After Ellis County, Kansas was formed on February 26, 1867, the county’s first town site began to take shape in May when the Lull brothers of Salina opened a general store strategically close to where the Kansas Pacific Railroad track would lay. They called the town Rome and by mid-June several homes had been constructed.
One of Rome’s co-founders was none other than famous scout and buffalo hunter, William E. Cody, a.k.a. Buffalo Bill. He and business partner William Rose, a railroad contractor, saw dollar signs and expected to make thousands of dollars selling lots. When the town was surveyed in May there were already around five hundred people in and around the area of the town site.
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