was approximately three blocks long. The store buildings, mostly one- and two-story frame structures with porches on the front, lined the outer side of the street and faced the railroad. Here and there more pretentious structures of brick had been erected. Board sidewalks were generally in use, though in the spring of 1873 Arthur Larkin constructed a stretch of sidewalk twelve feet wide, made of magnesia limestone, in front
of his hotel. It was said that no other town, not even Kansas City, had a sidewalk equal to it. In keeping with the custom of the times, most of the business places provided benches or seats for loafers under the wooden awnings. There were hitching posts in front of the stores to which farmers' teams or cow ponies were tied most of the time day and night.
The location of the leading business houses (commencing at the west end on South -Main), was as follows:  Drovers' cottage, a three-story hotel equipped with eighty-four nicely furnished rooms and a dining room which seated 100 guests. A short distance down the street was Reuben and Sheek's "gents" furnishings store which catered to Texas men; and two doors east was J. Ringolsky & Co.'s store, called Drovers' headquarters, which kept a general line of clothing and supplies. All three men came from Leavenworth. Beyond were: D. W. Powers' bank, also a Leavenworth firm, established in 1873 to care for the financial needs of the cattlemen; Minnick and Hounson's brick drug store; and John Bell's Great Western Hardware Emporium on the corner of Douglas. East of Douglas: John Kelly's American House; the big general store of Jerome Beebe who had branch stores at Wilson and Brookville and sold a variety of merchandise-in fact almost everything from highgrade groceries and "wines and liquors for medicinal purposes" to Kirby's reapers and Moline plows; and Whitney and Kendall's furniture store a half block east of Lincoln. This firm established a cabinet shop on North Main in 1872 and moved across the tracks a year later. The railroad station was almost directly in front of Beebe's store.
The courthouse and jail were located on the north side of the railroad tracks two blocks east of Douglas. When the jail was completed in June, 1873, the local paper called it the most comfortable place in town, but warned its readers that too many should not crowd into the building at once.  Nearby was the Ellsworth lumberyard owned by Kuney, Southwick & Co. The Grand Central hotel, owned by Arthur Larkin, was on the corner of Lincoln. This building was constructed of a good quality red brick and was said to be the finest and costliest house west of the Missouri, excepting in Topeka. Its entire cost, including furniture, was $27,000. The building still stands and is now called the White House hotel. If
this building could speak it would tell of many noted characters of the Old West who occupied its rooms in the early days-Buffalo Bill Cody; Wild Bill Hickok; Wyatt Earp; Ben and Billy Thompson; "Rowdy Joe" Lowe of Wichita dance-hall fame; big cattlemen; several local policemen; and other celebrities of the plains. In the next block west, opposite the depot, were Arthur Larkin's dry goods and clothing store, which opened in 1873, and J. C. Veatch's hotel and restaurant. Beyond were Nagle's livery stable, the post office, and Seitz's drug store on the corner of Douglas, advertised as the "oldest established drug store in western Kansas."
The stockyards were located up the railroad track in the west part of town; they were constructed of unpainted lumber and covered several acres of ground. The yards had seven chutes from which 200 cars of cattle per day could be loaded. The Ellsworth Reporter claimed that these yards were the largest in the state in 1872.  Col. R. D. Hunter, favorably known among the cattlemen, was superintendent of the stockyards in 1872 and 1873.
The cattle traffic brought to Ellsworth hundreds of drovers, buyers and speculators; and the rough element, which moved from town to town with the shifts of the trade, congregated there. A visitor in 1872 had this to say of the new market:
This little border town of Ellsworth is not the most moral one in the world. During the cattle season, which, I am told, only lasts during the summer and fall, it presents a scene seldom witnessed in any other section. It reminds one of a town in California in its early days when gambling flourished and vice was at a premium. Here you see in the streets men from every state, and I might say from almost every nation-the tall, longhaired Texas herder, with his heavy jingling spurs and pairs of six-shooters; the dirty, greasy Mexicans, with unintelligible jargon; the gambler from all parts of the country, looking for unsuspecting prey; the honest emigrant in search of a homestead in the great free West; the keen stock buyers; the wealthy Texas drovers; dead beats; "cappers"; pick-pockets; horse thieves; a cavalry of Texas ponies; and scores of demimonde.
