Smoky Hill City
Latitude / Longitude:
38° 45′ 42.4″ N, 99° 31′ 55.9″ W
Central (CST) (UTC-6)
Smoky Hill City is an abandoned ghost town in Ellis County, Kansas, United States. It lies approximately 12 miles (19 km) southwest of Hays.
The land was bought by Charles K. Holliday of Topeka, and a townsite plat was filed with the county in 1899. Holliday began selling town lots. Some of the first residents came from the town of Chetolah, just across the Smoky Hill River. Chetolah had been founded ten years earlier in the anticipation of a railroad connection that was never built. With the influential Hollidays backing the new town of Smoky Hill City, residents of Chetolah deserted to the new town.
The designation of Smoky Hill City as a townsite was vacated by Ellis County in 1905, at the request of Charles Holliday. The settlement survived for several more years, but was eventually completely abandoned.
Charles Holliday was the son of railroad magnate Cyrus K. Holliday. Both father and son believed that the contained valuable mineral deposits. The town was situated on the north bank of the Smoky Hill River to serve the gold mines that Charles Holliday imagined would spring up to mine the supposed gold-bearing shale along the Smoky Hill River valley.