City of Ensign - Ensign Kansas
Ensign Centennial 2012

-Saturday July 21, 2012-

List of Events Included:

Beginning at 5:00 pm Community BBQ in the Park featuring grilling of hamburgers and hot dogs donated by Black Hills Energy!

From 5:00-9:00 Carnival Games in the Park with prizes for the kids, Humongous Water Slide and Bounce House!

From 9:00-1:00am Ensign Community Street Dance hosted by the DJ Stylings of Big Daddy Michael Anthony of Q97 and Z98 FM!!!

EVERYONE HAD A BLAST!!! HAPPY 100TH BIRTHDAY ENSIGN. KS! HERE'S TO ANOTHER 100 YEARS OF MEMORIES!!!
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A Brief History of Ensign, Kansas
According to Lula’s Story Pages 13-32, the history of our little town of Ensign, Kansas is anything but simple. In fact, Ensign encompasses one of the most complicated histories of any small town in the great state of Kansas.   

Lula’s Story, Pg. 13--“Now back to 1887 and Ensign. The present town of Ensign has evolved out of a busy past of moving. Lone Lake was located one mile west and two and one-half miles south of the present Ensign location. Joseph K. Sayre was appointed the Postmaster in 1885. In August of 1887, David Worth Sayre and David Morrison deeded the N ½ S10 T28S R27W, and Walter Cooksey deeded the SW ¼ S3 T28S R27W to the Ensign Town Company. George Leonard Ensign was president of this company, and he surveyed and laid out a town. This town lay one and one-half miles to the north and one-half mile west of the Lone Lake Post Office, or one mile south and one and one-half miles west of the present Ensign. This all was in anticipation of the coming Soule Railroad. Uncle J.K. moved the post office to the town, and the post office name was officially changed to the Ensign Post Office November 14, 1887, in honor of Mr. Ensign.”   

There was more than a little moving for our wonderful small town of Ensign, Kansas as one can see. With all this moving above, the current location of Ensign, Kansas was yet to be established. In fact, that came nearly 25 years later…   

Lula’s Story, Pg. 16— “THE ENSIGN RAZZOOP H.A. Post, Publisher    May 1, 1988 RAILROAD ABANDONED The railroad has been abandoned, the bubble has burst… Houses have been moved here and there.   Although Mr. Soule never lived to see all his dreams come true,- the ‘big ditch,’ the railroad, his college in operation-Father often said Mr. Soule’s money kept the wolf from many western Kansas doors.   The town Ensign laid out by J.L. Ensign was ordered vacated by the Legislature. When a land is vacated, it is returned to the original government description, as if it had never been platted. So went George Leonard Ensign’s dreams.”   

Now comes the important part… The actual development site of the current city of Ensign, Kansas.   

Lula’s Story, Pg. 32-“On June 1, 1911, came a real triumph. W. B. Storey, Vice President of Santa Fe, and other railroad officials came to Dodge City. They were interested in visiting southwest parts of Kansas, untouched by a railroad. By fall, the grapevine informed local men the railroad was sure to be coming through. January 1, 1912, an issue of the Dodge City Globe carried the news the contract had been awarded to Ransom and Cook, construction company of Ottawa, for grading the first miles of the line from Dodge City to Haskell County.   

The dream had become a reality. Work soon began. In May, 1912, the first rail was laid and spiked on the new grade. The town was staked and numbered. THE GORDON AND JOHNSON LAND WAS NOW THE NEW TOWN-SITE OF ENSIGN.   

On May 25, 1912, my father, Caleb Wesley Sutton, visited Dodge City and purchased the west half of block 4 in the new village to be. He sold his homestead for twenty dollars an acre, moved the Cave Post Office to L.O.’s home and the switchboard to Jack’s. May 28 they loaded father’s store building at Cave for the move seven miles north. They had trouble moving it by horse and wagon and did not get it into Ensign until May 30, 1912. THIS WAS THE FIRST BUILDING IN THE NEW TOWN.” 