The saloons and gambling houses were all patronized. During the first seven months of 1873, a total of thirteen persons were licensed to carry on the business of keeping saloons and dramshops for the
year.  Three of the hotels sold liquor. That spring the Ellsworth Reporter made the observation that whisky was an antidote for snake bites. In view of the number of saloons in town, this paper did not believe that anyone in Ellsworth was in great danger if stung by one of these reptiles.
Just a word about the social life of Ellsworth in the cow-town period. The hotels were the social centers in those days. Numerous parties and dances were held in their commodious halls. In the winter of 1872-1873 the Ellsworth Dancing Club sponsored a series of balls at the Grand Central hotel, the final entertainment taking place in March.  Numerous dances were held in the Drovers' Cottage during the winter and spring of that year. The last dance of the season occurred on Thursday evening, May 29. Messrs. Parkhurst, Bradshaw, Skyrock, Savage, Whitney, and Hoseman were the committeemen. A large crowd attended and those present are said to have enjoyed the entertainment so much that they danced until morning. Several gentlemen from Texas participated and "seemed to like the Ellsworth girls." 
Another form of entertainment was provided for Ellsworth folk. Late in February, 1873, the Sixth cavalry boys from Fort Harker put on a play at the Drovers' Cottage. The hall was crowded and everyone was pleased with the show.  On June 5, the local paper announced that "Ellsworth is to have a theater." A week later it said, "Ellsworth has a theater" and explained that Messrs. McClelland and Freeman had been occupied the previous week fitting up a building for this purpose. Freeman went to St. Joseph, Kansas City and St. Louis and engaged an excellent line of talent. Late in the summer the press reported that the theater was still patronized by large crowds and stated that the proprietors deserved good audiences for booking so many first-class actors. 
In 1871 or 1872 a cattle trail to Ellsworth was established which ran by way of "Bluff creek, Turkey or Salt creek to Zarah and Ellsworth."  The total distance from the crossing of the Red river in Texas to Ellsworth was about 350 miles.
In 1873 a new trail from Pond creek, Indian territory, to Ellsworth was surveyed by the Kansas Pacific Railway Co., which shortened the distance thirtyfive miles. The party to whom the work of making the survey was intrusted consisted of William M. Cox, general livestock agent for the railroad company, and the following well-known cattlemen: David Hunter, brother of Col. R. D. Hunter; T. J. Buckbee; Howard Capper; and J. Ben George. The trail blazers left Ellsworth on April 16 and completed their work about May 1. The trail ran through a section which was supplied with an abundance of water. Ellinwood was selected as the point for crossing the Arkansas river. When the survey was completed Cox returned to Ellsworth, while Hunter, Buckbee and Capper remained at Sewell's ranch on Pond creek until the first herd came along. 
The new route, known as "Cox's trail" or the "Ellsworth cattle trail,"  diverged from the old trail at the Pond creek ranch, about half-way between Salt Fork of the Arkansas and Pond creek; turned to the left and bore a little west of north along Pond creek to the headwaters of that stream; then west of north to Cox's crossing of Bluff creek (about a quarter of a mile west of north fork); and ran by way of Kingman and Ellinwood to Ellsworth. Three supply stores were located at convenient points along the trail. These were Sewell's ranch and store east of the Pond creek crossing; C. H. Stone's store at Cox's crossing of Bluff creek; and E. C. Manning's store at a place "called Kingman," a mile and a half east of the crossing of the Ninnescah.
