Ellis County, Kansas
Chetolah Town Site Company was incorporated in 1888. Incorporators included:
Hill P. Wilson
C. W. Reeder
D. E. Barnes
T. E. Fulgrum
J. R. Jackson
Papers were filed with the Secretary of the State on 12 July 1888. On 18 February 1889, a new petition was filed. It was then called Chetolah Land and Town Company.
In the mid 1880's, Chetolah had it's first boom. Promoters laid out a townsite and built a hotel, livery stable, and store. They also had plans for a north-south railroad. Things didn't work out and Chetolah became a ghosttown.
In the 1890's, Chetolah boomed again when gold was discovered in the bluffs nearby. The hotel was reopened and a bridge was built from the mining site across the Smokey Hill River into Chetolah. The town sprang up as miners soon were panning and digging for gold up and down the river. The gold rush lasted for three years.
Oil was never discovered in the area but one well turned out to be a success. The Artesian Well, located in the hills of the Meserve Ranch on section 15, range 20 west, was popular with people from miles around. They came to the well to fill jugs and containers to take the salty mineral water home.
Near Chetolah, there was also Smokey Hill City which died along with Chetolah. There was also Gold Mill in 1894. Not much of anything is left of Gold Mill, Smokey Hill City, or Chetolah today.
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