Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Dr. Myrta E. McGinnis
Frontier towns have developed along the same pattern. First, a lawless element ruled the locality with its threat of sudden death. Dead men, carried out with their boots on, gave mute proof to the skeptical that such threats were not idly given. Next, enterprising citizens, organizing in the dead of the night, brought some respect for decency and order by swinging one end of a rope over a projecting limb of a cottonwood tree and knotting the other end around the neck of a lawless ringleader. Then justice courts and law officers were introduced as the civilized - though many of them crude - means of establishing law and order on a more secure basis. Enforcement came with the flash of the six-shooter, and the man who could pull his pistol quickly had the respect of all men whether he .as on the side of the law or against it. Gradually, out of all this, came the time when men resorted to fistfights alone or went to law courts and lawyers to settle their differences. Ellsworth, Kansas, came through all of these stages and finally became a decent town in which a respectable citizen could hoe his backyard garden in peace and contentment.
Copyright 1941 John Choitz
Choitz, John, "Ellsworth, Kansas : The History of A Frontier Town, 1854-1885" (1941). Master's Theses. 338.