The people of Ellsworth and the Kansas Pacific Railroad Co. made every effort to direct the cattle trade to that town. Articles appeared in the Reporter setting forth the advantages of the new trail and of Ellsworth as a market place. The drovers were told that Ellsworth had the railway facilities, the largest cattle yards in the state, and the hotel accommodations for the drovers and their crews. The new trail was spoken of with pride and the cattlemen were informed that they would be less liable to interruptions and annoyances because the trail ran west of the settled regions.  Each week for some time in the spring of 1873, the Reporter pub-
lished a table showing distances and containing a description of the route, streams, crossings, camping grounds, and trading posts along the way. As a means of advertising the new trail and the shipping points on the line, the Kansas Pacific issued a pamphlet and map entitled, Guide Map of the Great Texas Cattle Trail From Red River Crossing to the Old Reliable Kansas Pacific Railway. The writer has located only two editions of this pamphlet: one issued in 1872, the other in 1875. To quote from the 1875 edition:
Drovers are recommended to make Ellis, Russell, Wilson's, Ellsworth and Brookville the principal points for their cattle for the following reasons: Freedom from petty annoyances of settlers, arising from the cattle trespassing upon cultivated fields, because there is wider range, an abundance of grass and water, increased shipping facilities and extensive yard accommodations. Large and commodious hotels may be found in all these places, and at Ellsworth, especially, the old "Drovers' cottage," so popular with the trade for years, will be found renovated and enlarged. The banking house of D. W. Powers & Co., established at Ellsworth in 1873, in the interest of the cattle business, will remain at this point and continue their liberal dealings as in the past.
As stated above, Ellsworth became the principal shipping point for Texas cattle on the Kansas Pacific Railroad in 1872. The first three droves of longhorns that season arrived in Ellsworth early in June. These droves numbered 1,000 head each.  Two weeks later a total of twenty-eight herds, numbering from 1,000 to 6,000 head each, had arrived and many more were on the way. The fresh arrivals contained a total of 58,850 head of longhorns. These, together with over 40,000 head which had wintered in the county, made a total of more than 100,000 head of Texas cattle in EllsWorth county. 
That season 40,161 head were transported from Ellsworth, or one fourth of the total number marketed over the Kansas Pacific. Large shipments were also made from the following towns: 12,240 from Brookville; 10,940 from Salina; and 8,040 from Solomon.  Besides those shipped by rail from Ellsworth, about 50,000 head were driven to California and the territories from that place. In the months of June and July more than 100,000 head of beef and stock cattle changed hands at Ellsworth. Drovers found buyers on their arrival, enabling them to close out at a good. price and return to their homes. 
The prices paid for cattle that season were as follows: $19 to $22
for beeves; $15 to $18 for three-year-olds; $9 to $10 for two-yearolds; $12 for cows; and $6 for yearlings. 
The town folk looked forward to an enormous increase in the cattle trade in 1873. The business men made a number of improvements and prepared for an expansion of trade. As stated above, D. W. Powers & Co. of Leavenworth opened their bank that spring and promised to give particular attention to the "accommodation of merchants, stock dealers and the Texas cattle trade." The American House was enlarged, remodeled and refurnished that the proprietors might better accommodate with "luxury and ease all those fatigued with the toils and labors of the day and especially the Texas drovers upon their arrival at the city after a long and weary journey." 26 J. C. Veatch enlarged and improved his hotel and restaurant before the cattle season opened. On March 6 the Reporter ventured this prediction:
"Ellsworth will be the liveliest town in Kansas this year."
To which the Leavenworth Commercial retorted, "Yes, in flea time."
There was enough documentary evidence to show that the prediction of the local paper was sound. Perhaps a more lively form of contemporaneous evidence was needed to convince folk of the veracity of the Commercial's comment.
In April, twenty-eight herds of cattle, ranging from two to ten thousand each, were reported on their way to Ellsworth. The largest herd was owned by W_ S. Peryman & Co., while Allen and Bennette drove 8,000 head, and Millett and Mabry were on the road with 6,000 cattle.  On May 29 the local paper reported that 100,000 longhorns had arrived at Ellsworth; on June 5 the number was placed at 125,000; and a week later it was increased to 143,500. The 100,000 head were owned by fifty-five cattlemen. Among these were Col. O. W. Wheeler, L. B. Harris, J. L. Driskill, Maj. Seth Mabry, and others, who had made the drive each year for some years. Col. James V. Ellison, who drove from 4,000 to 12,000 cattle up the trail annually, had just arrived with 7,000 beeves. Col. J. J. Myers, whose yearly drive had never been less than 4,000 longhorns, was on the trail near Ellsworth with 27,000 head of cattle.
