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List of Kansas Counties  

AntoninoCatharine | Czech Colony | Ellis | Emmeram | Hartsook/Herzog | Hays | Munjor | Pfeifer | Schoenchen | Turkville | Victoria  | Vincent | Walker | Yocemento

Volga Germans
Fort Hays
Other Colonies

Homesteading in Ellis County


Pfeifer was founded on either August 21 or 24, 1876, by emigrants from Pfeifer, Russia. It is located about 10 miles south of Victoria along the south bank of the Smoky Hill River. The final group of emigrants to Pfeifer came June 20, 1878 from Kamenka, Russia. The original settlement was in Section 25 of Ellis County, but in 1884, the town was moved to its present location in Section 36.

Residents built the town's first church, a small frame structure, in 1879. Then in 1891, a new stone church was dedicated on September 14. Plans for a bigger stone church were begun in 1911, and the construction began in April 1915 and was finished by May 1918. It still serves the community of Pfeifer today, but there are no services held on a regular basis.

The church is in the form of a cross and is 165 feet long, 75 feet wide in the transepts and 50 feet wide in the nave. The main steeple is 165 feet high, and the two other steeples are 100 feet high.

Ellis County - Holy Cross Church 2
Holy Cross Church

Ellis County - Holy Cross Church
School Building, Holy Cross Church, and Monastery

Ellis County - Holy Cross Church interior 2
Sanctuary and Nave of Holy Cross Church

Ellis County - Holy Cross Church choir loft
Choir Loft of Holy Cross Church


Most of the color photos taken by Patty Nicholas, archivist
The photo of the choir loft is courtesy of Ruben Schuckman, Hays Convention and Visitors Bureau

Dreiling, Norbert R. "Official Centennial History of the Volga-German Settlements in Ellis and Rush Counties of Kansas, 1878-1976." Hays, KS: Volga German Centennial Association, 1976.

Dreiling, B. M."Golden jubilee of the German-Russian settlements of Ellis and Rush Counties, Kansas, August 31, September 1 and 2, 1926." Hays, KS: Hays Daily News, 1926.


Hours and Contacts

Monday,April 21 Forsyth will close at 10 pm because of no electricity

Spring Hours:
Sun:             1:00 pm - 2:00 am
Mon-Thurs: 7:30 am - 2:00 am
Friday:         7:30 am - 7:00 pm
Sat:            10:00 am - 5:00 pm

For current month(s) and detailed information, please select desired month under announcements (below).

Phone: 785.628.4434
Fax: 785.628.4096
Contacts Directory
Mailing Address:
   Forsyth Library
   600 Park Street
   Hays, KS 67601
Physical Address:

   502 South Campus Drive
   Hays, KS 67601-4099