A mile field in Ulysses in 1946.

At one point, citizens of this town pulled up stakes and moved the entire town two miles west.

In 1885, Wyatt Earp’s first cousin, George Washington Earp, surveyed the site of Ulysses. The town was named for former U.S. president, Ulysses S. Grant. Earp actively promoted the town and became its first lawman. He had a hard-hitting reputation very much like his cousin, Wyatt.

Within six months Ulysses’ first newspaper, The Grant County Register, was up and running. A few months later the town had a population of nearly 1,500, an opera house, a good-sized hotel, six saloons (even though Kansas was dry) and a bunch of other businesses. In two years, the town had 500 more people, two more hotels and 12 restaurants.

Grant County was organized in 1887 and, in 1888, the State of Kansas proclaimed Ulysses its temporary County Seat. On October 16, Grant County citizens voted to make that status permanent. It was a peaceful process, but not without dispute. The town of Tilden (later Appomattox) vied for the County Seat as well. George Earp enlisted the assistance of several gunman including Bat Masterson and Luke Short to protect the ballot box in Ulysses.



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