A group of excursionists, representing The Cattle Trails, published at Kansas City, visited Ellsworth about July 1 and reported that
they found only 56,000 head of cattle at Wichita, none at Great Bend, and 135,000 head at Ellsworth. 
If the reports in the press are accurate more than 140,000 longhorns were received at Ellsworth before the middle of June, and additional droves were expected.  A half million head were driven to Kansas during the year. It is safe to say that at least thirty percent of these went to Ellsworth.
A season could scarcely have opened with a brighter outlook and closed in deeper gloom for everyone connected with the cattle trade than did this one. In the first place the number of buyers, as compared with the previous year, was greatly reduced because of the short corn crop. Then the financial crash came upon the country, reaching the West. in October and paralyzing every form of business. The cattlemen were unable to borrow money and consequently were forced to put large numbers of their livestock on a market that was already weak. Most of the drovers, traders and shippers lost heavily and scores of them were bankrupted. Because of these conditions, at least forty percent of the Texas cattle were put in winter quarters in western Kansas or were driven into Colorado; thousands were killed and made into tallow; large numbers were purchased by enterprising cattlemen for their ranches or were taken by feeders; others went to the Indians or were consumed in the northwestern territories. 
As stated above, Ellsworth received approximately one third of the longhorns driven to Kansas in 1873. Of this number, 30,540 were transported over the Kansas Pacific Railroad  and about 25,000 were wintered in the vicinity.  There is no record showing definitely what disposition was made of the remainder. Some were probably driven to other cow towns and shipped.  The balance were undoubtedly consumed in one or more ways mentioned in the preceding paragraph.
Ellsworth folk made a supreme effort in 1874 to retain the cattle trade which was finding a more attractive market at Wichita. Either leading citizens of the town or the Kansas Pacific Railroad Co. enlisted the help of Abel H. Pierce '34 who was known throughout
the cattle country as "Shanghai Pierce," to distinguish him from a cowman of smaller stature of the same name. He had been part owner of the Rancho Grande in eastern Texas on which more than 100,000 longhorns grazed before he came to Kansas in the seventies to trade in cattle. His big steers, called "Shanghai's sea lions," were known far and wide. Shanghai enjoyed being in the saddle with the boys and was a great story-teller. Late at night in camp one could hear the men laughing at his yarns. He talked so loud that Charles Siringo, who rode in his outfit, said that his voice "could be heard nearly half a mile even when he tried to whisper." 
Shanghai Pierce worked hard for Ellsworth that season and had the local press, the civic leaders, and the Kansas Pacific back of him. According to a report dated May 25, there were 42,572 longhorns at Ellsworth and 60,372 head had passed Sewell's ranch enroute for that place. A total of 18,500  head were shipped over the Kansas Pacific Railroad that season, or 12,000 less than in 1873.
By 1875 Ellsworth ceased to be an important market. The trade had shifted to Wichita and with it went most of the toughs and some of the merchants. The glamorous days were over, never to return. During the four years, 1871-1874, inclusive, more than a third of a million Texas longhorns were driven to Ellsworth. Of these about thirty percent were transported to market over the Kansas Pacific Railroad. At least 40,000 perished during the severe winter of 1871-1872. The remainder were sold to farmers near town; to cattlemen and feeders in Kansas and other parts of the country; or were disposed of in some other manner. Practically all the landmarks of the trails period have disappeared. The mammouth stockyards were removed a few years after the traffic was discontinued. The fires of 1874 and 1875 destroyed several of the business houses. The others went one by one. The Grand Central hotel building is still standing, but this building has been materially altered and the name changed; although here and there are evidences of the time when longhorn barons and noted gamblers were its guests.