Reference: 

Sutton Pegram Smith, L.M. (1980). Lula's Story. Ensign, Kansas: B.P. Herman

BELOW ARE SOME PICTURES FROM THE BEGINNING OF ENSIGN!

Ensign Kansas 189l Plat located ONE MILE SOUTH AND ONE AND ONE-HALF MILE WEST OF THE PRESENT ENSIGN KANSAS
Ensign Kansas 189l Plat located ONE MILE SOUTH AND ONE AND ONE-HALF MILE WEST OF THE PRESENT ENSIGN KANSAS
Filed on the 25th Day of February 1889 with the Register of Deeds in Gray County Kansas at 8:10 am and signed by E.J. Clark Deputy Register of Deeds! This was the official beginning of the Great town of Ensign Kansas!!!
Ensign Kansas DEVELOPED May, 1912
Original Plat Diagram filed for Ensign at it's current location developed May of 1912.
Ensign Kansas DEVELOPED May, 1912
Business Street Ensign, Kansas Between 1910-1919
Business Street Ensign, Kansas Between 1910-1919
A photograph showing automobiles and horse drawn wagons in front of businesses in Ensign, Kansas.
Ensign Elevators Between 1910-1919
A photograph showing the original layout of the grain elevators in Ensign, Kansas.
Ensign Elevators Between 1910-1919
Ensign Kansas Between 1910-1919
Ensign Kansas Between 1910-1919
A photograph of Ensign, Kansas, showing business buildings and residences some of which are still standing in the current Ensign.
C.W. Sutton General Store May 30, 1912
A photograph of the C. W. Sutton general store, the first grocery store in Ensign, Kansas. Sutton General Store was also the first building in Ensign, moved from Cave 7 miles South in 1912. People in the photograph are C. W. Sutton, R. W. Pegram, Bishops, and George Pomeroy.
C.W. Sutton General Store May 30, 1912
First Store Buildings, Ensign Kansas 1913
First Store Buildings, Ensign Kansas 1913
A photograph of the first store buildings in Ensign, Kansas. Businesses were Jim Kimball Barber Shop; Lee Tedlock, Milt Sayre Grocery and post office; Glenn Cramer editor of the newspaper; R. C. Osborn & Barbua meat & produce store; and R. C. & Barbua picture show & dance hall.
Business Street, Ensign Kansas 1914
A photograph showing children and horse drawn carriages on a business street in Ensign, Kansas.
Business Street, Ensign Kansas 1914
I. O. O. F Lodge, Ensign Kansas 1915
I. O. O. F Lodge, Ensign Kansas 1915
A photograph of the new I.O.O.F. Lodge instituted by Cimarron #288 at Ensign, Kansas. The lodge met in Clark's Pharmacy building. People in the photograph are identified as: (first row) J. R. Fisher, Harry Hildebrand, Arlie Fisher, Earl Mackey, Charles Naylor, Bill Miller, Andy Green; (second row) Earl Hoadley, Vernon Cash, B. F. Clem, Bill Westfall, R. W. McFarland (4th from right); (third row) Bill McFarland (3rd from right). Unfortunately, identification is not complete.
Business Street, Ensign Kansas Between 1910-1919
A photograph showing automobiles and a horse drawn wagon in front of business buildings in Ensign, Kansas.
Business Street, Ensign Kansas Between 1910-1919
Gray County Record Newspaper Building, Main Street, Ensign Kansas Between 1916-1920
Gray County Record Newspaper Building, Main Street, Ensign Kansas Between 1916-1920
A photograph of the Gray County Record newspaper office, Ensign, Kansas.
Graduating Class of the Ensign Rural High School 1923
A photograph of the 1923 graduating class of Ensign Rural High School, Ensign, Kansas.
Graduating Class of the Ensign Rural High School 1923
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