Museum in Ingalls, Kansas
Elevation: 2680 feet
Latitude: 37° 49' 40" N
Longitude: 100° 27' 15" W
School District: USD 477
ZIP code: 67853
Area Code: 620
Ingalls is located in Gray [GY] county just north of the Arkansas River which is often dry. Highway US-50 connects Ingalls to Dodge City and Garden City; so does the Santa Fe Railroad. The countryside around Ingalls is quite dry with pronounced hills.
HistoryLong before Ingalls was permanently settled, The Santa Fe Trail passed through the townsite. Downtown Ingalls has two small red stone markers erected in 1906 by the DAR to mark the route of the great frontier highway
Ingalls was founded in 1884 by Asa T. Soule, a millionaire and early Kansas investor. He named it for John J. Ingalls, then a US senator from Kansas, who created the state motto Ad astra per aspera and wrote the poem Opportunity.
Mr. Soule had grand dreams of building a canal from Ingalls to Spearville (east of Dodge City) to take water from the Arkansas and use it for irrigation. It never worked and Mr. Soule unloaded his interest in the Eureka Irrigation Canal for $1,000,000. Traces of the canal can still be seen east of town. Mounds of dirt excavated during construction mark the route. One of the giant pumps for pumping water from the Arkansas into the Soule canal is on display in front of the local museum. The steam-driven centrifugal pump could move 30,000 gallons per minute.
Ingalls had a long and violent struggle with nearby Cimarron over which town should be the county seat of Gray county. Ingalls lost for the last time in 1896 and by 1928 had dwindled to the point that the Board of Agriculture report did not list the population of Ingalls as a separate town.
Gray county's first (1872) settler, D. W. "Doc" Barton (1850-1946), lived in Ingalls for much of his life. He came to western Kansas in 1872 to graze Texas cattle on the open rangeland of the area, and was very successful until he was bankrupted by the great blizzard of January, 1886.
- USD 477 Ingalls Bulldogs (620) 335-5136 Fax: (620) 335-5678
Box 99 / Ingalls, KS 67853
- Ingalls Library
200 S. Main
- Monday 2-6
- Santa Fe Trail Museum (620) 335-5220 / 204 S. Main
- Ingalls Cafe 335-5501 / 120 S. Main
We had a large tossed salad that is served with dressing on the side. The steaks were good tasting and tender; excellent white gravy is available. The service was pleasant and good.
- Antique Emporium
Banking in Ingalls
- First National Bank (620) 335-5111
- Ingalls Community Bible Church (620) 335-5305
- St. Stanislaus Catholic Church (620) 335-5201
More information about Ingalls
- City Clerk (620) 335-5118
220 S. Main / Ingalls, KS 67853
- WPA. The WPA Guide to 1930s Kansas (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, reprint 1984) See tour 4a, page 398
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