1. Also spelled Brison. 2. Junction City Union, May 15, 1869.
3. Abilene was the chief market. Junction City, Solomon and Sauna received a share of the trade. A newspaper was not established at Ellsworth until December, 1871. The municipal records begin in July of that year. In the early years of the Texas cattle trade the newspapers in the larger cities gave little space to the trade in a town until that place became an important market. The country town papers paid practically no attention to the cattle trade in other towns. The Union Pacific Railroad Co. has been unable to supply figures on the cattle trade at Ellsworth for 1869 end 1870. Therefore, the contemporaneous newspapers have been the only available source and a search of them has not yielded the desired data.
4. Kansas Pacific Railway Co., Guide Map of the Great Texas Cattle Trail (1875).
5. Ellsworth Reporter, December 28, 1871; July 25, 1872.
6. McCoy, Historic Sketches of the Cattle Trade, pp. 226, 227.
7. Ellsworth Reporter, May 16,1872.
8. D. H. Fraker, a pioneer business man of Ellsworth, rendered valuable assistance in locating and describing the old buildings. This information has been checked with and supplemented by files of the Ellsworth Reporter and other printed sources.
9. Ellsworth Reporter, June 26, 1873.
10. Ibid., July 11, 1872.
11. Ibid., July 25, 1872.
12. Ellsworth, city council, "Proceedings," 1873.
13. Ellsworth Reporter, March 6, 1873.
14. Ibid., June 5, 1873; Topeka Commonwealth, June 4, 1873.
15. Ellsworth Reporter, March 6, 1873. 16. Ibid., August 28, 1873.
17. Mentioned in Ellsworth Reporter, June 13 1872. The exact route followed those two Years is not known. The trail was probably not well defined at the start. According to information in the local paper, it evidently left the old trail near Pond creek, Indian territory, crossed Bluff creek near the present site of Anthony, ran near Kingman, and crossed the Arkansas at Raymond. By "Zarah" the writers may have referred to the town which was located one mile east of Fort Zarah. The fort was dismantled in 1869. However, the name of the fort appears on the Kansas Pacific's map issued in 1875. In 1872 Great Bend won the fight for the county seat. After that the town of Zarah gradually disappeared.
18. Ellsworth Reporter, May 8, 1873.
19. Kansas Pacific Railroad Co., Guide Map of the Great Texas Cattle Trail (1875).
20. The 1875 edition of the Kansas Pacific Railway Co.'s Guide Map also stated that the Cox trail ran west of the settlements in Kansas. There were several towns west of the trail. However, not much of the land around the towns had been occupied by settlers and it was this fact that the Ellsworth advertisers had in mind when they made their statements. McCoy added a bit of evidence on this point m 1874 when he stated that the country adjacent to Great Bend was such that it would "remain unsettled for years to come" unless it was taken for stock ranches. See Historic Sketches of the Cattle Trade, p. 415.
21. Ellsworth Reporter, June 6, 1872.
22. Ibid., June 20, 1872.
23. Kansas Pacific Railroad Co., Tenth Annual Report.
24. Ellsworth Reporter, April 17, 1873.
25. Ibid., June 27, 1872.
26. Advertisement in Ellsworth Reporter.
27. Letter of "Occasional "dated April 25, to Kansas City (Mo.) Journal of Commerce, in Ellsworth Reporter, May 1, 1873.
28. Ellsworth Reporter, July 3, 1873.
29. "Clarendon" in Topeka Commonwealth June 4, 1873, estimated that Ellsworth would receive and dispatch a quarter of million head that season.
30. McCoy, Historic Sketches of the Cattle Trade, pp. 260, 251. His account deals with all the Kansas markets. Ellsworth does not receive special mention.
31. Kansas Pacific Railroad Co., Seventh Annual Report.
32. Based on figures in Ellsworth Reporter, May 28, 1874.
33. A total of 10,080 head were shipped from Russell, 5,860 from Brookville, while the total shipments on the Kansas Pacific amounted to 164,780.
34. Wichita Eagle, May 21, 1874.
35. Siringo, Lone Star Cowboy, p. 248.
36. Kansas Pacific Railroad Co., Eighth Annual Report.