History of Wellsville, Kansas
Wellsville is the second largest town in the county. Established in 1870, the town was named for a construction engineer on the new railroad. Essentially rural, the town was known for twenty years as the “Bluegrass Capitol of the World.” Underneath the bluegrass lay oil, which was discovered in 1915 and is still produced today. The settlers brought many talents that are still seen in the residents of the town such as artist Elizabeth “Grandma” Layton, country music singer Chely Wright, and many more unsung artisans.
The community was once part of the land ceded to and then reacquired from the Shawnee Indians.
The old bank building at 418 Main was the town’s first brick edifice, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The renovated home at 113 E. 5th, just east of Main, was the former Barabeau Hotel, the first building in Wellsville. Several early homes exist. Of note is the Hostetter home at the end of north Main.
Wellsville Kansas Today
Wellsville is the home of renowned artist, Elizabeth “Grandma” Layton.
Being a rapidly grown town just one mile North of I-35, a new “POD” style elementary school was recently completed to accommodate the expanding population. Besides antique shops, main street also has a drug store with an old fashioned soda fountain. This is the home of the “MUD”, an ice cream treat not to miss. If you’re hungry take that appetite to the local BBQ for some good home cooking or enjoy Fantastic Pizza at the local Pizza place. Take a minute to step back in time at the shop next door to the BBQ and see reproduction clothing of the yesteryear. Across the street come visit the wonderful antique shop with many beautiful items. While you visit step down to the next block to the feed and tack store, that also carries western wear.
“Wellsville being rather close to Kansas City, and surrounded by excellent farm lands, is imbued with much of the enterprise and growth which have visited this section of the land. The town and its surroundings are very attractive. Art has added much to nature; and even before the growth or planting of trees and shrubbery, and before the building of houses and fences and the embellishment of grounds, nature here in her wild state was such as to lead the early settlers to believe this to be a beautiful place for a town.”
Wellsville is an active little town with activities for all interests. They include Cruise Night, Wellsville Days, a Spring tea at the library, Easter egg hunt, Hallowesta, and Holidays in Wellsville which includes the lighting of the town’s tree and lights.You’ll want to come see the beautiful brick street that still marks the main street through the town. During prom season Wellsville is known for their “Prom Walk” down this brick street, allowing the Juniors and Seniors to pick a partner and stroll down the street for all to see in their beautiful gowns and tuxedos. This walk is followed by a dinner, dance and after prom party supported by all of the community.
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