Forsyth Library on the Fort Hays State University campus will host a book signing and presentation by Jim Gray, author of a new book titled "Desperate Seed: Ellsworth, Kansas on the Violent Frontier." The signing will be at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 16, on the main floor of the library.
The book tells the story of the dramatic and wild times of the cattle town of Ellsworth during its founding and through the early years of its history, 1866 through 1875.
Gray, a rancher, businessman and 1972 graduate of FHSU, said he spent many hours in Forsyth Library going through long forgotten volumes of stories about a wild time in Kansas history. Years later, he was encouraged by readers of his newspaper, The Kansas Cowboy, to write a book about the tumultuous early history of Ellsworth. He started a 10-year journey of researching various sources of oral histories, books, old newspapers and museum collections.
"Desperate Seed" tells of famous and not-so-famous characters who walked the streets of Ellsworth and shaped its early history. Some of those characters are also a part of the early history of the city of Hays. Gray said that Hays and Ellsworth "are almost like mirror images of one another." Both Fort Hays and Hays City are mentioned in the book a number of times.
Patty Nicholas, special collections librarian at Forsyth, said the public is welcome to attend the presentation and book signing.
Gray can be contacted at (785) 531-2058 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nicholas can be reached by phone at (785) 628-5901 or by e-mail to email@example.com.